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LSR lens_clear optical material_opitical LSR for text

Proto Labs Ltd, a manufacturer of custom parts and prototypes, has added optical-grade liquid silicone rubber (LSR) to its existing line-up of mouldable plastic and LSR materials. High-performance optical LSR is superbly clear, extremely flexible and is already replacing glass in many optical applications.

The engineering-grade thermoset offers a host of benefits for those developing components and products inside the lighting industry. Optical LSR does not discolour or lose transparency with age or with exposure to heat or UV light; it is significantly lighter than glass and most other plastics; and it is scratch and crack resistant, among many other advantages.

One of the more exciting aspects that optical silicone presents to a designer is its ability to reduce the bill of materials in a final assembly.

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“In a lighting application, for example, you have a lens and seal that would traditionally be two parts. With optical LSR, you can combine the two into a single part, which reduces cost and overall inventory,” said Lee Ball, Proto Labs’ Operations Director. “In addition to this, the durability of optical LSR and its resistance to discolouration, and heat remove many limitations designers and product developers face with glass or plastic.”

Proto Labs

Proto Labs delivers fully functional prototypes in production-intent materials to dramatically cut the cost and time normally associated with product development. This empowers designers and engineers with the means to rapidly develop, test, and get their products to market first in an ever-competitive global market place.

Proto Labs delivers fully functional prototypes in production-intent materials to dramatically cut the cost and time normally associated with product development. This empowers designers and engineers with the means to rapidly develop, test, and get their products to market first in an ever-competitive global market place.

Protomold delivers injection-moulded parts from moulds manufactured utilising state-of-the-art high-speed CNC machining technologies. Parts can be moulded using almost any engineering-grade resin and are ideal for prototyping, bridge tooling and low-volume production.

First Cut satisfies the need for functional prototypes much earlier in the development cycle for quantities of 1–10+. Because First Cut delivers prototypes in engineering-grade resins and aluminium they will have real material properties and improved surface finishes. In other words, they will be functional.

When you submit your 3D CAD model, Proto Labs’ powerful super-compute cluster creates an interactive quote giving pricing options and where appropriate, suggesting changes to improve manufacturability. You simply interact with your quote online, tailor options such as material and delivery to your requirements and with every change, the pricing information automatically updates. This built-in ‘what-if’ analysis enables last-minute project refinements to be accommodated at the click of a button.

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