During the past ten years, the combined efforts of government supported organizations and a select few American industries have developed and put on line one of the most important manufacturing tools of the century - single point diamond machining of optical and optically related components. There are categories of optical elements currently being made that were heretofore too difficult to consider, too impractical or just economically unfeasible. The impact of diamond machining on common categories of optics is summarized in Table 1. In addition to these general categories, diamond machining can contribute heavily to the feasibility of producing high aspect ratio rectangular optics or thin optics that are too flexible to withstand pressures of conventional lapping and polishing.
Francis E. Montone,
"Diamond Turning Impacts The Optic Industry", Proc. SPIE 0306, Contemporary Methods of Optical Fabrication, (31 March 1982); doi: 10.1117/12.932740; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.932740