The urgent need to provide miniaturized optical components is at the origin of the exponential growth of the micro-optics market over the last decade, with an increasing need for free-form micro-optics to address the challenges set by the photonics market for the five to ten years to come. The industrial demand for free-form microlens arrays (FMLAs) is a current market reality. However, the high access barriers to pre-commercial production capabilities in Europe prevent companies, especially SMEs, from commercially exploiting the FMLA technology. Aim of the project is to set up a self-sustainable pilot-line for the design and manufacturing of FMLAs solutions and their integration into high added-value products. The consortium translates urgent and high-impact industrial needs into industrially relevant predictive software packages, manufacturing tools and processes, characterization methods for in- and off-line quality inspection and integration schemes, all necessary for the successful demonstration in pre-commercial production runs. Objective of the project is 1) to mature the FMLAs manufacturing processes and functionalities from the current technology readiness level TRL 5 to TRL 7 and increase the overall manufacturing readiness level of the pilot line from MRL 5 -6 up to MRL 8-9 by adaptation of predictive algorithms into simulation packages, optimization of different ultraprecision micro-machining technologies for the origination of high-quality FMLAs, optimization of high-throughput UV imprint technologies, integration of a surface coating technique portfolio, optimization of the metrology procedure; 2) to implement six industrial use-cases demonstrating pilot manufacturing in their operational environment; 3) to establish an open-access, sustainable, distributed pilot line infrastructure with single entry point; 4) to validate the pilot line services through the implementation of 20 industrial pilot cases.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/20 → 31/12/23|
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