Prototype Optics in One Week

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Optical prisms are components with at least two polished plano surfaces separated by a wedge angle. These elements are used to reflect or refract light. Optical prisms can be found in dual channel instruments, anamorphic systems, imaging systems or any other application where beam steering and/or image manipulation is needed.

Optimax prism manufacturing capabilities available with one week delivery include:

  • Right Angle
  • Dispersion
  • Dove
  • Beam Folding
  • Precision Flats
  • Wedge
  • Windows
  • Brewster
  • Blocks
  • Mirror Substrates
  • Grating Substrates
  • Rhomboids

Optimax prism-related capabilities are listed below. Due to having more than three sides polished or complex coatings, these components require longer deliveries:

  • Integrating Bars
  • Compound Angles
  • Cubes
  • Alignment Aides
  • Beam Splitters
  • Polygons
  • Light Pipes

Specifying Prisms

Below are basic guidelines for defining part geometry:

  • Choose directly measurable physical perimeters. Use linear dimensions to theoretical sharps.
  • Specify directly measurable glass angles, not air angles.
  • Provide a light path to aid visualization. Indicate entrance, reflecting and exit surfaces.

Figure 1 shows the geometry of two sided wedges can be defined by an angle and a thickness.

Image above: Minimum Specifications for Wedges
The angle is the inclination of the two surfaces and the thickness a separation at some point. The separation only needs to be positionally defined at one location on the optic. Specifying the thickest edge provides the easiest access for measurement and is preferred by Optimax. Specification can be the thinnest edge or centerline thickness if desired.

The geometry of three sided prisms is defined by two angles and an altitude. The third angle and sides then become references. Outer shapes (perimeters) are typically rectangular, round or elliptical but can be anything within Optimax’s shaping capabilities.

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Manufacturing Technology

Optimax grinds and polishes prisms from various optical materials for UV, visible and IR applications for use in transmission or reflectance. Materials processed include:

Optimax utilizes deterministic CNC machine tools for complex shaping and a host of conventional processing techniques for chemomechanical planarization. Capabilities include:

  • Double side processing for diameters up to 100 millimeters, producing parts free of detectable parallelism error
  • Continuous lap polishers for diameters up to 300 millimeters, producing parts of lowest roughness and irregularity
  • Cemented assemblies for complex prisms are available with or without image forming surfaces

For more information please see:

Testing Optical Prism After Manufacturing Testing Prisms

Optimax has phase shifting interferometers for precision measurement of flatness plus autocollimators and a Wild Goniometer for precision measurement of angles. Optimax makes transmission flats for interferometric testing of surface irregularity to 50th wave.

For more information please see Optimax’s:

Coating Capabilities

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.

For more information please see Optimax’s Coatings Data Sheet.

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.

For more information please see the information on Optimax’s On-Time Guarantee.

Future Capabilities

Optimax’s R&D department is continously 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:

  • New optical material processing
  • Higher laser damage threshold surfaces

For more information please see Optimax Innovation or contact