Low-cost lenses can now be 3D printed and used for a number of purposes including customised contact lenses for correcting distorted vision or turning iPhones into microscopes for disease diagnosis.
Developed by a team at Northwestern University, the customised optical component is 5mm in height and 5mm in diameter and can be 3D printed in about four hours.
“Up until now, we relied heavily on the time-consuming and costly process of polishing lenses,” said Cheng Sun, who worked on the project. “With 3D printing, now you have the freedom to design and customise a lens quickly.”
The customised lens was attached to an iPhone 6s and was able to take high-quality detailed images of a sunset, a moth’s wing and a spot on a weevil’s elyta.