Diamond Turned Solutions: 5 Tips To Find a Diamond Turned Optics Supplier
Don’t Just Choose The First Companies That Pop Up in Google
Selecting the right diamond-turned optics supplier is more than just a Google search. During your selection process, you will need to evaluate each company separately in terms of delivery time, the percentage of deliveries that are accepted, if they offer in-house metrology for verification, or if there is an optics engineer or designer on staff to handle complex needs.
You will want to clarify what systems there are in place to produce what you need, whether a double convex lens or opto mechanical component. The processes and knowledge base required are different, whether creating an optic or an optic holder. If your project will require a specific MIL-Spec or holds ITAR certification, it is best to look for an optics manufacturer that can meet that need.
Experience counts. Working with a group of experienced technicians that can speak directly with clients about any issues can be a vital difference in meeting your target delivery date. At CMM Optic, our group is small but mighty. With customer service at the forefront of what we offer, all of our engineers can efficiently work with you to provide answers to critical questions in a timely and professional manner.
Use A Company That Has Regular Maintenance Schedules For Inspection Of Equipment
Calibration, regular cleaning, and inspection are imperative to keep diamond-turned machines running smoothly and quickly. Identifying when high wear parts need replacement, such as spindle bearings or test cutting for backlash regularly is essential. Ask how often scheduled regular maintenance occurs as part of your routine questions. Our world-class metrology room requires careful maintenance for our Zygo GPI and Zygo Prismo S and Contura systems to ensure that custom optics meet all stringent specifications.
Choose a CNC Company With State-Of-The-Art Equipment
Larger mills, like CMM Optic’s 5-axis DMG Dori, allow for rapid milling of prototype products for fast evaluation and approval, as well as creating exact complex optic shapes. Double convex lenses and other challenging to develop shapes, such as freeform optics, are not manufacturable at all diamond turning or CNC shops. In addition to correct shaping, a CNC company must have the ability to highly polish to an optic mirror specification. CMM Optic is one of the few custom optics manufacturers with the capability to produce highly polished Aluminum optics. As Aluminum is a soft metal, we developed specific processes to create a measurable mirror surface polish while the optic is being shaped. This step can save you time and additional costs.
Go With A Diamond Turning Manufacturer That Services Multiple Markets
Industry, Aerospace, and Military markets and applications each have their demanding challenges and requirements when it comes to diamond turned optics. Whether it is having ITAR compliance or an ISO certification, or the ability to apply new and improved processes helps the next project go more smoothly and achieve more demanding specifications.
Inquire if your new vendor is able to create diamond turned optics for commercial, research & development, LIDAR, life sciences or AR/VR applications.
How to Find A Custom Optic Fabricator With Diamond Turning Experience
We all appreciate a customer referral. It’s a sign of trust and appreciation. Asking your other trusted optics vendors for a reference is always an excellent place to begin.
If you are not in a position to get a referral, another first-rate way to review a possible new vendor is to attend an optics trade show, such as SPIE Photonics West or SPIE Optics + Photonics every year. Talking one-on-one with a room full of vendors to determine if they can create, coat, and ship optics in the volume you need, with the specifications you require, can be worth the trip.
You now have our five tips to find a diamond turned optics supplier that will allow you to source and develop relationships with the right optics manufacturer for your project.
If you are ready to begin sourcing a new diamond turning vendor, please contact our Sales department to discuss your needs, request a quote or learn more about CMM Optic’s products and service