What I Did
At Formlabs, I worked to research, test, and prototype new features and technologies for next-generation products. I worked in a small team and spent most of my time in the optics lab or designing electromechanical systems. Due to the nature of my work at Formlabs, I am unable to go into much detail here. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any of my projects more in depth!
Projects and Work
Lens Movement System
Requirements included building a compact lens movement system that had a precision of 50 microns. Two methods were explored, researched, and modelled: a rack and pinion system and a voice coil system. A modified rack and pinion system was prototyped and produced, using a stepper motor, optical position switches, and some external hardware. This project was the main focus of my internship. Please contact me if you wish to discuss it further!
Beam Quality Calculations
The goal of this project was to attain the beam quality (M^2) of a multimode laser. This is more complex than finding the beam quality of a singlemode laser. A CCD camera and off-the-shelf software was initially used, however the software proved to be not accurate enough. This led to me writing my own python script to read in the raw data captured by the camera, interpret it, perform calculations, and use a unique process to determine beam quality. This process involved plotting the beam and comparing it to an ideal Gaussian plot. The angle difference factor between the two plots would give an approximation of the beam quality. For this project, I learned python and used it for my first time. I also applied my new Gaussian theory knowledge to find the beam quality of a multimode laser in a way that hasn't been done before.
I worked to experimentally determine several specifications for different lasers. Gaussian theory and these specifications were used to model the system and the unique setup required for this project. This helped design the next-generation optical engine and pick the best laser setup. To achieve this, CCD cameras and Thorlabs equipment were used.
I tested, debugged, and provided feedback to improve three different controls systems that are to be used in the future. Through this project, I gained experience working with PID and State Space control systems.