Optical fibers production performed by 3D printing

Optical fibers production by 3D printingA new technique of 3D printing application has been developed to produce optical fiber preforms. Usually, they are used as the backbone of the global telecommunications network. It is planned that this fiber optic technology allows not only making optical fiber production easier but also opening up new designs and applications impossible before.

The traditional creation of silica optical fibers is based on “the labor-intensive process of spinning tubes on a lathe, which requires the fiber’s core or cores to be precisely centered”. Nevertheless, modern fiber optic technology does not require centering the fiber geometry. As a result, scientists can overcome some optical fiber limitations in design and the reduction of manufacturing costs.

A group of researchers from Australia has succeeded in making the first silica optical fibers by 3D printing. It should be noted that the 3D printing technique for optical fiber manufacturing may change the entire approach to fiber optic design and goal. For instance, it is possible to enlarge the applications of fiber optic sensors that significantly overpass their electronic equivalents relatively to longevity, calibration, and maintenance. However, fiber sensors haven’t been widely employed because of their expensive fabrication.

Herewith, the developed fiber optic technology is based on the previous work in which polymer material was applied to show the first optical fiber produced from a 3D printed performer. Nevertheless, this research faced several material problems including the high temperatures (higher than 1900 °C) required to 3D print optical fibers.

New optical fibers are produced by a unique heating step (debinding) to take away the polymer and leave behind only the silica nanoparticles, which are put together by intermolecular forces. Then the nanoparticles transform into a solid structure by raising the temperature. Therefore, it could be installed into a draw tower where it is heated and pulled to produce the optical fiber.

Finally, the new technique enables the researchers to create a preform equivalent of a traditional optical fiber that could be employed to produce multi- or single-mode fibers, depending on drawing conditions. The researchers confirm that this fiber optic technology demonstrates great results and can be used for a large variety of fiber optic material processing. Additionally, the production of optical fiber preforms by 3D printings is regarded to be a possible opportunity to replace the traditional methods of making optical fibers. Thus, not only fabrication and material costs of fiber optics but also labor costs will be reduced.

Optromix is a provider of top-quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers, and accessories for process spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions or would like to buy an optical fiber product, please contact us at info@optromix.com

How to choose the best fiber optic cable

Fiber Optic Cable tips to choose

The variety of fiber optic cables requires their proper selection, installation, and maintenance to optimize it. Optical fibers are flexible and they allow installing fiber optic probes for remote measurement at numerous points with one device, significantly reducing cost. Moreover, optical fibers matched to the spectroscopic analyzer system enable us to reach optimal performance results.

You should pay careful attention to the following parameters when choosing the right fiber optic cables:

  • The optical wavelength range of application

It is required for the spectroscopic optical fiber generally to be much larger in diameter. The operating principle of fiber cables is based on the total internal reflection of the light. “The core of the optical fiber is typically high purity fused silica surrounded by a higher index of refraction doped fused silica cladding layer.” Herewith, the spectroscopic grade optical fibers are optimized for the wavelengths of application.

  • The diameter of fiber optic cables

Various core diameters of optical fibers are distinguished, for instance, single-mode fiber is about 6 µm in diameter, while multimode optical fiber is up to 1000 µm in diameter. The thing is that huge core fiber costs higher, it has less flexibility and a higher attenuation rate with distance but such optical fiber allows transmitting more light and providing a better signal-to-noise ratio.

  • Environmental conditions

Usually, optical fibers are highly fragile, that is why special protective layers are used to solve this problem. Different environmental conditions need for various protective coatings. Moreover, environmental conditions influence the optical fiber performance in a spectroscopic application. For example, strong sunlight may disturb the optical fiber leading to incorrect results of the analysis. 

  • Required distances for the transmission of the signal

It is necessary to install the analyzer far enough away from the hazardous process to be safe, however, close enough to make the optical fiber run practical from cost and performance points of view because fiber optic cables are quite expensive. Thus, the cost depends on the distance required for the optical fiber significantly if it is installed in a protective conduit. 

  • Installation recommendations

Proper installation of fiber optic cables is recommended for better performance. Also, it is necessary to avoid sharp bends as well as vibrations. They can evoke noise in the signal because they are a form of micro-bend losses. The most important thing is the correct termination of fiber cables. For optimal application in spectroscopic applications, the connectors of optical fibers must be polished to perfection, be flat, square-ended, and have the correct length.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers, and accessories for process spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions or would like to buy an optical fiber product, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Tapered optical fibers change the future of laser system processing

Nowadays new fiber laser technology allows transmitting multikilowatt power, ultrashort pulse durations, repetition rates up to 1 GHz, and high laser beam quality in a compact version. The thing is that the ultrafast laser system with pulse durations in the femtosecond and picosecond range is widely used in numerous industrial processes. 

Benefits of these fiber lasers provided high-quality, virtually athermal materials processing combining with developments in fiber laser technology, process development, laser beam handling, and delivery, enlarge fields for many advanced scientific and industrial applications. Nevertheless, tapered optical fibers provide high laser beam power with perfect beam features in a space-effective format, herewith, at not expensive production costs that are slightly more than traditional optical fibers.

Thus, these ultrafast fiber laser systems offer fast industrial performance by transmitting fast investment returns from high processing speed and accuracy. It should be noted that the rapid rise in output laser beam power due to rare-earth-doped optical fiber allows designing new fiber optic systems with perfect performance (high laser beam quality, overall efficiency, and flexibility in operating wavelength and radiation format).

The thing is that current fiber optic technologies promote creating new configurations as well, however, the cost of solid-state gain material is high, combined with thermal management challenges cause crucial obstacles to its widespread application. The popularity of pulsed laser systems increases every day. Solid-state, disk, and fiber lasers are considered to be the most potential versions for high-average-power generation, herein, fiber laser systems are in advance.

Compared to solid-state and disk laser systems, fiber lasers provide such advantages as compactness, robustness, efficiency, ease of thermal management, and reliable laser beam quality. Additionally, fiber laser systems have greatly lower production and maintenance costs beneficial for pico- and femtosecond high-repetition-rate kilowatt-level laser beam development. Modern high-average-power fiber lasers usually apply chirped-pulse amplification.

Nevertheless, even amplifiers based on fiber optic technology can provoke very high optical peak intensities leading to detrimental nonlinear laser beam pulse distortion or even destruction of the gain medium or other optical fiber elements. Moreover, there are various nonlinear effects (self-phase modulation, stimulated Raman scattering, mode instabilities, and poor output laser beam quality) that increase in pulsed high-power laser systems limiting their performance. The promising solution is the increase in the core diameter of the optical fiber.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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Founded in 1898, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum (CIM) is the leading technical society of professionals in the Canadian Minerals, Metals, Materials and Energy Industries.

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The language learning expert: Kai
The language learning expert: Kai

The friends set themselves the challenge of learning a language in a week in order to stretch themselves, and then it was a question of choosing which language to learn. English presented itself as a natural option; there are nigh on 300,000 English speakers in Germany’s capital, and the areas are dotted with stores adorned with signs in English.


The first operational step in the friends learning process was to decorate the entire apartment with sticky notes. This had an almost ceremonial touch to it as the friends delved into dictionaries and proceeded to label everything with its corresponding English name.

Within the space of about an hour it was impossible to carry out any menial task, be it making a coffee or flicking off a light switch, without first being presented with at least three different words related to this action.

The friends simply switched their everyday conversations to English
The friends simply switched their everyday conversations to English

The importance of the other twin’s presence became immediately apparent as Katy and Sara delegated responsibilities for rooms to decorate with sticky notes. This simple task was augmented by continuous little tests that they would spring on one another, and the fact that they split up their day slightly differently and studied different topics meant that each twin became a source of knowledge for the other.

The most extraordinary moment came towards the end of the week!

The friends simply switched their everyday conversations to English, asking one another if they wanted tea or coffee, were ready to cook dinner or when they were going to leave the house.

Katy and Sara had numerous micro-challenges throughout the week. On the first day they were visited by a English friend who greeted them in English and complimented them on how quickly they’d picked up their first words and phrases.

They then learned the names of fruits and the numbers from one to a billion so that they could visit the English market (although they refrained from purchasing nine hundred thousand kumquats). Displaying their haul after their first functional exchange in English, they beamed with pride and a palpable sense of accomplishment before marching back home to study further.

There is no definitive method to learn a language fluently
There is no definitive method to learn a language fluently

On our second visit to the brother’s apartment 24 hours into the week, we found them sampling dozens of different kinds of English snacks.

Like kids staring at the backs of cereal packs before heading to school, the nutritional information and various special offers and competitions on the packaging were analysed during snack breaks.

There was no moment of complete removal from the language learning process during the eight hours that the friends had allotted to it.

They were constantly using their existing knowledge to support the ever-growing knowledge of English, this being the root of their success.


The friends spent a lot of time engrossed in books or on their computers and apps, flicking and swiping their way through exercises eagerly, but at other times they were to be found searching busily for English radio stations and write-ups of English football games on the web.

All too often, people enter their weekly language class to converse with their teacher, but then barely have any contact with other speakers and that’s not enough.

The old saying that we can solve problems more effectively when we sleep on it may be especially true if the problem we’re trying to solve is learning a new language.

The researchers then re-gathered both
The researchers then re-gathered both

The researchers added a techie dimension by conducting electroencephalographic (EEG)recordings of the sleeping participants brains to track neural electrical activity during the learning period.

They found that learning the foreign words overlapped with the appearance of theta brain waves, an intriguing result since theta is the brain wave state often associated with heightened learning while awake (usually we’re in either the high-frequency, high-alertness alpha or beta states while awake, but it’s thought possible to induce theta state slower in frequency than alpha and beta through concentration techniques).