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5-axis cnc machining process guide for precision parts in optical industry

December 2, 2022

We provide 3-axis and 5-axis CNC machining. Optical parts are becoming more and more complex, so they need to be handled. The following is a new era of optical precision processing. There are several common methods for creating non complex optical components. It requires polishing and normal grinding procedures. However, we can only partially create complex optical components using these conventional methods. This is because they lack dimensional accuracy. In this case, our expert team chose to use multi axis machining.
Micro and aspherical optical components usually require very strict tolerances. Fortunately, the precision cutting process provides the required precision. They use diamond tools on ultra precision tools to achieve this goal. Therefore, we finally obtained strict tolerance and high surface finish. We use this method to achieve the proper dimensional accuracy of optical parts and their molds. This is a further insight.
What are the ultra precision production methods for optical components?

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There is an ideal method for manufacturing complex micro optical components. This is to achieve the first-class surface quality of a fraction of a micron Ra at the same time. It requires the use of ultra precision tools and diamond cutting machines. Obtaining freeform surfaces, complex geometry, and real 3D parts requires top level expertise. We sometimes have to use some unique multi axis machining methods.
There are few methods used by machinists in optical precision machining. These include laser processing, EDM, grinding, micro cutting and silicon etching. Optical processing needs to be carried out on the optical surface of plane and free surface. Micro cutting is the only way to achieve the required structure size, accuracy and precision on both optical surfaces.

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What are the tool factors of optical precision machining?
Two main factors determine the production quality of optical parts. These are the tool tip roundness and sharpness. Therefore, we must include special tool geometries. These include ball end mills, diamond micro end mills and other turning and forming tools. There are several ultra precision cutting methods for optical parts. They are flying cutter cutting, end mill cutting, cut in cutting and rapid tool cutting.
Our expert team sometimes combines vibration free CNC machine tools with compact tool holders and fixtures. This allows a single point diamond cutting tool to effectively scrape material off the workpiece. This method ensures that very high and concentrated cutting forces are applied to the workpiece. As a result, we ended up with almost no dents elsewhere, while maintaining perfect shape accuracy and surface finish. This enables us to achieve optical precision machining.

What is single point diamond tool turning? Optical precision machining
When we want to obtain rotationally symmetric optical parts, we will apply this type of processing. It is one of the most effective cutting processes. This method achieves high cutting speed and high surface finish when Ra is less than 5. The tools we use in this method take into account the accuracy of parts in production.
Our experts often calculate the tool radius and the compensation of the whole tool during the machining process. In addition, we must be very careful when dealing with precision in the submicron range. This involves controlling the waviness of the tool at 0.1 um of the tool radius. At the same time, if we need a simpler surface structure, we will use cut in cutting with pointed tools. These methods are helpful for us to realize optical precision machining.

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CNC milling
CNC milling is a great choice for machining complex surface geometry. We sometimes use it to realize the surface treatment of free-form surfaces. Examples of optical components that we can manufacture include camera lenses and vehicle lighting prototypes. In processing these parts, we need at least a three-axis CNC machine tool. In contrast, we need a 5-axis machine to obtain accurate optical surface features. In this case, we used three main diamond CNC milling tools. They are end mills, flying cutter cutters and ball end mills.
Ball end milling cutter is very important when dealing with freeform surface features. This is because they can handle geometry up to 0.5mm. Our professional processing services enable us to achieve internal angle accuracy up to R0.1-R0.15 mm. Flying cutting tool is the ideal choice for groove cutting. In addition, we can use them when working with planes. For example, we use it to process laser mirrors and pyramid parts.

What is the key role of optical precision machining in the modern world?
It is worth noting that the demand for optical components is at its peak. This is accompanied by a growing consumer market for electronic components. It is worth noting that camera lenses are used in digital SLR cameras, smartphones and printer scanning mirrors. This brings challenges to the market. The main problem is how to economically and efficiently produce free-form optical components. Fortunately, precision machining enables us to achieve this goal. We finally replaced the ordinary camera lens with a single free-form mirror part. This makes it compact and saves production costs.