Drawing optical fibers from three-dimensional printers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Optics Letters, 2016, 41 (23), pp. 5551 - 5554
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Optical Society of America. The temperature distribution within extrusion nozzles of three low-cost desktop 3D printers is characterized using fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) to assess their compatibility as microfurnaces for optical fiber and taper production. These profiles show remarkably consistent distributions suitable for direct drawing of optical fiber. As proof of principle, coreless optical fibers (φ = 30 μm) made from fluorinated acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) are drawn. Cutback measurements demonstrate propagation losses as low as α = 0.26 dB/cm, which are comparable with standard optical fiber losses with some room for improvement. This work points toward direct optical fiber manufacture of any material from 3D printers.
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