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Spie Press Book

Field Guide to Optical Fabrication
Author(s): Ray Williamson
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Book Description

Whether you're an optical designer, optician, shop manager, or optics procurer, a working knowledge of optical fabrication can be invaluable. Have the information at your fingertips with this new Field Guide.

In Field Guide to Optical Fabrication, Ray Williamson distills the extensive knowledge gained from his long career—ranging from his work at the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona to positions at Spectra-Physics, Coherent, and Los Alamos National Lab—into a ready reference for anyone needing to understand optical fabrication.

This Field Guide is a concise reference explaining:
• What every designer should know about fabrication before making final design choices,
• How to specify components before they are ordered,
• The details of conventional, alternative, and emerging fabrication methods, and
• How an optical manufacturer plans the work, evaluates product, and the calculations involved.

Book Details

Date Published: 19 August 2011
Pages: 134
ISBN: 9780819486769
Volume: FG20

Table of Contents
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Glossary of Symbols and Acronyms

Introduction for Designers
From Functional Desires to Component Tolerances
Clear Aperture
Thickness versus Stability and Ease of Fabrication
Flatness versus Transmitted Wavefront
Scale Factors for Surface and Wavefront
Wedge in Nearly Concentric Optics
Surface Quality versus Performance
"Difficult" and Preferred Materials
Pressure-Bearing Window Thickness
Specifications Checklist
Realistic Tolerances
Designing Aspheres for Manufacturability
What Kind of Shop Is It?

Conventional Fabrication Methods
Stages of Conventional Fabrication
Shop Safety
Blocking Layout
Blocking Methods
Pitch Pickup Blocking
Spot Blocks
Wedge Tools
Curve Generating
Free-Abrasive Grinding
Abrasive Types and Grades
Fixed-Abrasive Lapping
Coring and Drilling
Centerless Edging
Fractures, Chips, and Stoning
Marking: Spot Bevels, Dots, Arrows, etc.
Polishing Compounds
Pitch Laps: Channels and Figure Control
Polishing Pads
Crystal Shaping and Orientation
Crystal Lapping
Overarm Spindle Machine
Stick Lens Fabrication
Planetary Lapping
Double-Side Lapping
Cylindrical and Toric Lapping
Intrashop Transporting and Storage
In-Process Cleaning
Cleaning for Thin-Film Coating
Thin-Film Coating
Packaging for Shipping

Alternative Fabrication Methods
CNC with Spindle-Mounted Tools
CNC Synchrospeed Polisher
CNC Belt Style Machine
CNC Bonnet Polisher
Magnetorheological Fluid Finishing
Fluid Jet Polishing (FJP)
Single-Point Diamond Turning (SPDT)
Plastic Injection Molding
Thermoset Casting and Compression Molding
Hot Pressing

Process-Planning Factors
Raw Material and Forms of Supply
Starting Material Dimensions
Yield from Dicing and Coring
Efficient Production and Optimum Quantities
Planning for Yield Losses
Block Capacity: Flat
Wedge Tool Capacity
Block Capacity: Radius
Scheduling for Coating
Directional Inhomogeneity
Stresses Within Optical Components
Stresses Applied to Optical Components
Thermal Settling Time
Thermal Failure
In-Process Inspection Points
Dice After Coating?
Cements and Adhesives

Sampling Inspection and Acceptance Quality Level (AQL)
Cosmetic Surface Quality
Angle Testing With an Autocollimator
Sagitta and Spherometers
Radius, Irregularity, Power, and Figure
Interferometric Setups
PV, RMS, and PVr
Fringe Patterns
Fringe Scale Factors
Conics and Aspheres
Dimensional and Geometric Measurement
Slope Evaluation Methods
Slope Tolerancing

Materials Properties
Material Properties of Interest In the Shop
Material Properties Table
Optical Properties Table
Physical Properties Table
Thermal Properties Table

Equation Summary


Most Field Guides address a particular subset of physics and/or mathematics and, as such, can be treated in a linear exposition of theory from first principles. In contrast, optical fabrication consists of a collection of disparate crafts, technologies, and business decisions in the service of making nearly perfect physical instances of those geometric and physical theories. I have attempted to organize the subject matter in ways that make sense to me: What the designer needs to know before making final choices, how to specify the components before they are ordered, how conventional fabrication proceeds for representative components, alternative and emerging methods, how the manufacturer plans the work, product evaluation, and calculations used.

This Field Guide is intended to serve several audiences, and introduce each to the other. I hope to provide designers and purchasers with some perspectives and appreciation for the craft and business, the shop manager with a concise reference, the optician with a wider overview than one is likely to get within any single company, and the optical community at large with some insight into this fascinating and dynamic enterprise.

Thanks are due to Oliver Fähnle for inputs to synchrospeed and fluid jet. I want to particularly acknowledge three influences, true masters in the field: Dick Sumner, Norm Brown, and Frank Cooke. Dick personified excellence in craft, a passionate curiosity, and a focus on effectiveness. Norm brought the light of science and engineering to the hidden mysteries of this once-black art with accessible clarity. Frank was an inspiration to all through his boundless creativity and zest. We are in transition between 20th Century craft and 21st Century technology, and the field will be hardly recognizable in twenty years.

Ray Williamson
August 2011

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