Manufacturing Tolerance Chart

The Manufacturing Tolerance Chart provides tolerance guidelines for prototype optics with optical surfaces of f/1 or slower and made from Optimax Preferred Glasses. Consult this chart to determine appropriate tolerances and click on any attribute to show a detailed definition.


Cost Tolerance Chart

Optimax has developed an interactive cost tolerancing chart to provide sliding scales of the three major variables that affect optical surfaces and costs which are, cosmetics, radius, and irregularity.


Preferred Glass List

Optimax maintains a sizable inventory of standard grade optical materials, as identified in the highlighted column below. These glasses are recommended when quick delivery is critical. As required, optical crystals and ceramics are also processed at Optimax. At the time of order placement, some consideration should be given to material delivery.


Test Plate Library

Optimax has a large test plate library of nearly 10,000 radii. We make test plates for custom optics as required. The Optimax Test Plate Library is integral to most optical design software. The current list can be downloaded by clicking below or contact us and we will send you a copy.

Download Testplate file:

Aerospace Manufacturing Glass

Selecting suitable optical material is important when designing aerospace optical systems.

Schott and Ohara offer a variety of i-line glasses with enhanced blue transmittance which are successfully utilized in space applications. Advanced melting techniques and purer raw materials are used in developing these i-line glasses, improving the internal transmittance and homogeneity values. Proper radiation filtering is necessary for protection of the optics. These glasses are commonly used in semiconductor applications; therefore, they are melted frequently and readily available.

Another consideration when choosing optics for aerospace is radiation resistance. Exposure to high energy radiation changes the transmittance of optical glass. Adding cerium to the composition improves the glasses’ resistance to radiation. By doing this, the transmittance edge is shifted to longer wavelengths but stabilized against radiation to a high degree. The higher amount of cerium in the composition, the greater the stabilizing effect and the more resistant the glass is to high radiation. In general, Schott radiation resistant glasses are inquiry glasses and may not be in stock.

These radiation hardened glasses tend to have a longer life cycle in space, but exhibit lower transmission in the blue compared to their undoped counterparts (i.e. N-BK-7 vs. BK7G18 – SCHOTT Technical Information #42). For optical systems requiring high blue transmittance, i-line glasses and Fluoride Crystals (CaF2, BaF2, MgF2) can be used with proper radiation filtering that protects the optical elements. However, for optical systems that are going to be exposed to high radiation over long time periods, cerium stabilized glasses are the preferred solution. Popular materials are listed in the chart below.



Check out Optimax's video library.

Optimax’s video resource library is designed to provide technical, informational videos and give a glimpse into what it is like to work at Optimax.

How It's Manufactured Series Premiere

Optimax is releasing a new YouTube Series called “How It’s Manufactured” to highlight how the optical fabrication process happens. Make sure to subscribe and click the notification bell to be notified next week, when the first video drops. Learn more on

Evolution of Freeforms

Optimax's "How It's Manufactured" series takes on the evolution of freeforms with this video. See how our engineers define what a freeform is, what applications they are used for, and how they went from research to reality. Learn more on our website

Top Three Things to Know About Freeform Manufacturing

What do you need to know about freeforms? Greg and Tom are sharing their knowledge working with the optical fabrication of freeforms every day at Optimax. Here are the most important things you should know before you manufacture a freeform optic. Learn more about Optimax’s freeform fabrication process on our website

Optimax Freeform Robots

Robots are making their presence known, not only in virtual reality, but in manufacturing. Hear from Michael, an engineer at Optimax on how robots are making new strides in optics manufacturing. Learn more about Optimax's freeform robots on our website

Manufacturing the Largest Freeform at Optimax

It might have taken four years, but it was worth every second to create the largest freeform at Optimax, called "Big Phil". Hear from Matt, a mechanical engineer at Optimax, who was there for the entire journey of "Big Phil" from drawing to creation. Find out more about Optimax's optical fabrication of freeforms process here

Technical Papers

Want to find out more about the innovation and ideology that is happening here at Optimax Systems. View and download our Technical Papers:

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Business Leadership - Tech Paper
Aspheric Optics - Tech Paper
Freeform Expertise Technical Papers
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Lens tolerancing and inspection tech papers