Precision Production: Enabling

deterministic throughput for

precision aspheres with MRF

 

Introduction

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

 

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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?

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 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

 

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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

 

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Conclusions

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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