We present an approach to 3D printing custom optical elements for interactive devices labeled Printed Optics. Printed Optics enable sensing, display, and illumination elements to be directly embedded in the casing or mechanical structure of an interactive device. Using these elements, unique display surfaces, novel illumination techniques, custom optical sensors, and embedded optoelectronic components can be digitally fabricated for rapid, high fidelity, highly customized interactive devices. Printed Optics is part of our long-term vision for interactive devices that are 3D printed in their entirety. In this paper, we explore the possibilities for this vision afforded by fabrication of custom optical elements using today’s 3D printing technology.
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