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Proceedings Paper

Mold production for polymer optics
Author(s): Rainer Boerret; Jonas Raab; Marco Speich
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Paper Abstract

The fields of application for polymer optics are huge and thus the need for polymer optics is steadily growing. Most polymer optics are produced in high numbers by injection molding. Therefore molds and dies that fulfill special requirements are needed. Polishing is usually the last process in the common process chain for production of molds for polymer optics. Usually this process step is done manually by experienced polishers. Due to the small number of skilled professionals and health problems because of the monotonous work the idea was to support or probably supersede manual polishing. Polishing using an industrial robot as movement system enables totally new possibilities in automated polishing. This work focuses on the surface generation with a newly designed polishing setup and on the code generation for the robot movement. The process starts on ground surfaces and with different tools and polishing agents surfaces that fulfill the requirements for injection molding of optics can be achieved. To achieve this the attention has to be focused not only on the process itself but also on tool path generation. A proprietary software developed in the Centre for Optical Technologies in Aalen University allows the tool path generation on almost any surface. This allows the usage of the newly developed polishing processes on different surfaces and enables an easy adaption. Details of process and software development will be presented as well as results from different polishing tests on different surfaces.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9192, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XV, 91921L (25 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2060670
Show Author Affiliations
Rainer Boerret, Aalen Univ. (Germany)
Jonas Raab, Aalen Univ. (Germany)
Marco Speich, Aalen Univ. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9192:
Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XV
R. Barry Johnson; Virendra N. Mahajan; Simon Thibault, Editor(s)

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