Diamond machining of non-ferrous and plastic optical components is drawing increasing interest as a method of producing both prototype and production optics economically and with lesser skill than historic polishing methods. Pneumo Precision, with a background in air bearing spindles, air bearing slides, and metrology has combined these technologies with diamond tools to introduce a commercial line of machine tools termed "Micro Surface Generators" specifically designed for diamond turning, flycutting, and grinding. This paper will present the findings of our research and development in diamond micro surface generation machines and will illustrate the range of application of this equipment. Included will be discussions and illustrations of diamond turning of surfaces of revolution; diamond fly-cutting of plano surfaces including multi-faceted scanners; and diamond grinding. The use of this equipment in a standard optical or precision machine shop setting rather than in a super laboratory environment will be discussed. Conclusions as to the future of diamond machining as a commonplace optical fabrication method will be presented.
P. Donald Brehm,
"Diamond Machining Of Metal & Plastic Optics", Proc. SPIE 0093, Advances in Precision Machining of Optics, (16 December 1976); doi: 10.1117/12.955124; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.955124