For over 100 years, optical imaging systems were limited to rotationally symmetric lens elements, due to limitations in processing optics. However, the present rapid development and application of CNC machines has made fabrication of non-rotationally symmetric lenses, such as freeform surfaces, economical. The benefit of using freeform surfaces is that the lens designer has more flexibility to create innovative 3D imaging packages, while correcting for aberrations. This report details capabilities at Optimax for manufacturing freeform surfaces, with a specific example towards creation of freeform ZnS-multispectral optics for application as a corrector element. In addition to fabricating freeform optics, advances have been made in producing smooth surfaces on polycrystalline materials. In the past, achieving a smooth surface on polycrystalline materials during sub-aperture polishing has proven challenging, because of a phenomenon called grain highlighting. Significant progress has been made at Optimax in this field through utilization of proprietary pads, slurries, and processes.
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