Designing for Reality: Four Ways to Ensure Functional Optical Components & Systems



There is more to optical design than designing the optics. A design that works on a computer screen may not work in real life. Here are four best practices to help you design for manufacturability and performance.

 1. Talk to your suppliers before you finalize the design.

Ross engineers can help you avoid cost traps in your optical design.

2. Describe your application to your suppliers, not just your component specifications.

Setting appropriate tolerances requires a good understanding of how the optical system will be used. Ross is happy to enact non-disclosure agreements to protect intellectual property.

Use our Tolerancing Guide to avoid over-specification in design.

Download Guide

3. Incorporate off-the-shelf optics whenever possible.

Standardized components are generally less expensive and also easier to acquire because you benefit from both the economy of scale and competitive pricing. Furthermore, you may be surprised at the unusual lenses that are “standard” at Ross, including large diameter lenses!

4. Confirm that CAD models match the optical design.

Positioning errors, though unlikely, can occur when transferring designs between software platforms. It is expensive (to say the least) to correct a mechanical design after the parts have been ordered. By the way, did you remember to design your system with assembly in mind?

At Ross we know optical components, and we know optical design. Give us a call. We’ll help you ensure that the system you build is the system you designed.