When it comes to asphere production, is there one part of the process that turns out to be more important than the others? Not really. Ignoring materials, intended usage, manufacturability, or measurability often leads to a lens too expensive to produce and too difficult to measure. The pieces need to fit together to ensure maximized performance that is cost effective.
Materials Affect Design
In a very loose translation of the expression “form follows function,” the optical designer will want to know not only the intended use of the asphere, but the environment it will be used. Only certain materials can withstand heat, cold, pressure or any number of other conditions. Usage and environment are two parameters that must be considered in conjunction with the type of material in order to ensure the success of the design. Some common materials used for aspheres include the following, and they are all suited to a function in their own way.