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Injection Molding

Molded Polymer OpticsAt Diverse Optics, injection molding is our specialty.  We were founded as an optics molding company and today we continue the tradition by offering unmatched polymer optics processing expertise.  When your design defies conventional injection molding design rules, look no further than the processing engineers at Diverse Optics to find the solution.  Sure, we use the fundamentals like Taguchi Design of Experiment (DOE), Window Processing, and Decoupled (Scientific) Molding, but we also layer in over 20 years of our own secret sauce to guarantee your molded optics – thousands of them – are functional works of art.

IF YOU’ RE LOOKING FOR
  • High volume series production
  • Integration of optical and mechanical functionality
  • Consistent part-to-part repeatability
  • High precision to cost ratio
  • Rapid production of precision polymer optics

Injection Molded OpticsThen injection molding is the right choice.  Compared to other optics manufacturing processes, injection molding offers the greatest value in optics manufacturing.  Nominal material cost coupled with a relatively low cost manufacturing process offers unbeatable savings compared to traditional glass optics manufacturing.

DIVERSE OPTICS INJECTION MOLDING FACTS
  • Injection Molding Machines ranging from 35 to 300 tons in clamp force
  • Laminar Flow Hoods for press-side Clean Environment
  • Climate Controlled Molding Environment
  • All IMM’s Equipped with Lens Removal Robotics including:
  • Press-side Secondary Operations including:

MANUFACTURING STANDARDS FOR INJECTION MOLDED
HIGH PRECISION POLYMER OPTICS (UP TO 25MM IN DIAMETER).

PARAMETER STANDARD PRECISION ULTRA PRECISION
Polymer Quality (Nd) ± 0.001 ± 0.001 ± 0.001
Radius ± 3 – 5 % ± 2 – 3 % ± 0.5 – 1 %
Diameter (mm) ± 0.1 ± 0.05 ± 0.01
Center Thickness (mm) ± 0.1 ± 0.05 ± 0.001
Roughness Ra (nm) 7-15 7-10 5-7
Surface Finish (scratch/dig) 80 / 50 60 / 40 40 / 20
Freedorm optics geometry (um) 20 – 50 5 – 20 1 – 5
Irregularities for 25 mm diameter max (fringes) 6 – 10 4 – 6 2 – 4
Centering (arc min) ± 3 ± 2 ± 1


Injection Molded Polymer Optics

Molded Polymer

Molded Optics

Polymer Optics

TOOLING

Molded Polymer OpticsLet’s face it, optics molding is different than typical injection molding – alot different. The same can be said about optics tooling – it’s quite a bit different than traditional commodity injection tooling. When you’re working with optical prescription irregularity tolerances in millionths of an inch, and your customers expect total perfection shot after shot, then your injection molds have to be precise.

NEW MOLDS

Injection MoldedAt Diverse Optics, we don’t cut corners on injection molds. Our new mold procurement process ensures that your tooling is designed and built for years of worry-free series production up to a million molded optics – guaranteed. We start by listening to our customer to fully understand the unique requirements of their program. We gather our team of experts for a comprehensive program review and provide feedback that often times includes suggestions to improve performance and reduce cost. Our engineers determine the right mold design concept for your optics based on over 20 years of experience building hundreds of optics molds. We know what works – and more importantly what doesn’t. After you are fully satisfied and all requirements, questions, and concerns have been addressed, we move on to tooling fabrication.

Strategic alliances with an extensive support base of experienced domestic and offshore mold makers ensure our customer’s objectives for quality, delivery, and value are met. Our engineers match strategic mold making partners to your requirements, conduct mold design reviews, perform mold flows as necessary, provide detailed delivery information, and ensure all your specifications are achieved.

Our process includes a complete set of 3D and 2D tool designs that are reviewed and “red-lined” until we are satisfied. Upon request, designs are shared with our customer for their approval prior to tool build. To maintain tight schedules, we focus on early delivery of optical pins and inserts only a few weeks into the tool build. This enables us to work on optical surfaces concurrently with the rest of the build. The mold base and optical components are delivered simultaneously for final assembly, inspection, and the beginning of mold trials.

SOCIETY OF PLASTICS INDUSTRY (SPI) TOOLING CLASSIFICATIONS:
  • Class 101 Mold – Guaranteed for 1,000,000 cycles or more.
    Built for extremely high production. Made with only the highest quality materials.
  • Class 102 Mold – Guaranteed for 1,000,000 cycles.
    Medium to high production mold, good for abrasive materials and/or parts requiring close tolerances.
  • Class 103 Mold – Guaranteed for 500,000 cycles.
    Low to medium production mold.
  • Class 104 – Guaranteed for 100,000 cycles.
    Low production mold. Used only for limited production, preferably with non-abrasive materials. Moderate price range.
  • Class 105 – Guaranteed for 25,000 – 50,000 cycles.
    Light production / prototype mold. Used only for limited production, preferably with non-abrasive materials. Low price range.

ACCEPTANCE OF CUSTOMER TRANSFERRED TOOLING
Optics Polymer Diverse Optics welcomes the opportunity for customers to transfer their molds to us from other suppliers – what we call transfer tooling. As Forrest Gump liked to say, transfer molds are indeed “like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

Over the years, we have inherited many molds from other molders that make us cringe. It’s not their fault, they just don’t specialize in injection molding precision optics, where the traditional practices and customs just won’t work. What most commodity injection molders don’t realize is that optics have a prescription, and you can’t just cut the mold inserts to a 3D solid model and expect the resulting optics to deliver optimal performance. Optics molding requires the highest degree of precision.

Our incoming transfer mold process includes a complete evaluation of your mold in its current state – the way we receive it. We’ll document the condition of your mold along with some digital pictures to show you our findings and tell you if your mold has the capability to mold your optics to your print specifications. We’ll make recommendations for improvements to your mold to make it production ready and perform those modifications on site in our mold repair and maintenance department.

Being a precision polymer optics molder takes more than injection molding know-how, it takes a complete understanding of optics and how those optics function in your system. From laser collimation, to imaging, to illumination, we know optics – upside down and backwards. So bring us your problem molds and let Diverse Optics show you how we can make your problems become successes.

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Injection Molded Optics The cornerstone of our business is preventive maintenance on our customer’s molds. It’s actually quite self serving, because well maintained molds make our job easier. A well maintained mold operates trouble free and will produce millions of polymer optics. Conversely, a neglected mold causes us nothing but trouble by adding inconsistency and introducing variation. Diverse Optics’ primary focus is running your molds at their optimum performance capability and maximizing mold longevity through complete mold maintenance.

ON-SITE REPAIR & MAINTENANCE
  • CNC and conventional milling machines, surface grinders, EDM, conventional lathe, & machine tools
  • Real-time adjustments are made in-house during mold trials based on molding technician feedback to ensure rapid start up
    and adherence to delivery schedules

We perform routine preventive maintenance for customer furnished molds as a part of our “Evergreen” service to make sure your molds remain perennially fresh.

The Evergreen service includes routine maintenance under normal circumstances and manufacturing conditions, repair of any accidental damage, and complete major and minor maintenance according to established plastics industry standards at prescribed intervals. We perform our standard evergreen policy on your molds, performing all required maintenance while the mold remains in our possession during the guaranteed cycle period.

RISK PREVENTION
Risk prevention is a critical element in all our polymer optics programs. That’s why we start with a top-notch preventive mold maintenance program to ensure your molds remain fully functional and production ready. But even with the best preventive maintenance, sometimes the unthinkable happens and an unforeseeable failure occurs. It’s just a part of manufacturing.

Risk tolerance varies greatly by customer, industry and budget. When it comes to polymer optics manufacturing, an ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure. At Diverse Optics, we’ll provide a comprehensive risk assessment and present multiple options that meet your level of risk tolerance and available budget. These options might include taking an inventory position to ensure supply, diamond turning optics in place of injection molding, stocking spares of only the most critical optical mold components (pins), or building a complete duplicate (back-up) mold. Whatever your situation, we’ll work with you to make sure you can sleep at night.


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