16 October 2017 Freeform optics manufacturing
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Proceedings Volume 10448, Optifab 2017; 104482F (2017) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2279808
Event: SPIE Optifab, 2017, Rochester, New York, United States
Abstract
As optical systems get more complex and compact the use of freeform components is becoming ever more present. With their nontraditional geometry freeform optics can not only improve image quality over a greater field of view but they can also reduce the physical space requirements of the optical components in a system. On top of increased performance conformal shapes can match the shape of platform they reside on to reduce drag while still maintaining optical functionality. As the demand for these shapes increases manufacturing and metrology techniques need to be developed to achieve the specifications as well reduce the cost of fabrication. On top of those challenges the optical tolerances used for traditional optics are not always relevant or practical to an optic with a freeform prescription.

OptiPro Systems has been a pioneer in the field of optics manufacturing and freeform geometry is no exception. We have improved our existing grinding and polishing platforms to facilitate easier fabrication of optics with complex shapes and difficult materials as well created our own software packages specifically tailored to these processes. In this paper we will discuss some of the challenges associated with complex shapes and some of the techniques and technologies we use to overcome them. We will discuss some of the difficulties associated with the qualification and tolerancing of these freeform prescriptions as well as some possible solutions to reduce manufacturing costs while still fabricating effective parts. Examples these difficult shapes will be provided alongside of results and data from processing.
© (2017) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Greg Matthews, Greg Matthews, James Ross, James Ross, Jake Gemballa, Jake Gemballa, } "Freeform optics manufacturing", Proc. SPIE 10448, Optifab 2017, 104482F (16 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2279808; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2279808
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