Innovative 3D Laser Cutting of Glass - 3D Clear Cut

Independent research and development, consultancy and testing facility, Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS), is developing a novel laser process to optimise the production of customised three dimensional glass components.

Designed to meet increased industry demand for low-cost, flexible manufacturing of complex glass shapes, 3D Clear-Cut will enable several pieces to be laser-cut from a single block of glass.Robert Ireson, Innovation Team Leader at GTS, said:“It is difficult to produce small, complex, 3D shapes to a high degree of precision using conventional glass processing technology.It is hoped that the novel laser process will have minimal energy input, with the option of controlling certain optical properties. Customised 3D shapes can be manufactured with this non-contact process in a short time frame, with high precision and minimum waste, meeting extensive demand across the industry for flexible, energy-efficient production of glass components, particularly for use in the photonics applications, including lasers and sensors.”

The new process will complement a separate major development project under way at GTS to produce innovative, compact, low cost and eye-safe laser-illuminated imaging sensors, for use in optical communications, medical diagnostics, remote sensing, range finding and targeting.

Photonics and material science experts at GTS are working with project leaders, Thales UK’s Optronics business in Glasgow, on the Light-MiLES project, which has been awarded a grant by Innovate UK, the national innovation agency and the new name for the Technology Strategy Board, to forward advances in technology and innovation. Other partners in the specialist consortium include Gooch & Housego Ltd and the University of Leeds.

The GTS portfolio of current, non-confidential, projects is available online at www.glass-ts.com/projects.

GTS provides analysis, consultancy, testing and research and development support to all parts of the glass supply chain – from raw materials to the end consumer. GTS prides itself on its confidentiality and independence and is accredited to ISO:9001, 14001 and 17025 standards. For more information please visit www.glass-ts.com, email enquiries@glass-ts.com, follow us on Twitter (@GlassTesting), LinkedIn or Google+ or telephone +44 (0) 114 290 1801.

Notes to Editors:

Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board – the UK’s innovation agency. Taking a new idea to market is a challenge. Innovate UK funds, supports and connects innovative businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate sustainable economic growth. For further information visit www.innovateuk.org

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