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Field Guide to Molded Optics
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Book Description

Molding processes continue to innovate and push the boundaries of optical systems, not only for state-of-the-art, high-volume consumer products but also touching on almost every application where optics are used, from automotive headlights and medical endoscopes to thermal weapon sights. The most common optical molding technologies are injection molding of optical plastics and precision glass molding. This Field Guide primarily focuses on these two technologies but also covers the full spectrum of optical molding. It provides a convenient and concise source of knowledge on optical molding technologies and will be a valuable reference for any optical engineer.


Book Details

Date Published: 9 August 2016
Pages: 172
ISBN: 9781510601246
Volume: FG37

Table of Contents
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Glossary of Symbols and Acronyms

Introduction
Introduction
Molded Optics
Why Use Molded Optics?
Applications of Molded Optics
Comparison of Molded Optics
Conventional Manufacturing versus Molded Optics
Aspheric Advantage

Material Properties
Index of Refraction
Dispersion
Abbe Diagram
Birefringence
Transmission
Plastic Optic Transmission
Thermal Properties
Heat Expansion
Glass Viscosity

Materials
Moldable Glass
Moldable Glasses for Precision Glass Molding
Chalcogenide Glass
Glass Datasheets
Plastic Optic Materials
Plastic Optic Materials Summary
Plastic Optic Glass Map
Infrared Plastic Optics
Plastic Material Data Sources
Thermal Characteristics
Glass versus Plastic
Molded Glass versus Molded Plastics
Environmental Regulations
Optical Plastics: Material Selection Criteria
Optical Plastic Material Specification

Manufacturing
Glass Replication
Wafer-Level Glass Replication
Blank Molding
Glass Molding
Plastic Optics Manufacturing Methods

Precision Glass Molding (PGM)
Precision Glass Molding
PGM Configurations
Preforms for PGM
Spherical or Ball Preforms
Gob Preforms
PGM Processing
The PGM Zone
Process Simulation
Annealing Rates
Annealing Coefficient
Index Drop
Index Tolerances
Tooling Configurations
PGM Machine Diagram
PGM Machine Description
Transfer Molding
PGM Cavitation
Vacuum Molding
Volumetric Molding
Nonvolumetric Molding
Very Low-Tg PGM
Low-Tg PGM
High-Tg PGM
Array and Wafer-Level Molding
Insert Precision Glass Molding
Cost of PGM

Injection-Molded Plastic Optics (IMPO)
Injection Molding Process
Injection Molding Machine Diagram
Injection Molding Machine Description
Injection Mold Diagram
Injection Mold Description
Undercuts, Slides, and Threads
Injection Mold Materials
Mold Cavitation
Family Molds
Mold Processing
Molding Capacity

Optical Molds
Optical Molds
Mold Materials
PGM Mold Design
IMPO Mold Compensation
Single Point Diamond Turning
Ultra-precision Grinding
Vertical Grinding
Other Grinding Methods
Mold Coatings
Mold Metrology
Diffractive Surfaces

Precision Glass Molding Design Guidelines
PGM Glass Selection
PGM Lens Terminology
PGM Shapes
PGM Opto-mechanical
PGM Slope
PGM Tolerances
Insert Precision Glass Molding

Injection-Molded Plastic Optics Design Guidelines
IMPO Shape
IMPO Flanges
IMPO Draft
IMPO Gate Flats and Vestige
IMPO Center Thickness
IMPO Edge Thickness
IMPO Clear Aperture
IMPO Achromatization
IMPO Athermalization
IMPO Stray Light
IMPO Tolerances
IMPO Cost Considerations
IMPO Assembly

Drawings and Post-processing
ISO 10110
Geometrical Dimensioning and Tolerancing
PGM Drawings
IMPO Drawing Sample
IMPO Drawings
Antireflection Coatings
IMPO Coating
IMPO Secondary Operations
PGM Secondary Operations
Vendor Input and Review

Prototyping Molded Optics
Prototyping Injection-Molded Plastic Optics
Plastic Optics: Additive Manufacturing
Prototype Machining
Prototype Molding
Prototype Assembly
Prototype Testing

Applications of Molded Optics
PGM Applications: Condenser Lenses
PGM Applications: Diode Collimation
PGM Applications: Fiber Coupling
PGM Applications: Camera Lenses
PGM Applications: Thermal Imaging
IMPO Applications: Cell Phone Cameras

Appendices
Appendix A: Moldable Glasses
Appendix B: Chalcogenide Glasses
Appendix C: Optical Plastic Properties

Equation Summary

Bibliography

Index


In the last few decades, molding has become the dominant optical manufacturing process around the world, although one could hardly tell in the United States. It is the authors' hope that the concept of a Field Guide to provide a convenient and concise source of knowledge on optical molding technologies will be a valuable reference for any optical engineer.

The most common optical molding technologies are injection molding of optical plastics and precision glass molding. This guide primarily focuses on these two technologies but also covers the full spectrum of optical molding. Molding processes continue to innovate and push the boundaries of optical systems, not only for state-of-the-art, high-volume consumer products, but also touching on almost every application where optics are used, from automotive headlights and medical endoscopes to thermal weapon sights.

This work would not have been possible without the support of the team at LightPath Technologies Inc., who the author (A.S.) wholeheartedly believes are the world's experts in precision glass molding.

This book is dedicated to: my family—Lauren, Carter, Cooper, and Holden—for their support; my parents for making me who I am today; and Yanggiong 'Alvin' Lai, a good friend and a great engineer, who was taken from us way too soon. A.S.

This Field Guide is dedicated to Elsa, Shadow, Shira, and Patinhas. M.S

Alan Symmons
Michael Schaub
May 2016


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