Conference 11889 > Paper 11889-23
Paper 11889-23

Challenges and best practices for manufacturing freeform optics

On demand | Presented live 19 October 2021

Abstract

Freeform optics are becoming more widely used in the optics industry to expand the capabilities of systems while reducing the package size and number of elements required in the system. The complexity of freeform designs introduces new challenges to the manufacturing flow compared to rotationally symmetric optics. New manufacturing techniques have been developed to solve these new challenges. In addition, as tolerances tighten on freeform surfaces, the methods used to address these challenges can be the difference between the part being inside or outside of tolerance. Successful manufacturing starts when designing the freeform part and choosing the proper datum structure. When moving to processing, choosing the right fixture is a key component of efficient manufacturing. Part measurements are critical to both perform error map driven figure corrections and to determine if the part is within tolerance. An easily oriented error map is a simple way to improve the surface while avoiding inducing new mid-spatial signatures into the part surface. This paper will present common challenges of manufacturing freeform optics and the best practices in designing, manufacturing, and measuring that will ensure the greatest chance of making a freeform optic that meets its specifications.

Presenter

OptiPro Systems, LLC (United States)
Frank Wolfs is a senior algorithm engineer at OptiPro Systems. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester. In his nine years at OptiPro, Frank's main area of focus has been in the development of tool paths for grinding and polishing of optics. He is the lead developer of PROSurf, OptiPro's CAM software for manufacturing precision freeform optics and performing metrology-driven surface figure corrections.
Presenter/Author
OptiPro Systems, LLC (United States)
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OptiPro Systems, LLC (United States)
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OptiPro Systems, LLC (United States)
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Kyle Wood
OptiPro Systems, LLC (United States)