LightPath Technologies adds freeform optics to its offerings

Oct. 22, 2021
Freeform optics are becoming a key element in applications such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), among others.

Optical components and assemblies maker LightPath Technologies (Orlando, FL) has added freeform optics to its custom molded optics portfolio.

Freeform optics involve lenses with surface shapes that lack certain symmetrical attributes, making them more challenging to mass-produce—but they provide improved aperture, field of view, and miniaturization. Recognizing this, LightPath’s molding technology enables mass production of molded freeform optics, rather than fabricating optical elements individually. High-precision optical elements with freeform surfaces allow more complex surface profiles that can provide beam shaping, enabling many optical systems to be miniaturized and the number of elements reduced.

Freeform optics are becoming a key element in applications such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), infrared and military optical systems, and 3D imaging and visualization. Many times, these systems require the higher performance and more compact form factor that freeform optics can provide, allowing increased flexibility and overall size, weight, and power (SWaP) optimization. 

Rob Myers, a product manager at LightPath, says that development of the company’s molded freeform optics technology required making advances in several key areas, such as mold fabrication, compression molding of nonrotationally symmetric optics, and metrology to test the new lenses using computer-generated holograms.

Source: LightPath Technologies press release

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