Abstract

The temperature distribution within extrusion nozzles of three low-cost desktop 3D printers is characterized using fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) to assess their compatibility as micro-furnaces for optical fiber and taper production. These profiles show remarkably consistent distributions suitable for direct drawing of optical fiber. As proof of principle, coreless optical fibers (φ=30  μm) made from fluorinated acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) are drawn. Cutback measurements demonstrate propagation losses as low as α=0.26  dB/cm, which are comparable with standard optical fiber losses with some room for improvement. This work points toward direct optical fiber manufacture of any material from 3D printers.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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