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Freeforms

Customers trust Optimax to create high-quality optics and deliver them fast, and our freeforms are no exception. Designing with freeforms requires fewer elements, lighter weight and increased flexibility for your system.

Freeform optical shapes or optical surfaces are gaining popularity with lens designers and optical system integrators. Now, there are optical fabrication processes that include generation, high speed VIBE polishing, sub-aperture figure correction, surface smoothing and testing of freeform surfaces.

Optimax produces freeform optics from glass, fused silica, crystals and ceramics for UV, Visible and IR applications using proprietary techniques for low scatter surfaces.

About Freeform Lens Manufacturing

Prism blue

Freeforms are optical shapes or optical surfaces that are designed with little to no symmetry. Manufacturing a freeform is similar to that of a highly complex asphere; surface form and local slope change are all factors that influence the complexity of the shape and the manufacturing process used.

To learn more about freeforms we invite you to visit our Resource Library and read our Technical Papers on the topic.

 

Specifying Freeforms

Specifying a freeform begins by defining the surface. An optical fabricator needs a clear description of the desired final optic; equation, cloud of points or a 3D model.

AsphereTypes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Manufacturing Freeforms

Optimax utilizes deterministic CNC machine tools for predictable removal rates and adherence to tight tolerances. To control centration, precision tools maintain the optical axis.

Manufacturing Limits for Freeform Surfaces

Attribute
 Tolerancing Limit*
Diameter (mm) +0, -0.010
Center Thickness (mm) ± 0.050
Irregularity – Interferometry
(HeNe fringes)
0.1**
 Irregularity – Profilometry (μm)  ±1.0
 Wedge Lens – ETD (mm)
 TBD
 Surface Roughness (Å RMS)  10

* Soft Tolerancing Units **Stitching/CGH dependent

Common Types of Freeforms

Toroid, Freeform toroid, common freeform shapes
Atoroid Biconic, Freefrom, Common Freeform Shapes, Optics
Acylinder, Freefrom, Common Freeform Shapes, Optics
Off-Axis Parabola, Freefrom, Common Freeform Shapes, Optics
Anamorph, Freefrom, Common Freeform Shapes, Optics
XYZ Freeforms or Solid Model, Freefrom, Common Freeform Shapes, Optics
Other Equation Based Freeforms, Freefrom, Common Freeform Shapes, Optics

Need to spec or quote a freeform? Contact us or browse our Resource Library:

Fabricating Freeforms

Fabricating and Testing Freeform Optics: Current Capabilities, Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities

Fabrication of Freeforms

Freeform Surfaces

Freeform Optical Manufacturing and Testing Processes for IR Conformal Window and Dome

Deterministic Form Correction of Extreme Freeform Optical Surfaces

Producing Smooth Surfaces on Polycrystalline ZnS Aspheres and Freeforms

Coating Capabilities

Coatings can make or break an optics performance. Optimax offers integrated coating services to reduce the risk and time delay in coating your optics. Our clean environment thin film coating lab has capability to coat from UV through IR wavelengths. Featuring multiple chambers with deposition sources, including electron-beam and ion assist, Optimax can offer a wide variety of coating options including BBAR, V-coat, and mirror coatings. Custom coatings are also available. Coating verification is supported by Perkin-Elmer spectrophotometers. Coatings Data Sheet.

Testing Freeforms

Optimax inspects 100% of all optics. Test data is provided with prototype orders.

Our metrology must match the sophistication of our manufacturing technology. Optimax offers state-of-the-art metrology, including surface profilers and interferometers to verify that parts meet the form error specification. Testing options are form specific, lenses with mild departure from a best fit sphere have the highest potential for fractional wave precision.

Fast Delivery

Optimax manufactures a wide variety of optical components. When on-time delivery is crucial, Optimax offers an expedited delivery option with a money back guarantee.

Continued Innovation

Optimax’s R&D department is continuously looking for ways to improve our fabrication process and produce higher quality optics. Our current research projects are designed to meet future market needs.

For more information please see Optimax Innovation or contact sales@optimaxsi.com.