High precision glass optics with complex forms are key components for innovative products in mass and growth markets such as laser technology, medical technology, digital imaging, the automotive sector and for sensor systems. Glass optics of this nature can be manufactured economically in isothermal precision glass molding processes. These involve heating and molding glass blanks in the form of spheres, polished discs or wafers between two ultra-precise mold halves then cooling them under controlled conditions. The net shape optics can subsequently be released from the molds. We apply anti-wear coatings specially developed in-house to ensure economical tool life despite high forming temperatures and forces.
Precision glass molding opens up an enormous variety of possible geometries and glass types
In contrast to conventional grinding and polishing manufacturing processes, precision glass molding, which is a replicative production process is ideally suited to the manufacture of optical components with particularly complex geometries such as aspheres, diffractive structures, lens-arrays or freeform-optics.
Scaling tool systems is the key to efficiency
The outstanding feature of precision glass molding is the scalability of production achieved by using multi-cavity molds or by adopting a wafer-based manufacturing approach. A large number of defined glass blanks are molded into net-shape lenses in one modular, multi-cavity tool.
By virtue of its use of monolithic half molds and glass in the form of wafers polished on both sides, wafer-based production achieves a vast increase in packing density and a large number of molded lenses in each molding process. In order to reduce the manufacturing cost of infrared optics even further, we are currently working with our partners within the ongoing SKALIR research project to drive forward the development of both approaches.
- Feasibility studies
- Process development and prototype production
- Technology transfer
- Support in the ramp-up to mass production
- Development of the entire process chain for replicative glass optics production
- Scaling glass shaping processes
- Analysis and optimization of glass molding processes at your premises