27 September 2016 High precision optomechanical assembly using threads as mechanical reference
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Abstract
A convenient method to assemble optomechanical components is to use threaded interface. For example, lenses are often secured inside barrels using threaded rings. In other cases, multiple optical sub-assemblies such as lens barrels can be threaded to each other. Threads have the advantage to provide a simple assembly method, to be easy to manufacture, and to offer a compact mechanical design. On the other hand, threads are not considered to provide accurate centering between parts because of the assembly clearance between the inner and outer threads. For that reason, threads are often used in conjunction with precision cylindrical surfaces to limit the radial clearance between the parts to be centered. Therefore, tight manufacturing tolerances are needed on these pilot diameters, which affect the cost of the optical assembly. This paper presents a new optomechanical approach that uses threads as mechanical reference. This innovative method relies on geometric principles to auto-center parts to each other with a very low centering error that is usually less than 5 μm. The method allows to auto-center an optical group in a main barrel, to perform an axial adjustment of an optical group inside a main barrel, and to perform stacking of multiple barrels. In conjunction with the lens auto-centering method that also used threads as a mechanical reference, this novel solution opens new possibilities to realize a variety of different high precision optomechanical assemblies at lower cost.
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Frédéric Lamontagne, Frédéric Lamontagne, Nichola Desnoyers, Nichola Desnoyers, Guy Bergeron, Guy Bergeron, Mario Cantin, Mario Cantin, "High precision optomechanical assembly using threads as mechanical reference", Proc. SPIE 9951, Optical System Alignment, Tolerancing, and Verification X, 995107 (27 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2237654; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2237654
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