General Description

Custom light guide systems

Custom light guides - no tooling costs, 300 pcs MOQ!!

MENTOR's ground-breaking innovation of no-tooling cost, 300 pcs MOQ, custom light guide / light pipe solutions opens-up a whole new world to electronic design engineers who strive for something special and different but do not have the tooling budgets or volumes to justify high-investment custom components.

For the first time, any engineer with no matter how small a volume can now specify just about any shape or size they want in two dimensions to create custom area, bargraph or solid strip light guides that are professionally designed and manufactured using sophisticated techniques and software that are unavailable to most companies. MENTOR’s lighting engineers will use their specialist skills and advanced optical design software to ensure that LEDs are optimally positioned to deliver homogenous light with no bleed and will provide advice on the LED type to use. All of this is possible with no tooling costs and usual MOQ is just 300pcs. An engineer’s dream!!

How is this possible? MENTOR’s new M-CUT system is based on precisely machined homogeneous PMMA sheet that depending on the design requirements is either fully-transparent or more normally features special MENTOR-specified diffusing particles. Unlike classic injection-moulded light guides / light pipes, the production techniques used for the MENTOR M-CUT range require no tooling investment. (Depending on complexity, a modest design charge might apply). Three different types of MENTOR M-CUT 2D custom light guides have been introduced. They will often be used under a foil or keypad but this is not always a requirement. All three types of custom light guides are mounted on the PCB via integrated press-in lugs. Alternative mounting techniques such as clamping or screwing are also possible.

Three M-CUT custom light guide types: area – bargraph – solid strip

These three basic types form the basis of MENTOR’s M-CUT light guide series. With the area light guide, high-quality custom background illuminations for logos, graphics or information areas can be realised. The bargraph light guide can be used for individual multi-element displays, and the solid strip light guide allows homogeneous backlighting of strips and text.
Area, bargraph and solid strip light guides

M-CUT 2D custom area light guides

These allow Design Engineers to incorporate high-quality custom background illuminations for logos, graphics or information areas. (Even central cut-outs are possible whilst still retaining homogeneity of light). Our customers are already finding ingenious applications for this product (eg medical opto testing) that we had never even considered! The customer specifies the size and shape in two dimensions. MENTOR engineers will advise on the type and positioning of the LEDs to ensure homogenous illumination. No tooling and just 300 pcs MOQ!
Custom light guide applications
Application examples:- Custom are light guides can be used to illuminate logs or provide corona lighting.

M-CUT 2D custom bargraph light guides

Design Engineers can specify these with up to 100 individual elements, size and shape being infinitely variable in two dimensions. For instance, the bargraph array can be curved to match the curvature of a moulded enclosure. MENTOR will advise on the type and positioning of the LEDs. No tooling and just 300 pcs MOQ!

M-CUT 2D custom solid strip light guides

These are the solution when a solid strip of homogenous light is needed, either for cosmetic effect or signalling but more usually, for illuminating text. However, our customers are already finding other ingenious applications that we had never considered! The customer specifies the size and shape in two dimensions. MENTOR engineers will advise on the type and positioning of the LEDs to ensure homogenous illumination. No tooling and just 300 pcs MOQ!
Ship control panel
Application example:- This ship's control panel utilises MENTOR 2-D custom solid-strip light guides (on the left) along with MENTOR illuminated switch caps to present an attractive and easy to understand front panel.

Design creativity without tooling investment and MOQ restrictions

MENTOR’s new M-CUT light guide system opens a new world to many Design Engineers. They now have the freedom to specify in two dimensions almost any shape and size of light guide without the restriction of high MOQs and tooling costs. Another innovative, cost-effective solution from MENTOR.