Precision Production: Enabling

deterministic throughput for

precision aspheres with MRF



asphere production case study pict1

Aspheres are replacing spherical optics in many applications. A method of production manufacturing for precision aspheres is needed in most optical fabrication facilities. Q-flex MRF platforms enables deterministic and efficient throughput for series production of aspheres. Thorlabs in Newton, New Jersey, USA has provided data from a batch of aspheres to demonstrate how MRF can be efficiently used in a production environment to manufacture high-precision aspheres.

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Manufacturability of high-precision

aspheres is enabled by MRF


asphere production case study pict2

Asphere manufacturability concerns

 - Manufacturability of aspheres is difficult using artisan-based polishing

 - Lead times are not predictable using non-deterministic methods


Asphere manufacturability solutions

 - Computer-controlled optics manufacturing replaces skill-intensive manufacturing process

 - MRF provides a solution for deterministic figure correction and throughput for high-precision aspheres

 - Asphere production is cost-effective and affordable

 - Q-flex 100 MRF machine on the shop floor at Thorlabs in Newton, NJ USA

Q-flex 100 MRF machine on the shop floor 
at Thorlabs in Newton, NJ USA



What is a high-precision in asphere?

 asphere production case study pict4a







 Thorlabs defines their high-precision line of aspheres as being diffraction limited at discrete wavelengths

K. Strehl Zeitschrift für Instrumentenkunde 22, p. 213, 1901.




MRF enables diffraction limited

high-precision aspheres


asphere production case study pict5

Traditional CNC polishing techniques cannot achieve the required
irregularity in the aspheric lens to the diffraction-limited design

Specifications for Precision Asphere - CNC-Polished

Specifications for Diffraction Limited High-Precision Asphere – MRF Polished

Thorlabs can now offer two product lines.



High-Precision Batch Production

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Actual batch production process flow at Thorlabs

All runs queued while parts were polishing


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Batch of 10 Aspheres – CNC Polished


asphere production case study pict8





 Batch of 10 Aspheres - After MRF

After 1 MRF iteration all 10 aspheres are now high-precision diffraction limited aspheres (AL2550H).


asphere production case study pict9

MRF provides manufacturing confidence and predictable throughput 100% yield after one 15-minute iteration on each surface.



RMS irregularity improvement using MRF


asphere production case study pict10a 

             asphere production case study pict10b




Qflex overview 00015

Thorlabs1797Red original



MRF enables deterministic throughput

MRF empowers deterministic figure correction


Q-flex MRF platform supports batch processing


Q-flex software enables deterministic and efficient throughput for series production of aspheres