Past Event

OSA/SPIE Talk: Plastic Injection Molded Optics in Consumer Products

April 2, 2021
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
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Speaker: Brian Cranton
Optical Engineer
Google Canada

Many consumer products prioritize price and scalability during development, and that can lead to the use of plastic injection molded optics.  Using these optics effectively requires a deep understanding of the plastic injection molding process; much more than glass optics requires an understanding of the glass optics manufacturing process.  In this talk, I present practical lessons learned over the course of my career that allow me to successfully include plastic optics in my designs.  Specifically, I will review the steps of plastic injection molding and what can compromise your optic at each step.

Mr. Brian Cranton started his career in 1990 using holography for non-destructive mechanical testing. From there he moved onto custom visible and infrared optical systems for industrial, academic, military, and satellite applications. In 2006, he became involved with wearables; specifically wearables for US military soldiers. These wearables included night-vision goggles, portable thermal imagers, weapon sights, rangefinders, etc. Over the next 11 years if a soldier carried it and if it had optics in it, then Mr. Cranton likely worked on some version of it. In 2016, he transitioned to consumer wearable, virtual reality goggles, and AR smart glasses. He joined Google in June 2020 when Google acquired the smart glasses startup he was employed at. During his career, Mr. Cranton has constantly pursued innovative projects to work on and has prioritized continuous learning. Over his career, he has also collected four separate master's degrees in mechanical engineering, computer science, business, and optical science.