Diamond Turning Freeform Optics
Freeform optics fabrication has become one of the hottest topics in optics industry in recent years. Although it still remains a challenge, many have tried different ways of manufacturing it. Some have achieved degrees of success. By means of a Nanotech 350-FG five axis diamond turning machine, we too have successfully produced some prototype freeform optics and lens arrays with Slow Tool Servo and Milling method. The produced freeform optics are mainly for automobile LED headlamps and the lens arrays are for LED illumination. In order to produce the freeform optics, we developed our own DT Slow Tool Servo program which is capable of generating a DT program for diamond turning a universal/general 3D freeform surface. Slow Tool Servo technique and Diamond Milling technique were mainly employed to produce these freeform surfaces. The manufacturing process and machining parameter details will be given in the paper. The two main methods we used will be compared and discussed as well. In measuring the freeform surface, a 3D white light interferometer was used to scan and obtain the surface coordinates. The software made by ourselves enabled us to compare the measure results of the work piece with that of the design drawings. The deviation of our finished forms is within 5 um from that of the nominal. The surface quality Rq is about 10 nm. Measuring equipment and methodology will also be discussed in the paper.
Guo Fan JIN, Wing Bun LEE, Chi Fai CHEUNG and Suet TO
W. Jiang et al., "Diamond Turning Freeform Optics", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 364-366, pp. 1-6, 2008