What's it about?

With the ongoing advancements in aspheric manufacturing and metrology, companies have to overcome processing challenges and from time to time learn costly lessons along the way. Optimax Systems, Inc., a leader in quick delivery prototype optics, has been manufacturing aspheric lenses for over 20 years. Along the way, we have learned many lessons, some the hard way. In this paper, I will share a few stories of how aspheres have humbled us, how we overcame the problem, and provide takeaways for other manufactures and designers.

Aspheric components can have a great advantage over spherical ones. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increase imaging quality (resolution, distortion), which cannot be achieved by a pure spherical design. [2]
  • Reduction in construction size, save weight [2]
  • Improve the total light transmission [2]

The benefits listed above has led the industry to seek aspheric lenses, yet in most cases optical systems are still designed using spherical optics due to the ease to manufacturing [1] and lower cost...