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  • Latest Research, Technologies Slated for SPIE Optifab 2015
Oct 2015
SPIE’s Optifab will be held Oct. 12-15, 2015 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, N.Y. Organized jointly by SPIE and APOMA, this is the largest optical manufacturing conference and exhibition held in North America. The event has a technical focus on classical and advanced optical manufacturing technologies.

Hundreds of companies from throughout North America and around the world will exhibit new and existing technologies, as well as new technical possibilities. The exhibition serves to connect researchers, scientists and engineers with potential suppliers. Some of the exhibitors include:

• United Lens Company (Southbridge, Mass., U.S.)
• 4D Technology Corp. (Tucson, Ariz., U.S.)
• Allied Scientific Pro (Gatineau, Quebec, Canada)
• Difrotec (Tartu, Estonia)
• ER Precision Optical Corp. (Orlando, Fla., U.S.)
• QED Technologies (Rochester, N.Y., U.S.)
• Optocraft (Erlangen, Germany)
• ML Optic Corp. (Nanjing Jiangsu, China)
• Schott North America Inc. (Duryea, Pa., U.S.)
• Electro Optics (Cambridge, U.K.)
• Tydex (St. Petersburg, Russia)
• Zygo Corp. (Middlefield, Conn., U.S.)
• Gooch & Housego (Ilminster Somerset, U.K.)
• Hinds Instruments Inc. (Hillsboro, Ore., U.S.)
• Davidson Optronics Inc./Trioptics Co. (West Covina, Calif., U.S.)
• Ametek Precitech (Keene, N.H., U.S.)

Several plenary sessions are scheduled throughout the week. Among them, 3D Printing of Optics: The Manufacturing of Polymer Optics via Inkjet Printing. This session (Tuesday, Oct. 13) will feature Joris Biskop, LUXeXceL Group BV in the Netherlands. He will discuss how digital design (CAD-file) converts the optical design into a print file.

Another session, Laser Polishing of Glass, will be led by Christian Weingarten of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik in Germany on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Here, Weingarten will focus on the manufacturing of nonspherical optics in small lot sizes. Nonspherical optics exhibit several advantages, and the demand for aspheres is steadily increasing. Weingarten will go into further detail during the session.

Also on Tuesday, Oct. 13, Tina Kidger of Kidger Optics in Great Malvern, U.K., will present the Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design to Eric Schiesser, a PhD candidate at the University of Rochester. The Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship fund is presented in memory of Michael John Kidger, an educator, design software developer, and member of the optical science and engineering community.

Technical papers will be presented throughout the exhibition and conference, covering topics such as optical manufacturing; design for manufacturing; materials and optical materials sciences; classical and automated fabrication; grinding, polishing, and new methods of surface finishing; and injection/glass molding, lithographic processing and chemical etching. Commercial papers will provide focus on developments in optical materials; new infrared materials; advanced optical fabrication equipment; coating equipment; and metrology equipment.

A job fair will be held during Optifab, as well, bringing together candidates and some of the top employers in the industry. This is set for Wednesday, Oct. 14. Also on this day, those involved with the POWER (Photonics and Optics Workforce Education Research) project — an in-depth case study to expand national discussions about general STEM skills into a focused understanding of the needs for a specific STEM industry — will talk with job candidates to provide a better understanding of the broader set of technical and non-technical skills used on the job, and students will learn ways that higher education courses integrate the actual skills used in industry.

There will be a panel discussion, also on Wednesday, Oct. 14, that will focus on Optics and Photonics Education in Rochester: Strategies for Advanced Education to Support, Growth, Innovations and Future Jobs.

For more information about SPIE Optifab 2015, visit:

optical materials
Materials that, by virtue of their optical characteristics (i.e. refractive index, dispersion,  etc.), are used in optical elements. See crystal; glass; plastic lens.
injection molding
A method of producing high-quality plastic optics in large volumes by injecting the heated, liquified plastic at high pressure into a tooled mold with polished chromium stainless steel inserts to define the optical surface. The plastic solidifies as it cools, and the mold is removed.
The process in the manufacture of an optical system that gives it the required geometric shape.
The optical process, following grinding, that puts a highly finished, smooth and apparently amorphous surface on a lens or a mirror.
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