Optical couplers and step-index fibers fabricated using FDM 3D printers

David R. Gozzard, Rebecca Craine, Deon Hickey, Alex Martin, William Shen, Bailey Sones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Step-index optical fiber preforms are manufactured and drawn into fibers using low-cost consumer-grade fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers with no other specialist tooling. The fibers are fabricated from polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) cladding with an acrylonitrile buatadiene styrene (ABS) core, resulting in V < 2.4 after drawing. The fibers are measured to have a loss of α ≈ 0.78 dB/cm, which matches previous polymer fibers manufactured using draw towers. The printing of multimode optical couplers with reliable 50:50 split ratios is also demonstrated. This work points toward the fabrication of useful and bespoke optical devices with low-cost 3D printers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5124-5127
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


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