Resin printing — or more appropriately, stereolithography apparatus printing — is a costly but cool 3D printing process. [Evan] from [Model3D] wondered if it was possible to produce a proper magnifying glass using SLA printing and — well — take a gander at the result.
A quick modeling session in Fusion 360 with the help of his friend, [SPANNERHANDS 3D Printing] and it was off to the printer. Unfortunately, [Evan] learned a little late that his export settings could have been set to a higher poly count — the resultant print looked a little rough — but the lens would have needed to be sanded anyway. Lucky coincidence! After an eight hour print on his Peopoly Moai using clear SLA resin, [Evan] set to work sanding.
Over several hours, [Evan] hand polished the lens, steadily working his way from a heavy, low-hundreds grit sandpaper, all the way up to 3000 grit! A little time on the polishing wheel using 3.5 and 1.2 micron polishing paste to “buff the hell out of it” turned out a fine looking-lens.
[Evan]’s only gripes about the project are the slight yellowing of the lens — which he says could have been from over-curing, or a property of the resin he used — and needing a little more time on the buffing wheel. That said, we suspect his next attempt at making a lens will wind up in a laser engraver.