Optical Design - How and What we Design
Optics design and Analysis (for glass as well as plastic optics and systems! )
Using state of the art software (ZEMAX) we can design and fully tolerance complex systems, including reflective systems, Zoom and scanning optics, aspheric and diffractive components.
By using geometrical or physical analysis tools, practical system performance can be determined . Merit functions can be used for optimising a system from a good initial design.
Keep It Sweet & Simple! KISS techniques can be:
- Use of reliable (e.g. electronic) alternatives to optics wherever possible!
- Modular or common assemblies.
- Mounting features such as "V" grooves which also serve as useful datum axes.
- Ensuring that assembly and component positioning is non-critical.
See Laser Scanners for an outline of complex designs and technologies we have experience in.
Lens Design Portfolio
- Aspheric lenses, both glass and plastic.
- Diffractive/binary lenses.
- Achromatic lenses using diffractive,aspheric and spherical lens combinations.
- Microscope objectives including all reflective ( scharzschild) types.
- Non-imaging concentrators.
- Custom design of LED collimators.
- Design of LED beacons and collimator arrays.
- Light guide and flat panel back light design.
See Laser Scanners which gives other examples of complex designs we have experience in.
The choice of housing and component mounts can have a big impact on overall performace and cost, otherwise good theoretical designs can be degraded optically by poor mounts (a prime example is stress-related effects on polarisation ). Mounts can also be mechanically unstable, difficult to assemble or simply be too expensive for the application.
With over twenty years experience in these areas, we can advise on all aspects of the opto-mechanical design, including component mounting, asssembly techniques, tolerancing, clamping devices, bonding and bond materials, environmental sealing and stray light control.
For demanding or ultra-stable applications, we generally advise use of "kinematic" mounts. We can also advise on the best optics base plate type and material, be it a machined casting, modular assembly, post and rail or plastic moulding (where appropriate). For some applications, materials such as metal or granite loaded epoxies can also offer major advantages. Whatever the choice, full engineering and CAD draughting support is provided.
Alignment and Testing
We have developed alignment tools for complex printing systems, namely; flat-bed, polygon scanning, internal drum, and Image bar (L.C.D.-based) systems, where gaussian beam diameter, intensity profile and scanning spot astigmatism have been measured to sub-micron resolution. We have also made tools to measure scan line linearity and uniformity over a distance of 500mm, in situ.
Not only (design) but also (innovation)
Part of the enjoyment of working in the field of optics is the constant opportunity for innovation. Many of our clients have enjoyed the additional benefits of hiring us in that many of our innovative designs have led to number of patents being filed for them. We have also filed a number of patents when working on various joint projects with other organisations.
See Opto-Mechanical Jigs.
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