New optical designs containing freeform optics have recently begun appearing in systems. Applications have
incorporated parts ranging in size from small (e.g.: ~5 – 10 mm rectangles) to large (e.g.: astronomical applications).
To meet these needs, QED Technologies recently introduced two solutions using its Q22-Y and Q22-950F platforms.
Magnetorheological Finishing® (MRF®) is a production proven technology for deterministically finishing symmetric
parts (flats, spheres, and on-axis aspheres) using a rotational toolpath, and rectangular flats and cylinders using a raster
toolpath. The new freeform toolpath expands the raster capabilities of the Q22-Y and Q22-950F machines to include
spheres, aspheres, off-axis sections, and true freeform geometries.
The freeform raster toolpath was first introduced on a meter-class optic platform, the Q22-950F. As optics grow in size,
the mass typically scales as well. This in turn increases the demands on the machine dynamics to meet rotational
polishing requirements. The raster freeform toolpath solution greatly reduces the machine dynamics and is employed to
polish a wide variety of part shapes, sizes, and geometries. A similar version of the toolpath was subsequently
implemented on the smaller Q22-Y platform. This paper will compare the implementations on each platform, describe
the benefits of the toolpath for existing and new applications, and present results from demonstrations on the two platforms.