In optics, manufacturability is heavily dependent on product design and material selection. Whether a product has a complex or simple design, the material used to create the lens will determine performance, cost, volume and several other factors. With a variety of materials and manufacturing methods available, how does a company determine the material that will provide the best outcome?
In his spare time, Dave Schmidt drives the vintage racecar he's been operating for 20-some years. But when he walks into Rochester Precision Optics, Dave is the Director of Advanced Technology where he serves as an integral part of the company's material selection and optical design processes. Pulling from various sources and using his extensive knowledge of optics, Dave, as a fellow team member puts it, makes the impossible actually possible. Dave shares his background in molded and optics and the best practices he incorporates in every project.
Quality. Quantity. Cost. In precision manufacturing, the consensus is that you can improve two out of three. You can’t get “more stuff that works better but costs less.”
A hybrid diffractive lens is a refractive optical element with a custom-designed diffraction profile encoded onto one surface. Such a hybrid literally combines the power of refraction and diffraction; as such, a single hybrid lens can replace two or more refractive lenses, especially when utilizing aspheric surfaces. Furthermore, because diffractive surfaces have “negative optical dispersion,” a hybrid lens can make an excellent single-element achromat(*). This technique of combining multiple lenses into single hybrid lenses enables optical designers to reduce the overall mass, volume, and material cost of an optical system.