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Customers trust Optimax to create high-quality optics and deliver them fast, and our custom aspheres are no exception. Designing with aspheres reduces the size and weight of your system. Optimax produces aspheres from glass, fused silica, crystals and ceramics for UV, Visible and IR applications using proprietary “grind and shine” techniques for low scatter surfaces.

About Aspheric Lens Manufacturing

Aspheres have one or more optical surfaces of non-constant curvature. They are used to manage aberrations inherent to spherical lens systems, and to reduce system size and weight. Aspheric lenses have enabled a leap forward in capabilities for medical devices and defense and security.

Manufacturing and metrology of complex aspheres is an emerging science for optical fabricators: Optimax leads the way in our investment in cutting edge equipment and testing, research and training, and track record of performance on customer programs.

We’ll walk you through the process, and invite you to visit the Resource Library for technical resources at every step.

Asphere Chart Specifications
Specifying, Manufacturing
and Measuring Aspheric Lens
Part I & Part II.
Asphere Manufacturing Limits
Asphere Manufacturing Limits
Aspheric Lens Coating
Coatings Data Sheet
Asphere Manufacturing Tolerance Testing
Manufacturing Tolerances Chart
Aspheric Lens Expedited Delivery
Delivery Timeline & Guarantee

Specifying Aspheres

Specifying an asphere begins with a custom aspheric form, often fit to the Forbes Q Polynomial (Figure 1) or the Even Aspheric Equation (Figure 2). Describing form involves specifying Vertex Radius (I/C). Conic Constant (k) and applicable Aspheric Coefficients (a). Including a Sag Table (Figure 3) provides reference information to check correct data entry for each manufacturing or metrology tool used.

Forbes Q Polynomial

Asphere Chart Form1

Figure 1
Even Aspheric Equation
Sag Table
Asphere Chart Form2 Asphere Chart Form3
Figure 2

Optimax places tolerances on vertex radius and form error, without tolerances on conic constant or aspheric coefficients. Even aspheric coefficients are preferred.

Need to spec or quote an asphere? Contact us or browse our technical resources:

Specifying, Manufacturing and Measuring Aspheric Lens – Part I and Part II.

Asphere Decision Tree

Manufacturing Aspheres

Looking for the most advanced manufacturing and metrology technology in North America? Optimax utilizes deterministic CNC machine tools for predictable removal rates and adherence to tight tolerances. To control centration, precision tools maintain the optical axis.

Need to spec or quote an asphere? Contact us or browse our technical resources:

Tolerancing Limits for Aspheric Surfaces

Asphere Tolerancing Limit
Glass Quality (nd, vd) Melt Rebalanced and Controlled
Diameter (mm) +0, -0.010
Center Thickness (mm)6 ± 0.010
Sag – Concave (mm) ± 0.010 
Clear Aperture 100%7
Vertex Radius8 ± 0.1% or 3 HeNe fringes9
Irregularity – Interferometry
(HeNe fringes)10
Irregularity – Profilometry (μm)10 ± 0.5 
Wedge Lens – ETD (mm)  0.00212
Bevels – Face Width @ 45° (mm)13 ± 0.05 
Scratch – Dig (MIL-PRF-13830B)14 10 – 5 
Surface Roughness (Å RMS)15 10 

Optimax’s Manufacturing Tolerances Chart

Optimax’s Asphere Manufacturing Limits

Asphere Decision Tree

Aspheres Coating Capabilities

Coatings can make or break an asphere’s 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 Aspheres

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.

Asphere Metrology Matrix

Quality Assurance

Optimax inspects 100% of all optics. Test data is provided with prototype orders. The use of state-of-the-art metrology assures customer satisfaction.

For more information please see Optimax’s Inspection Data Options.

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, such as:

  • Conformal and free form optics
  • Mid-spatial frequency error-free surfaces

For more information please see Optimax Innovation or contact