Optifab Returns to Showcase the Latest in Optics Manufacturing

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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 7, 2021 — Optifab, North America’s largest optical manufacturing conference and exhibition, will return to the Joseph A. Floreano Riverside Convention Center Oct. 18-21. The biennial event, organized jointly by SPIE and the American Precision Optics Manufacturing Association (APOMA), showcases the latest technologies in optics manufacturing.

Jessica DeGroote Nelson of Optimax and Blair Unger of N2 Imaging Systems will co-chair the conference, which will focus on both classical and advanced optical manufacturing technologies. The event will feature lectures, poster sessions, an exhibition, courses, and special events.

Conference sessions are split into categories including optical engineering and metrology, coatings and materials, freeform considerations, system assembly considerations, and laser processing and metasurfaces. Researchers from around the world will present their latest technical results, in sessions with topics that span interferometry in aspheres, interference filters on fiber tips, degradation of optical and structural properties of glass, servo cutting, and more.

Plenary events will feature industry leaders including Giussepe Calafiore of Facebook Reality Labs, Daniel Nikolov of the University of Rochester, and Thomas Battley of AmeriCOM and New York Photonics. Calafiore will discuss the technological and manufacturing challenges of augmented reality combiners, and he will discuss the results of recent work to develop a method of fabricating gratings. Nikolov will explore the convergence of freeform optics and metasurfaces with the recent development of “metaforms.” Battley will discuss the American Center for Optics Manufacturing (AmeriCOM), a program to develop workforce training and advanced optics manufacturing technologies to strengthen the defense precision optics industrial base.

Among the special events will be a panel discussion on the establishment of apprenticeships to address workforce shortages. Alexis Vogt of Monroe Community College will moderate. Panelists — industry professionals and graduates of apprenticeships — will discuss the needs and challenges of optics apprenticeships for the optical fabrication industry.

Courses will cover topics including surface inspection, fundamentals of optical manufacturing, optical drawings, and more. Courses will be taught by academics and industry professionals, including Alexis Vogt of Monroe Community College, Joseph Howard of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and David Aikens of Savvy Optics.

For more information about Optifab, visit

Published: October 2021
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.
OptifabSPIE Optifab 2021SPIEEventsRochesterOpticsOptics Manufacturingoptical coatingsoptical materialsoptical metrologylaser processingservo cuttingservoThomas BattleyAmeriCOMJessica DeGroote NelsonBlair UngerAPOMAAPOMA - The American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association

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