Teams from the Startup Region Stuttgart: Printoptix

February 15, 2022

"Teams from the Startup Region Stuttgart" is a format of the regularly published newsletter for Startup & Entrepreneurship at the University of Stuttgart. It presents startups from the Stuttgart startup region who tell the story of their startup and provide tips for those interested in founding a company.
[Picture: @printoptix]

Who is part of the founding team and who is responsible for what tasks or has what set of skills?

  • Dr.-Ing Simon Thiele, studied microsystems technology in Freiburg, PhD at ITO in Stuttgart on 3D-printed micro-optics. Responsible for research, development and manufacturing.
  • Nils Fahrbach, M.Sc., studied technical cybernetics in Stuttgart, master thesis at ITO on the application of 3D-printed micro-optics. Responsible for sales and administration, support in manufacturing.

A brief description

Printoptix manufactures highly miniaturized (<1mm) yet powerful optical systems for applications in e.g. medical technology (endoscopy) or chip and fiber communication. Thus, much smaller vessels than before can be examined with endoscopes in medical technology and the light coupling of e.g. micro LED arrays to other chips or fibers can be implemented cheaply and efficiently.

The background of the development

The founding history now goes back some 8 years, starting with the first experiments in optical 3D printing on the Nanoscribe device in the group of Prof. Dr. Harald Giessen from the 4th Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart. Since then, the knowledge in all areas, from design (focus of Prof. Dr. Alois Herkommer's group, where Simon Thiele was working at the time), process development and materials to post-processing and (optical) characterization, has expanded considerably. Dr. Simon Thiele's doctorate and Nils Fahrbach's master's thesis in his group gave rise to the idea of jointly commercializing these novel optics, both as a product and as a development and prototyping service.

What was the biggest challenge for you last year?

The clarification of all organizational and legal issues, especially those associated with the establishment of a limited liability company, since both founders had no experience in this area.

Tips for founders / What would you do differently today?

We would look for team expansion and initial employees sooner.

Supporters of the project

Prof. Dr. Harald Gießen from the 4th Physics Institute and Prof. Dr. Alois Herkommer from the Institute of Applied Optics.

Funding period

EXIST: 01.11.2020 – 31.10.2021
Junge Innovatoren: 01.11.2021 – 31.10.2022

Area of application

medical technology, chip and fiber communication, analysis and metrology/sensor technology, research

Website of Printoptix



This image shows Melanie Minderjahn

Melanie Minderjahn


Research Associate, PR Manager

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