Characterization and Functionalization of Flexographic Printing Forms for an Additive Manufacturing Process of Polymer Optical Waveguides
International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro Optics (ICALEO)
To improve printing results, a printing form can be functionalized and the material transferring behavior can be adjusted. In this work a flexographic printing form is divided into three different areas: First the elevated, material transferring structures (1); second the rising edges between the printing form substrate and the elevated structures (2) and third the transition area (3) between (1) and (2). These three areas are laser functionalized by inserting a defined micro pattern. Subsequently the printing results are investigated and categorized in groups. The groups indicate which functionalized surfaces (1,2,3) have what kind of influence on the printing result. As part of a low cost and efficient approach to manufacture polymeric optical waveguides, a way is presented, how the waviness of printed conditioning lines can be reduced significantly by laser functionalizing to improve the quality of the waveguides.