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    A novel method for fabricating lens arrays and other non-rotationally symmetric free-form optics is presented. This is a diamond machining technique using 4 controlled axes of motion - X, Y, Z, and C. As in 3-axis diamond micro-milling, a diamond ball endmill is mounted to the work spindle of a 4-axis ultra-precision computer numerical control (CNC) machine. Unlike 3-axis micro-milling, the C-axis is used to hold the cutting edge of the tool in contact with the lens surface for the entire cut. This allows the feed rates to be doubled compared to the current state of the art of micro-milling while producing an optically smooth surface with very low surface form error and exceptionally low radius error.


    Brian McCall, Tomasz S Tkaczyk. Rapid fabrication of miniature lens arrays by four-axis single point diamond machining. Optics express. 2013 Feb 11;21(3):3557-72

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    PMID: 23481813

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