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Proceedings Paper

Flexible precision asphere manufacturing
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Paper Abstract

The manufacturing of precision aspheres has traditionally been a long-lead-time, labor-intensive process that is made even more expensive by the need for specific process expertise, dedicated tooling for polishing, and dedicated nulls for metrology. These challenges have limited the widespread use of optical aspheres. New technology is currently being developed to enable flexible and lower-cost manufacturing of precision aspheres, without the need for dedicated tools or null optics. Subaperture Stitching Interferometry (SSI®) combined with Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF®) enable a flexible and deterministic approach to finishing precision aspheres in a wide variety of materials and geometries. MRF systems use highly stable, subaperture tools that perfectly conform to the changing curvature of aspheric optics during the polishing process. This enables a single machine to process plano, spherical, and aspheric surfaces (both convex and concave) without the delays and costs associated with maintaining and switching between sets of dedicated tooling. SSI systems mathematically "stitch" together subaperture measurements to generate high-resolution, high-precision, fullaperture aspheric surface measurements. By locally nulling and using maximum pixel resolution over a subaperture, the SSI extends general-purpose, null-free interferometry to aspheres with departures from best-fit-sphere on the order of 100ë. When these technologies are combined with either the latest grinding and pre-polishing or diamond-turning technology, fast, flexible prototyping, or small-batch production of precision aspheres is available at an attractive cost.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2007
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE TD04, Optifab 2007: Technical Digest, TD040G (14 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.719815
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Dumas, QED Technologies (United States)
Gregory Forbes, QED Technologies (United States)
Stephen O'Donohue, QED Technologies (United States)
Marc Tricard, QED Technologies (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. TD04:
Optifab 2007: Technical Digest
James J. Kumler; Matthias Pfaff, Editor(s)

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