Optical quality surface finish without polishing: Precision optics by using air-bearing machines and monocrystalline diamond tools.
Monocrystalline diamond tools and an extremely low vibration feed on machining centers with air-bearing axes and spindles. In addition to that, the experience and the creativity of well trained employees: This is the secret of Kugler metal optics production. Metal surfaces in optical quality are milled or turned directly without any post-polishing. With shape accuracy from 60 nm to approx. one micrometer, with roughness values down to one nanometer. Real optics made from metal.
The diamond machining takes place with tools which are not restricted to any specific shape in contrast with classic polishing (e.g. for glass optics). So aspheric surfaces can be realized easily and economically:
The tool (the monocrystal diamond) "flies" along the set contour over the surface and removes a few micrometers at a width of typically 30µm (approx. 5µm to 100µm), and thus machines one track next to the other: A precise optical quality surface finish is the result.
The diamond machining is the decisive step towards the finished metal optics, but from the conventionally produced blank (generally of copper or aluminum), hard soldering (for optics with water cooling), heat treatment (surface stabilization) to quality control (e.g. also leak test) all processing steps required for a complete metal optics are carried out by Kugler economically and reliably.
Applications for metal optics are used wherever high performance, complex component shapes, low weight with high rigidity or simply the economic manufacturing method excludes the use of glass optics.