To generate freeforms, it is crucial to have control over all aspects of the process. Controlling the surface definition is important for achieving a better surface finish during processing. Metrology will be required to adjust tool paths at various stages in manufacturing. During grinding, metrology will be used to adjust tool positions relative to the nominal tool path to compensate for repeatable machine and tooling error. For polishing, metrology will be used to deterministically adjust dwell relative to the amount of the error in different surface locations, allowing for convergence towards the desired surface at a uniform rate.
OptiPro has developed PROSurf, a CAM software package for creating freeform tool paths and applying metrology-based corrections. The software can be used for both grinding and polishing freeform optics. The software has flexibility to allow for different methods of modelling the surface: mathematical equations, solid models, and point clouds. The software is designed to make it easier to manufacture and polish complex freeform optics.