Recent design methods and software advances make it much easier to design aspheric surfaces that actually work in production and test by considering manufacturability issues at the earliest possible stage in the design process.
Optimax Systems, Inc., a leader in quick delivery prototype optics, has been manufacturing aspheric lenses for more than 20 years. Along the way, we have learned many lessons and provide takeaways for other manufacturers and designers.
There are many topics to consider during aspheric lens design, including geometrical restrictions that hinder producing particular aspheric shapes. Understanding these restrictions will help drive costs.
The evolution of the manufacturing technology for a specific aspheric glass lens can provide significant image quality improvement, reduction of the number of lens elements, smaller size, and lower weight.