The aim of the project is the development of a new and innovative additive technology for the production of complex optical components from quartz glass. The process is based on stereolithography (SLA), in which UV-curing resins are selectively exposed to laser radiation and three-dimensional shaped bodies are built up layer by layer. The hybrid SLA process consists of a two-stage SLA layer process in which modified glass pastes are applied in thin layers and then a second component is added with a print head. The glass pastes consist of a finely dispersed solid (SiO2) and a photosensitive binder and are specially developed for this process. The simultaneous processing of differently doped pastes should enable the construction of three-dimensionally structured components with variable geometry and composition. The produced components are thermally debinded and glazed under active gas atmosphere in a special newly developed gas pressure sintering furnace. After a surface finish, the resulting preforms are to be warped into structured optical fibers, which is an absolute novelty. In addition, optical components are also to be manufactured as examples.
The project is supported by the Free State of Thuringia under the number 2018 FE 9100 and co-financed by European Union funds within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).