Secrets of Optical Design, Part 3: Mastering Design Software

By Damon Diehl | Aug 3, 2018 11:17:00 AM

This article is the last of our three-part series on optical design secrets. In previous blogs we explained some important aspects of optical manufacturing, and we offered advice on how to protect your production schedule by using reliable optics sourcing to defend your optics supply chain. This final article provides some best practices to follow when using optical design software. There are too many programs and applications for us to give software-specific advice, but our optical design expertise enables us to provide some important principles that apply whenever you use software to optimize the performance of an optical system design .

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Three Applications of Rod Lenses

By Ross Team | Jul 19, 2018 9:50:55 AM

A previous article explored applications of cylinder lenses. In those examples, the lenses were only curved on one side—the other side was flat (i.e. "plano-"). Cylinder lenses can be curved on both sides, though, creating a "rod lens." Rod lenses are unique in that they can be used either side-on or end-on depending upon the application. Here are three examples of their versatility.

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Secrets of Optical Design, Part 1: Understanding Optical Manufacturing

By Damon Diehl | May 29, 2018 11:43:43 AM

This article is the first of a three-part series on aspects of design that are sometimes overlooked in optics courses. Optical design is often as much art as science. However, it is not magic! Like any art or science, skill in the trade comes only with experience and practice. That said, you can save time by learning from the experience of others.

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The Importance of Designing for Optical Assembly

By Damon Diehl | May 15, 2018 10:48:00 AM

The optical assembly process is often treated as an afterthought of the design process; however, once a product has gone into production, assembly becomes a dominant cost. Designing for ease of assembly becomes a considerable cost-saver in the long run. Below we offer three important points to consider as you develop a product.

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Optical Design: Five Tolerancing Guidelines for Smart Designers

By Damon Diehl | Apr 13, 2018 12:40:00 PM

In the design of any optical system, managing cost versus performance is always a challenge. When faced with this challenge, it is important to realize that properly tolerancing the design is every bit as important as the design itself.

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Providing Optical Design Support During the Contract Development Process

By Ross Team | Dec 19, 2017 8:45:00 AM

At Ross Optical, we take pride in our reputation for outstanding customer support. A big reason for our customers' satisfaction is how we handle customers before they are our customers. Many optical suppliers require contracts and commitments before they will help a customer with design issues. At Ross, we think that's backward. Getting to the best design can take some time, and we prefer to help our customers overcome those design hurdles before committing to an order. The design collaboration process varies from customer to customer, but it typically goes something like this:

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Controlling Cost for Large Optics

By Ross Team | Oct 20, 2017 7:30:51 AM

Generally speaking, a "large" optic is anything with dimensions exceeding 10 cm. Designing a large optical system is not intrinsically harder than designing a smaller system, but the stakes are higher. The classic example of a large optics project gone wrong is the Hubble Space Telescope, in which an error in metrology resulted in a mirror that was made "exactly wrong" to very high precision.

Keep in mind that, when designing a system that includes large optical elements, the effects of the usual cost factors increase and some new factors appear. The following design points will help.

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Three Opto-Mechanical Design Challenges

By Ross Team | Jul 20, 2017 9:43:00 AM

Opto-mechanics refers to the mechanical design of optical systems. Opto-mechanical design is sometimes dismissed as little more than "wrapping metal" around the optics, but that perspective is detrimental to building the best operating optical instrument.

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Going Off Map: 5 Non-Optical Considerations for Optical Materials Discovery

By Lisa Yang | Jun 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM

A “glass map” is often the first tool in optical design. The map is a quick way to determine a suitable range of optical materials in terms of refractive index (n) and dispersion (“Abbe number”, “nu number”, or “V-number”). Finding the ideal region on the glass map is only the first step, though. Several “non-optical” factors must be balanced to determine which materials are most promising. We’ll consider 5 of the most important.

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Differences and Similarities between Cylinder and Spherical Lens Fabrication

By Damon Diehl | May 11, 2017 8:56:00 AM

Because cylindrical and spherical optics both have circular profiles when viewed end-on, it is a common misconception that identical production methods apply to both. Both methods do use similar principles of grinding and polishing, but there are a number of very important differences. Here are three of the most significant areas of difference.

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