Optical rapid prototyping company Luxexcel and the Institute of Photonics at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) have partnered to develop an improved platform for photonic 3-D printing. The partnership will leverage the company’s Printoptical manufacturing process, a method for printing optical-quality components that does not require postprocessing. The process is a good base to develop photonic 3-D printing, said Jyrki Saarinen, a professor at UEF. “From this base, we can start further optimization processes and research and development to build in features that have not previously been carried out. The aim is to take advantage of the printer with other modern manufacturing photonic devices, such as laser ablation, and see what they offer.” The first phase of the project will span 18 months with €950,000 funding leveraged from the European Union 2007 structural funding instrument of Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. Additional project partners include Nanocomp Ltd., Oplatek Group Ltd., Thermo Fisher Scientific Ltd., Millog Ltd., Idman Airfield Lighting Ltd. and Nanobakers Ltd. The platform is expected to be ready at the end of this year.