Optical surfaces can be accurately figured by computer controlled optical surfacing (CCOS) that uses well characterized sub-diameter polishing tools driven by numerically controlled (NC) machines. The motion of the polishing tool is optimized to vary the dwell time of the polisher on the workpiece according to the desired removal and the calibrated tool influence function (TIF). Operating CCOS with small and very well characterized TIF achieves excellent performance, but it takes a long time. This overall polishing time can be reduced by performing sequential polishing runs that start with large tools and finish with smaller tools. In this paper we present a variation of this technique that uses a set of different size TIFs, but the optimization is performed globally – i.e. simultaneously optimizing the dwell times and tool shapes for the entire set of polishing runs. So the actual polishing runs will be sequential, but the optimization is comprehensive. As the optimization is modified from the classical method to the comprehensive non-sequential algorithm, the performance improvement is significant. For representative polishing runs we show figuring efficiency improvement from ~88% to ~98% in terms of residual RMS (root-mean-square) surface error and from ~47% to ~89% in terms of residual RMS slope error.
|Date made available||2009|