Optical EngineeringProcess for designing a freeform Fresnel lens
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This paper describes a process for designing a faceted freeform Fresnel lens. Where a traditional Fresnel lens uses a profile revolved around a central axis, a freeform Fresnel lens uses individual triangular or trapezoidal facets that comprise a freeform surface. This type of lens combines the capability of a freeform surface with the benefits of a Fresnel lens, in particular: thin profile, low cost, small size, and relatively simple geometry calculations. An algorithm is presented to design such a lens that generates an output intensity distribution without depending on symmetry in the light source, the lens aperture, or the output intensity distribution. Two example systems are presented, demonstrating how a freeform Fresnel lens can reshape a beam of light without relying on symmetry.