In recent years it has become possible to fabricate free-form optics by use of multiaxis ultraprecision machines. Here a microlens array is fabricated by using an ultraprecision diamond turning machine equipped with four independent axes. Unlike the conventional process where a single diamond tool is used to machine one lens at a time, this research demonstrates the development of an innovative diamond tool trajectory that allows the entire microlens array to be machined in a single operation. The machined microlens array is measured for both curve conformity and surface roughness. Compared to the conventional approach where indexing the workpiece is difficult and unreliable, this process can produce microlenses with accurate geometry and optical surface finish. This unique process is described in detail from optical measurement to machining process design and development to final results. This research also demonstrates the possibility of fabricating any arbitrary shape with the same approach.
© 2005 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
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