2015-02 Freeform Optics

Freeform optics refers to non-symmetric surface forms in optical components. CNC capabilities for structuring and polishing have advanced significantly allowing production of precision freeform surfaces directly or through compression or injection molding. Improvement in manufacturing methods is still an issue. Yet still metrology for these kinds of surfaces needs to advance further to make this technology mainstream. So advances in metrology are key for growing this business. Today, there is a freeform think tank that is working to elaborate a robust and universal way of defining and describing these surfaces mathematically, for the benefit of design, manufacturing and measuring. Consensus situates freeform optics, in the near future, as aspheric optics is today. Applications include: Head Mounted Displays (HMD), Very Wide Angle Imaging, Miniaturizing in-vivo imaging systems, Precision illumination, Etendue Squeezing Illumination Optics. Topics: Applications and modelling, Manufacturing, Metrology.