Mobility forum Rapid.Tech 3D 2024

Additive manufacturing of optical components for automotive lighting applications using digital light processing

MERCEDES-BENZ AG shows how the use of free-form optics allows increasingly complex components around the vehicle to be specifically staged using light

The use of free-form optics allows increasingly complex components around the vehicle to be specifically highlighted by light, creating an exciting appearance in the vehicle exterior and a pleasant atmosphere in the interior. As the production of initial physical prototypes using CNC milling or injection molding is very cost-intensive and inflexible in terms of adjustments during the development process, additive manufacturing represents an attractive solution for the production of these early prototypes.
In order to ensure the best possible reproduction of the lighting properties of these functional prototypes, their production must be considered as a whole. Based on this premise, a process chain was defined that starts long before the actual additive manufacturing and takes all optically relevant criteria into account.
In addition to already known approaches, in which resin or ink-based 3D printing processes such as stereolithography (SLA) or polyjet modeling (PJM) were also used, this work uses the DLP process, which has been much less researched for the production of transparent additive optics. 


Speakers (1)

Pascal Boley

Pascal Boley

PhD student Research & Development