Ion beam and plasma jet based techniques can be used in alternative machining processes for generating and finishing of ultra-precision optical surfaces. Since atomistic mechanisms are responsible for surface material modification, etching, and deposition, very high accuracy on the atomic level can be achieved. Various advanced techniques like pulse-width modulated ion beam figuring, sub-aperture reactive ion beam etching, or ion beam assisted structuring, planarization and smoothing technologies have been investigated aiming at precision on sub-nanometer height scale and lateral scales ranging over the full spatial wavelength range from nanometers to meters. Additionally, different atmospheric reactive plasma jet processes and plasma jet assisted process chains for generating, correction and smoothing of complex shaped optical surfaces like aspheres with large departures to best fit sphere or free forms exhibiting strong gradients have been developed in the last decade. In the paper an overview to the most recent trends of non-conventional ultra-precision optics processing is given and latest results of optics manufacturing are shown. Specific examples are given to demonstrate that form generation (e.g. for laser beam shaping optics) and surface finishing and polishing using atmospheric plasma jet tools are promising applications exhibiting advantages with respect to process efficiency and flexibility. Furthermore, the capabilities of ion beam surface figure correction using a new approach to control the tool function are demonstrated.