Advances in the design and manufacturing of novel freeform optics

Sumit Kumar, Zhen Tong, Jane Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Freeform optics has become the most prominent element of the optics industry. Advanced freeform optical designs supplementary to ultra-precision manufacturing and metrology techniques have upgraded the lifestyle, thinking, and observing power of existing humans. Imaginations related to space explorations, portability, accessibility have also witnessed sensible in today's time with freeform optics. Present-day design methods and fabrications techniques applicable in the development of freeform optics and the market requirements are focussed and explained with the help of traditional and non-traditional optical applications. Over the years, significant research is performed in the emerging field of freeform optics, but no standards are established yet in terms of tolerances and definitions. We critically review the optical design methods for freeform optics considering the image forming and non-image forming applications. Numerous subtractive manufacturing technologies including figure correction methods and metrology have been developed to fabricate extreme modern freeform optics to satisfy the demands of various applications such as space, astronomy, earth science, defence, biomedical, material processing, surveillance, and many more. We described a variety of advanced technologies in manufacturing and metrology for novel freeform optics. Next, we also covered the manufacturing-oriented design scheme for advanced optics. We conclude this review with an outlook on the future of freeform optics design, manufacturing and metrology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number032004
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Extreme Manufacturing
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022


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