Reverse Optical Engineering

If you’d like to produce a lens or optical assembly but have no specifications, just a finished product, you may need reverse optical engineering services. Reverse optical engineering means working backward from an existing sample or prototype to create a set of plans and specifications that allow you to recreate the optical component you need. In some circumstances, you might want the design replicated. In other situations, we can improve on the original design to create a new product that works better than the original. Either way, our team is ready to work with you to produce the custom lens your application requires.

When to Consider for Your Optics Needs?

Reverse optical engineering is not always as cost effective as designing a new product, but there are still many situations where it is essential. You critical application may be relying on a unique optic system or lens which is only available from one supplier. All is well, until the day that supplier decides to discontinue the product. Now you are stuck— unless you find a custom optics manufacturer like Avantier that can reverse engineer the discontinued component and get you back on track.

Reverse engineering may also be a good solution if you want to improve a specific off the lens or optical component and make it fit your application better. In this case, a thorough understanding of the original component can help you produce one that is better. For instance, if the optic system you currently use functions well, but has a low damage threshold, we may be able to help you develop a  more robust system with identical function.

Benefits of reverse optical engineering include:

  • Ownership: When we reverse engineer a component for you and design a new optical design based on that, the design belongs to you.
  • Optimized performance: reverse engineering allows you to switch from a product that almost works to one that matches your specifications 100%.
  • Lower costs: While reverse engineering is an involved process, it may enable you to produce your own lower-cost duplicate of an expensive lens.

Optical engineer, Mechanical Engineering Services
Reverse Optical Engineering

How Reverse Optical Engineering Works?

Reverse engineering requires a deep knowledge and understanding of the optical device to be replicated,  including every detail of the high precision optical alignment and optical assembly.  We start by sampling the existing optical system, running basic tests on function and additional tests that help us find out how the part performs under different conditions. After this, the system will be disassembled and mapped. Mechanical components will be separated from optical components, and carefully drawn blueprints will describe how everything goes together.

The disassembled optical components are then studied with optical system test equipment that provides all all the specifications from lens radius surface accuracy to such properties as refractive index, distortion, and coating for every component. The system test equipment design may be unique to every case, and depends on the type of component being disassembled.

With these diagrams and the precise specifications of every optical component, we’re ready to start the last phase: redesign. This phase involves using our new knowledge to design the custom lens or assembly you require, whether that be something very similar to the original design or different in certain aspects.

Reverse Optical Engineering Services

At Avantier we pride ourselves on our customer service and our ability to  be able to provide a custom experience to anyone who requires unique optical parts. Over 50 years of experience in optical engineering has equipped us with the tools to reverse engineer almost any optical device, and we would be glad to help you make your dreams reality. Please contact us if you’d like to schedule a free consultation or request for quote on your next project.

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