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Precision manufacturing of a lightweight mirror body made by selective laser melting

: Hilpert, E.; Hartung, J.; Risse, S.; Eberhardt, R.; Tünnermann, A.


Precision engineering 53 (2018), S.310-317
ISSN: 0141-6359
ISSN: 0401-6459
Fraunhofer IOF ()

This article presents a new and individual way to generate opto-mechanical components by additive manufacturing, embedded in an established process chain for the fabrication of metal optics. The freedom of design offered by additive techniques gives the opportunity to produce more lightweight parts with improved mechanical stability. The latter is demonstrated by simulations of several models of metal mirrors with a constant outer shape but varying mass reduction factors. The optimized lightweight mirror exhibits 63.5% of mass reduction and a higher stiffness compared to conventional designs, but it is not manufacturable by cutting techniques. Utilizing selective laser melting instead, a demonstrator of the mentioned topological non-trivial design is manufactured out of AlSi12 alloy powder. It is further shown that – like in case of a traditional manufactured mirror substrate – optical quality can be achieved by diamond turning, electroless nickel plating, and polishing techniques, which finally results in < 150 nm peak-to-valley shape deviation and a roughness of < 1 nm rms in a measurement area of 140 × 110 μm2. Negative implications from the additive manufacturing are shown to be negligible. Further it is shown that surface form is maintained over a two year storage period under ambient conditions.