The Importance of Optical Assembly Design
Jan. 08, 2022
The optical assembly process is often considered an afterthought to the design process. However, once the product is in production, assembly becomes a major cost. In the long run, a design that is easy to assemble can result in significant cost savings. Below we provide three key points to consider when you are developing your product.
Start from scratch
The first thing to do after creating an initial proof-of-principle design is to talk to the people responsible for assembling and tuning the final system. Assembly technicians can identify design elements that may be difficult to manufacture, assemble, or align. Consider these issues as you develop your optical system. If you design a system that cannot be built, you will waste your time.
Let your tolerances be your guide
Once you have a preliminary design, have an optical engineer check your positioning and performance tolerances. A light machine engineer can determine the mount that best meets your positioning requirements. The cost or size of the mount may exceed the specifications of the system. Adjust the optical design accordingly, or request a change in specifications. Small changes at this time will minimize future frustration.
Once you have a solid optical design, have your assembly technicians develop an alignment program before the design goes into production. Based on their recommendations, you can still incorporate alignment aids into the mechanical design. Early attention to alignment will simplify the transition from prototype to final product.