Each lens was custom-designed and fabricated using a new rapid prototyping process. The results were presented at the Market Street Prototyping Festival.
With digital fabrication technology, it’s easier to design and manufacture lenses than ever before. We developed a fabrication process makes it easy to prototype optical designs.
Read our Instructable for a more in-depth look at our process.
It’s not always easy to predict how a given lens will distort an image. To make prototyping easier, we employed ray-tracing software to see how our lenses might look once printed.
Our process used Autodesk T-Splines to create lens geometry, and visualized its effects using Rhino’s raytracing renderer. With this technique, we were able to quickly create lenses that achieve a desired effect.
We used the Objet 3D printers at Autodesk’s Pier 9 Workshop to manufacture half of the lenses. They were printed with VeroClear resin to achieve transparency. The rest of the lenses were milled out of acrylic plastic on a 3-axis CNC router.
After printing or milling, all of the lenses were sanded to optical clarity.