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2002 OSA/OFT 2002


Leica Aspheric Optic Manufacturing Process with MRF

Michael Thomas

Leica Camera AG, Oskar-Barnack-Str. 11, 35606 Solms

Phone: +49 (0) 6442 208-260, fax: +49 (0) 6442 208-333, e-mail:

Abstract: We have integrated the MRF-Technology in our aspherical production. We will

explain furthermore the advantage we have with our products containing aspheres, and also how
the development relating to products with aspherical lenses will grow in the future by Leica
Camera AG.
2000 Optical Society of America
OCIS codes: (220.0220) Optical Design and Fabrication; (220.5450) Polishing
(220.0220) Optical Design and Fabrication; (220.1250) Aspherics

Our Technology development:
Marked the initial start of aspherical production with modern CNC- Machines. Our opt. Design
Department at that time required aspheres with diameters of up to 60mm, a wider range of
different glasstypes and a large deviation from the spherical Radii. The possibility to get aspheres
with all these requirements is by grinding and polishing, using new CNC - Machine technology .
One Year after Leica Camera AG started the successful aspherical production for convex aspheres,
the opt. Design Department needed additional requirements for surface accuracy.

Leica Camera AG was able through the invested MRF-Technology to manufacture aspheres with a
new process efficiency, achieving the required surface accuracy required by the opt. Design

Our Process :
A semi finished spherical element is used to start the aspherical surface. It is mounted on a spindle
for all the fabrication steps. All machines and measuring equipment are connected to a Data

Is done in two steps, using different cup tools. The surface is ground in the ALG200/ALG100
(Schneider machine). The cup tool grinder works on a tangential surface point, starting from the
edge towards the center of the lens.


After the last grinding step, the surface is measured with a Taly-Contur (Taylor Hobsen). The
information is used for the next grinding step. Form error after grinding is 0,001mm maximum.


Polishing is done with an ALG200/ALP100 (Schneider) using a special soft polishing tool.


After polishing the reflection of the aspherical surface is used in conjunction with the
interferometer and CGHs. The most important measuring informations are slope error, PV and
radius deviation. The information from the interferometer measurement is send via the data
Network to the controller of the MRF-Machine (Q22).


The final finish of the aspherical surface ( Form accuracy) is done using MRF-Technology. The
controller of the MRF-Machine calculates with the Interferometer data the special removal rate, to
achieve the allowable form errors within the required tolerances. Finishing steps will be repeated if