May 2021 has seen PowerPhotonic complete an important milestone in the development of the mass production of freeform optical components. PowerPhotonic has produced not one, but two designs, in fused silica and shipped these to its partners in the Phabulous consortium.
PowerPhotonic used its unique and patented laser machining and smoothing process to produce optically precise freeform surfaces in fused silica. Each surface was an array of optical elements, with each element itself a highly freeform shape, having no symmetry (rotational or translational).
Each of the PowerPhotonic manufactured surfaces will be used as a master surface to be replicated. Making the master component in fused silica brings the advantages of dimensional stability, hardness and durability. At the same time, the PowerPhotonic machining process creates a high quality optically surface – confirmed by precision metrology – that allows high quality replicated components to be created in high volume.
Commenting on the manufacturing milestone, PowerPhotonic founder and CEO Roy McBride said “Making these master surfaces in fused silica is an important achievement on the path to the mass production of freeform optical components. This in turn will significantly increase the commercial viability and applicability of freeform optics ”