The most important pieces of art don’t necessarily hang on the walls of museums. The most extraordinary artworks are the ones that change us, the ones that alter the fundamental nature of what it means to be a human being. Conceivably the most famous creator of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci had a unique ability to understand how, as inherently tool building creatures, the intersection of art and technology was central to our existence. It’s at this crossroad that phenomena like cinema, radio, and social media were born.
Recent exponential leaps in science and technology have forced us to rethink life itself. Who could have imagined even a few decades ago that each day billions of pictures would be created, edited, and sent around the globe? Who could have imagined that doctors would trade their scalpels for photons, or that we would develop the means to gaze through miles of earth?
Not a soul.
What is perhaps even more amazing is that much of our current infrastructure and ability to create undeniably hinges on a single revolutionary technology: fiber optic cabling.
In a rapidly changing world, optical fiber is the glowing translucent backbone that provides connectivity for applications as diverse as bioanalytical sensing, power, and internet communications. Fiber optic technology literally moves at the speed of light and its continual evolution is providing solutions for previously unimaginable problems and situations. The promise of a low-loss flexible future is the promise of a future unencumbered by darkness and electromagnetic interference.
The high level of precision required to go from draft to prototype, and finally production product is astonishing. The wavelengths that travel along these fibers are measured in millionths of a meter, and even the smallest imperfections can result in a defective cable. Dozens of high-quality and high-precision machines are required during the manufacturing process to ensure that the integrity of each fiber is iron clad.
What many people take for granted is the artisanal care that goes into creating glass or plastic fibers that range in size from the diameter of a human hair to the head of a pin. Teams of incredibly talented designers and engineers work hand-in-hand to create devices that deliver breathtaking precision even when exposed to elements like radiation and extreme heat. It’s the logical equivalent of balancing a violinist on top of a speeding train rushing through mountain tunnels. It’s Beethoven with lasers.
Like many of the most important revolutions this century, the possibilities for fiber optics won’t come from out-of-the-box parts, but custom solutions that test the ingenuity of our best and brightest. Exciting new challenges will call for concept exploration that will push the boundaries of specialty optical fiber.
Fiberguide specializes in the these difficult but rewarding OEM projects. We have created over 500 types of specialty fiber sold in over 30 countries. We take special pride in our ability to work with a manufacturer and deliver a product that exceeds expectations. Our sculpting is done on a microscopic level.
When quality matters, when precision matters, when ingenuity and resourcefulness matters, we are at our best.
Author: Kevin Rauscher