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How to navigate the complexity of cylindrical lens metrology

Trioptics has launched the CylinderCheck module to its OptiCentric range of centration test devices

Trioptics has launched the CylinderCheck module to its OptiCentric range of centration test devices

Patrik Langehanenberg, Division Manager MPO at TRIOPTICS reveals how lens manufacturers can maximise the potential of cylindrical lenses by reducing metrology complexity

In the vast realm of optics, cylindrical lenses have emerged as indispensable components, finding applications in a multitude of fields such as cinematography, laser technology, lidar systems, and augmented reality devices. 

Cylindrical lenses are optical lenses which focus light onto a line, unlike their spherical counterparts, which focus it onto a point. These lenses have evolved from their traditional applications in cinematography and projectors to play pivotal roles in cutting-edge technologies. Today, they are used in beam homogenisation applications such as illumination systems of stepper optics, as well as for targeted beam shaping, for example, in cutting devices. They are even used in anamorphic optics for applications such as light sheet microscopy and Lidar.
This is largely thanks to the advantages they offer. As an example, cylindrical lenses excel at controlling light along one axis, which enables precise stretching or compression of light. They are also adept at improving image quality and resolution by addressing light manipulation. 

As the demand for cylindrical lenses continues to rise, the intricacies of ensuring their precision and quality during manufacturing has become increasingly apparent. The fabrication process can be more complex, with specialist equipment and expertise required, which can add to the overall cost. Optical metrology for cylindrical lenses, for example, can present its own unique challenges. At the heart of these is the precise measurement of centration errors. Achieving the perfect alignment of the optical axis of cylindrical components with external references demands careful consideration of various parameters, and in the case of lenses with non-circular shapes, the complexity can deepen.

As seasoned players in the optical metrology domain, the team at TRIOPTICS has been navigating the intricate world of optics for more than three decades. The company’s mission is to provide customers with the tools and expertise needed to meet new parameters, uphold higher precision standards, and deliver top-quality optical components.

That’s why the launch of the new CylinderCheck module to the OptiCentric® range of high-precision centration test devices is so exciting. This module is designed to empower manufacturers to assess the manufacturing quality of cylindrical components with accuracy and ease. 

Key parameters of cylindrical lenses measured with CylinderCheck

CylinderCheck precisely measures the centre of the cylinder axis in cylindrical components. It accurately assesses the alignment of the optical cylinder's axis concerning external references. CylinderCheck also goes beyond individual components and can measure cylindrical lenses within complex optical assemblies, providing insights into the assembly's quality.

More than just a hardware solution

CylinderCheck is way more than a hardware module, its true power lies in its software. TRIOPTICS understands that measuring cylindrical components correctly and consistently is a challenge, and that's why significant effort was invested in making the software user-friendly and process-safe. With this software, operators are guided through the measurement process to ensure reproducible and accurate quality control.

In addition to CylinderCheck, TRIOPTICS is also thrilled to extend the established MultiLens® technology to fully support cylindrical lenses, a groundbreaking technique that allows us to assess centration errors of inner surfaces within assemblies. This exciting new approach is set to be unveiled for the first time early next year, so watch this space!

Always ask the experts

Cylindrical lens metrology is far from a one-size-fits-all process. It demands a deep understanding of the intricate interplay between various factors, from lens geometry to the impact of the assembly process itself. This understanding is the key to achieving precision and consistency in optical quality.

The experienced team at TRIOPTICS understands that the complexity of cylindrical lens metrology extends beyond product launches. While we're excited about how the latest CylinderCheck module launch will help to demystify the complexities around cylindrical lenses, our primary focus is, and has always been to empower the researchers and OEMs using these optics with the knowledge and solutions that go beyond the realm of products. 

We believe that your optical metrology partner should have the expertise and experience to actually want to know what drives you, and what you need from your application. They should work in collaboration with you and help you to come up with exactly the right solution. At TRIOPTICS, for example, our emphasis is on advising and assisting customers during the individual product development process, and we firmly believe that best products and optimal solutions to problems can only be achieved with hard work, determination, enthusiasm and expert knowledge. Whether you are in academia, an optical engineer, or an OEM, we believe that sharing knowledge and insights is the key to advancing our industry.

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Optical metrology, Optics

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