Design and fabrication of freeform optics
We offer unique expertise and tools for “first-time-right” freeform optical design. We combine optical design, modelling, prototyping, manufacturing and testing to deliver optimal optical components and systems of random complexity. Leveraging our state-of-the-art machining and metrology equipment, we produce prototypes and replicas in plastic, glass and a selection of specialty optical materials.
What are freeform optics?
The simplest definition of a freeform optic is an optical component with an optical surface lacking translational or rotational symmetry. Freeform optics have unique advantages for both imaging and non-imaging optical applications as they combine the best optical performance with a small form factor and low weight.
What do we offer?
We support companies by selecting the best suited, commercially available optics or by designing and fabricating customised freeform optics solutions. With our freeform optics technology platform, we offer:
- Freeform optical design;
- Mould fabrication;
- Validation testing;
- Mass manufacturing.
After choosing or designing the correct optics, we can manufacture batches of diffractive, refractive and hybrid freeform optical components from 10s to 1000s at a pre-commercial level. We offer a wide variety of optical grade materials such as high-end plastics, glass or highly refractive index semiconductors. This allows us to span the entire optical transmission spectrum from UV to Midwave-IR.
Our unique software & hardware
- Design: state-of-the-art commercial tools (Zemax, ASAP, Code V, Lumerical MODE/FDTD Solutions, OptSim, VirtualLab) combined with proprietary algorithms capable of “first-time-right” freeform optical design.
- Manufacturing: freeform optical components in polymers or glass through ultraprecision diamond tooling, ultraprecision grinding and polishing, hot embossing, injection moulding and glass press moulding.
- Metrology: state-of-the-art CMM and interferometry in ISO Class 7 cleanrooms.
Customer success story
In an Innovation Boosting project with the company Peira, we improved the resolution and imaging quality of a handheld medical diagnostic device, the TM900, which aims at making 3D stereoscopic images of subcutaneously implanted tumours in small rodents.
The resolution and image quality of the current instrument was not sufficient.
Through optical modelling, we proposed a new optical design with lens specifications that allow for improved resolution and image quality. We proposed two solutions, one based on commercial off-the-shelf optics and one based on customised freeform optics.
The improved resolution and image quality provides Peira with a unique selling proposition in the sense that the novel device allows to extract the volume of the imaged tumours and, as a result, to track the growth evolution of the tumours in preclinical research on mice.