The LightForge fabrication service is an incredibly flexible way of creating an infinite number of precision micro-optics including customised standard optical functions and completely freeform custom optics. Check out a few interesting, useful and fun design examples below:
Beam Shapers and Transformers
This design example shows an elliptical laser beam being circularised by a PowerPhotonic optic. Other beam shapes such as squares and rectangles can also be created. As an added refinement, it is possible to create a flat top. These beam shaper optics are custom optics. A typical design process involves modelling the optic in either Zemax or Matlab. The unique nature of the PowerPhotonic manufacturing process means there are no tooling charges to manufacture the optic and design costs are minimal, making them very cost effective for a huge variety of applications.
This optic shows the power of the LightForge process: you really can fill your 15mm x 15mm customizable area with whatever you desire!
Concave Lens Array
The lens array below is another standard surface within ZEMAX, simplifying the design process and reducing design time. The lens array has a hexagonal geometry which is normally difficult to fabricate but provides a far-field image with a much better approximation to a circle than a square lens array can achieve. Using LightForge, these lenses can be fabricated as spherical or aspherical (including higher order Zernike terms), they can even be made so that every lens has a different focal length.
Vortec Generators and Smile Correctors
This “robot” optic features a couple of the vortex generator eyes along with a mouth constructed from prisms that could act as smile correctors for a laser diode bar. This design demonstrates the freedom LightForge gives you to place your optical structures anywhere within the 15mm x 15mm customizable zone.
Annular and Concentric Lenses
The annular and concentric lens is a demonstration using three standard ZEMAX non-sequential structures (an aspherical annular lens, an aspherical circular lens and a flat surface) summed together using a Boolean object. This illustrates an interesting structure that can be designed in minutes using standard ZEMAX objects and immediately exported for upload to LightForge.
Vortex generators produce a helical phase front, and are matched to a specific wavelength of light. In the far-field, this generates an annulus of light that has a thickness related to the number of integer wavelengths that can fit in to the distance of one helix rotation. This type of structure has traditionally been extremely difficult to manufacture but with LightForge it couldn’t be easier.