FAQ

Question:  Why is the size of the optical area fixed?

Answer: The size of the optical area is fixed to ensure the product that can be fully customizable for many different applications while also offering low cost.

Question:  Why is the size of the glass wafer fixed?

Answer: To speed up the delivery process and ensure a consistent product, the wafers have been precision diced so that they are 1” square.

Question: Can I manufacture multiple optical designs using a single LightForge wafer?

Answer: Yes, you can fill the 15x15mm area with whatever you want!  For example, if your optical design is only 5x5mm, you could design 9 different versions for fabrication on a single LightForge wafer.

Question:  Why must the optical area be centered on the glass wafer?

Answer:  This is to simplify the design and ordering process by not requiring offset coordinates with respect to the wafer origin.  At some point in the future, we may offer the capability to support non-centred designs.  Register with LightForge and we’ll keep you updated.

Question:  Why is the optical design sag limited to 50um?

Answer: The LightForge fabrication service uses PowerPhotonic’s laser micro-machining process technology, which involves a laser beam cutting in to the surface of the glass wafer.  The LightForge fabrication process has been limited to 50um sag so that the process is highly repeatable without incurring process development costs.  If larger sag optics are required, these can be obtained through PowerPhotonic’s custom design service.

Question: Why does it take an extra 2 weeks to get my optic antireflection (AR) coated?

Answer:  The process for coating an optic is a highly specialized operation.  PowerPhotonic outsources this part of the LightForge service to a trusted third party company that it has worked with for many years, but this requires extra time for completion.

Question:  Do you support other optic design packages other than Zemax?

Answer: The LightForge fabrication service requires design data to be formatted in PowerPhotonic’s GridXYZ format.  PowerPhotonic provides a macro to translate the Zemax file format into the GridXYZ format.  Currently PowerPhotonic does not support any other design packages.  However, we are constantly assessing the situation.  Please contact us directly if you have a specific requirement.

Question:  Can I purchase the LightForge optic in other currencies?

Answer: PowerPhotonic currently only accepts payment in GBP, US Dollars or Euros.  Unfortunately, we can’t take payment in other currencies at this time.  We may be able to support other currencies in the future.  Register with LightForge and we’ll keep you updated.

Question:  What shipping method do you use? 

Answer: PowerPhotonic uses DHL as its shipping partner.  Prior to your shipment leaving PowerPhotonic, we will send you an e-mail with your DHL tracking number.

Question:  What if I want to buy more than 5 LightForge wafers? 

Answer: The LightForge fabrication service is aimed at low volume applications.  If you are interested in purchasing more than 5 off a single optic design, please contact us directly to discuss your requirements. 

Question: I want to place an order with more than 1 optical design.  Can I benefit from a multiple wafer price break?

Answer: Unfortunately, we are currently only able to offer a price discount for multiples of the same optical design.

Question:  What do I do if the product is damaged in transit or is faulty?

Answer: PowerPhotonic has designed a special carry case for your optic.  In the unlikely event of the optic being damaged in transit or for any other issue, please contact PowerPhotonic directly for a Return Materials Authorization (RMA) number.   Full details of the returns process will be provided at that time.

Question:  How do you protect my design? 

Answer: PowerPhotonic recognizes that your optic design may contain valuable IP.  Your design is uploaded to a secure server for design rule checking and data processing.  Once this process has been completed and verified by you, your design is transferred to the PowerPhotonic server and deleted from the secure processing server.

Question:  Where did the name LightForge come from? 

Answer: The name LightForge comes from the ability for PowerPhotonic to act as a forge or foundry using laser light as our tool to fabricate your design.

Question:  Why don’t you supply my LightForge optic mounted if I choose the optomechanical mount option?

Answer: The mounting requirements can vary drastically between customers.  Environmental conditions, bond strength (whether temporary or permanent mounting is required), vibration stability, out-gassing performance, and other issues all affect the choice of adhesive used when mounting a high-performance optic.  The optomechanical mount has features that allow for easy mounting using the adhesive of your choice so you can further customize your LightForge wafer.

Question: How long will my LightForge part last?

Answer: Fused silica is an extremely durable material, and a LightForge wafer can be expected to last a very long time if proper care is taken during handling.  Please consult the Handling and Cleanliness section of the User Guide for more information.