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Proceedings Paper

Implementing a prototyping network for injection moulded imaging lenses in Finland
Author(s): K. Keränen; J.-T. Mäkinen; E.J. Pääkkönen; M. Koponen; M. Karttunen; J. Hiltunen; P. Karioja
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Paper Abstract

A network for prototyping imaging lenses using injection moulding was established in Finland. The network consists of several academic and industrial partners capable of designing, processing and characterising imaging lenses produced by injection moulding technology. In order to validate the operation of the network a demonstrator lens was produced. The process steps included in the manufacturing were lens specification, designing and modelling, material selection, mould tooling, moulding process simulation, injection moulding and characterisation. A magnifying imaging singlet lens to be used as an add-on in a camera phone was selected as a demonstrator. The design of the add-on lens proved to be somewhat challenging, but a double aspheric singlet lens design fulfilling nearly the requirement specification was produced. In the material selection task the overall characteristics profile of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) material was seen to be the most fitting to the pilot case. It is a low cost material with good moulding properties and therefore it was selected as a material for the pilot lens. Lens mould design was performed using I-DEAS and tested by using MoldFlow 3D injection moulding simulation software. The simulations predicted the achievable lens quality in the processing, when using a two-cavity mould design. First cavity was tooled directly into the mould plate and the second cavity was made by tooling separate insert pieces for the mould. Mould material was steel and the inserts were made from Moldmax copper alloy. Parts were tooled with high speed milling machines. Insert pieces were hand polished after tooling. Prototype lenses were injection moulded using two PMMA grades, namely 6N and 7N. Different process parameters were also experimented in the injection moulding test runs. Prototypes were characterised by measuring mechanical dimensions, surface profile, roughness and MTF of the lenses. Characterisations showed that the lens surface RMS roughness was 30-50 nm and the profile deviation was 5 μm from the design at a distance of 0.3 mm from the lens vertex. These manufacturing defects caused that the measured MTF values were lower than designed. The lens overall quality, however, was adequate to demonstrate the concept successfully. Through the implementation of the demonstrator lens we could test effectively different stages of the manufacturing process and get information about process component weight and risk factors and validate the overall performance of the network.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 October 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5965, Optical Fabrication, Testing, and Metrology II, 59651E (20 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.625118
Show Author Affiliations
K. Keränen, VTT Electronics (Finland)
J.-T. Mäkinen, VTT Electronics (Finland)
E.J. Pääkkönen, Perlos R and D (Finland)
M. Koponen, VTT Processes (Finland)
M. Karttunen, VTT Processes (Finland)
J. Hiltunen, VTT Electronics (Finland)
P. Karioja, VTT Electronics (Finland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5965:
Optical Fabrication, Testing, and Metrology II
Angela Duparré; Roland Geyl; Lingli Wang, Editor(s)

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