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Scalability of the precision glass molding process for an efficient optics production

: Liu, G.; Staasmeyer, J.-H.; Grunwald, T.; Dambon, O.


Williamson, R. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Optical Manufacturing and Testing XII : 20-22 August 2018, San Diego, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2018 (Proceedings of SPIE 10742)
ISBN: 978-1-5106-2055-1
ISBN: 978-1-5106-2056-8
Paper 107420G, 9 pp.
Conference "Optical Manufacturing and Testing" <12, 2018, San Diego/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPT ()

Precision glass molding is an established replicative manufacturing technology for mass production of glass optics. However, compared with injection molding of polymer optics, the production costs are still high, mainly due to longer cycle time. Two scale-up strategies of glass optic production can be applied to reduce the production costs per lens, namely multi-cavity molding and wafer scale molding. However, the efficiency of these two scaling strategies depends on a variety of factors. It is complicated to determine which scaling strategy should be used for the serial mass production of glass optics. In this study, the two scaling strategies will be introduced at both the technical and the economic level respectively. At the technical level, the molding environment, manufacturing accuracy, suitable lens geometries, and the technology readiness level of two scaling strategies will be compared. On the economic level, the productivity and production costs will be analyzed in detail. The goal is to develop a guideline for industry partners, which can be applied to determine the optimal scaling strategy. Furthermore, the concept of digitalized glass optics production, which is established by Fraunhofer IPT, may offer more potential to the scaling of glass optics compared with conventional optics production.