Edmund Optics forges cooperative agreement for molded aspheres

March 11, 2008
Edmund Optics, a manufacturer of precision optical components, forged a cooperative agreement with Clemson University and Benet Laboratories at the Watervliet Arsenal in Albany, NY. The 3-year program, entitled "Molded Aspheric and Essential System Assembly Technology", is designed to find a cost-effective solution for molding aspheric lenses in the United States.

Barrington, NJ--Edmund Optics, a manufacturer of precision optical components, forged a cooperative agreement with Clemson University and Benet Laboratories at the Watervliet Arsenal in Albany, NY. The 3-year program, entitled "Molded Aspheric and Essential System Assembly Technology", is designed to find a cost-effective solution for molding aspheric lenses in the United States.

Currently, Edmund Optics manufactures precision aspheres with a grinding and polishing technique. However, molded aspheres allow for much greater production volumes and of course, a lower price per piece. To manufacture a molded asphere, a tool is created and it is modified through multiple iterations. The goal of the cooperative agreement is to use finite element analysis (FEA) models to predict specific tool geometry and final lens surface figure. This computer simulation has the potential to improve lead-time by a factor of 3X over the conventional iterative processes and minimize expensive up-front costs associated with the precision machining used in cutting the mold tooling

Kathleen Richardson, professor and director of the School of Materials Science and Engineering leads the Clemson University effort, and in conjunction with Benet Laboratories, the team is studying certain material parameters critical to the successful interaction of the glass and mold. The computer simulation effort is being led by faculty within Clemson's Department of Mechanical Engineering. Edmund Optics supplies the necessary precision machining, metrology and manufacturing technology to verify the FEA model. Further, Edmund Optics, as a current manufacturer of precision aspheres, has extensive experience with tolerancing, modeling aspheric errors and imbedding these design philosophies into optical systems that utilize glass molded aspheres.

For more information, visit www.edmundoptics.com.

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LFW Staff

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