1. Group Design

Our product that we made during the workshop consists of a small, simple plano-convex lens held in place by some blue-tack. We then attached the lens to the camera lens of the mobile phone by using masking tape. To direct a focused beam of light to the teeth, we also attached an optic fiber to the flash using masking tape. Although it was slightly unstable and flimsy as well as falling out a number of times, we kept improving our product until it could hold and we managed to get a clear picture of the "teeth". Our product is further illustrated below:


2. Product Requirement (customer and industry)

The product must be cheap, portable, retractable, as well as provide a clear image in the mouth. The product must definitely also be waterproof. The product musst be able to attach to the phone camera in any form, and also be able to bring light from the phone flashlight int the mouth.

The product could be made in the form of a customisable phone cover that can actually fit many phones, and that it should be made of a waterproof and flexible material like rubber, and long enough, which enables it to be put into the mouth. The product must have an optic fibre attached to the flashlight, which enable light to be reflected into the mouth through total internal reflection. The lens used should be a plano-convex lens or macro lens which enable us to have a clear yet magnified image to the teeth on the phone camera.

3. Individual Logs

Ryan Koh:

After attending the optics workshop on 15 nov, I have gained more insight into optics as well as product development. I have learnt to improvise with the materials and time constraint I was given to work. Team work was also displayed during the workshop, and without them we wouldn't have completed the product. The workshop was informative and fun, and I have learnt how to apply the concepts of optics in daily life.

Mr Ronian Siew was very knowledgeable in the area of optics and he coached us along throughout the workshop. He was very patient with us and advised us on what to do.

The workshop was very informative and fun as well because I never realised that optics can be applied in such a fun way, by developing tools to use in everyday life.

I learnt much more about teamwork and improvisation, but the biggest takeaway was the product development. I have learnt that the core principle in developing products is what the customers' demands are. If the customers' demands are not met, then the product will not be successful.

I enjoyed the presentation, as we got a chance to explain our product. We were rather happy to "show off" our hard work. Creativity and innovation also was required in this workshop as we had to think out of the box to design this product.

I enjoyed building the prototype with my friends as we got to discuss our ideas and build it together. It was satisfying to see that our hard work had paid off.

Thank you Mr Ronian!

Zen Lee:

What can the phone camera be used for? Everyone would think of simply taking photographs of landscapes or people, but what about using the phone camera, that almost everyone has, as a dental imaging device? Others have used the phone camera as imaging devices for the eye, but who has used it to take close up photographs of teeth? That was exactly what we did during the optics workshop on 15 November!

I got to know that Mr. Ronian Siew is a optical engineer at Qioptiq, which is a photonics innovation company that engineers optical solutions for customers, and that he is very cheerful and extremely creative. He guided us along the way and definitely stretched my imagination and creativity by allowing us to think freely without constraints.

I was tasked with making the holder for the lens and to make it stick to the phone camera with only very basic materials like masking tape and Blu-Tac. With only basic materials, it is very difficult to make a reasonably good holder for the lens so that the lens will not drop out, and also long enough to fit the focal length of the lens and also the zoom of the camera. The Blu-Tac was very sticky and one problem I faced when making the holder was that the Blu-Tac was actually also very flimsy and difficult to mould into a cylindrical shape. When I tried to make the holder longer so that it can reach into the mouth by stretching it, it would tear, and it was also difficult to get the lens to be put straight. Another challenge is how to align the lens to directly over the camera and to transfer the light from the flash to the mouth through the usage of the optic fibre.

Mr. Ronian Siew first introduced himself, and I got to know a little more about his life, and why he chose to become an engineer. He then engaged us in little demonstrations of the basic principles of reflection and refraction, which definitely helped serve as a recap for what I have studied this year, and also introduced us to 'positive lenses' and 'negative lenses'. He also elaborated a little about the various types of lenses that we would be working with, and engaged us during the presentation. He was very knowledgeable and interesting and engaging.

I felt that the optics workshop was very interesting and enriching, where I learned about many things relate to physics and had got a first-hand experience of "engineering" a optics related product.

Ryan Ng:

For me Qioptiq workshop was awesome because it was really a new experience to really fiddle around with the equipment; the lenses and Blu-Tac, to come up with a whole new product designed to be fitted for a phone to be a dental equipment whereby we could also come up with a light source.

I learnt that we could use many types of equipment and slowly fiddle around with it to come up with something totally new and awesome. For instance, we used a fibre optic cable and connected it to the flashlight of a phone and this could project the light into the dental patient's mouth in a dark environment.

This was very useful to me as I learnt how to create a dental equipment from what little things we have.