Effects of varying machine stiffness and contact area in ultraform finishing

Dennis E. Briggs, Samantha Echaves, Brendan Pidgeon, Nathan Travis, Jonathan D. Ellis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


UltraForm Finishing (UFF) is a deterministic, subaperture, computer numerically controlled, grinding and polishing platform designed by OptiPro Systems. UFF is used to grind and polish a variety optics from simple spherical to fully freeform, and numerous materials from glasses to optical ceramics. The UFF system consists of an abrasive belt around a compliant wheel that rotates and contacts the part to remove material. This work aims to measure the stiffness variations in the system and how it can affect material removal rates. The stiffness of the entire system is evaluated using a triaxial load cell to measure forces and a capacitance sensor to measure deviations in height. Because the wheel is conformal and elastic, the shapes of contact areas are also of interest. For the scope of this work, the shape of the contact area is estimated via removal spot. The measured forces and removal spot area are directly related to material removal rate through Preston's equation. Using our current testing apparatus, we will demonstrate stiffness measurements and contact areas for a single UFF belt during different states of its lifecycle and assess the material removal function from spot diagrams as a function of wear. This investigation will ultimately allow us to make better estimates of Preston's coefficient and develop spot-morphing models in an effort to more accurately predict instantaneous material removal functions throughout the lifetime of a belt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptifab 2013
StatePublished - 2013
EventOptifab 2013 - Rochester, NY, United States
Duration: Oct 14 2013Oct 17 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOptifab 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityRochester, NY


  • Contact area
  • Deterministic
  • Material removal rate
  • Polish
  • Polishing
  • Preston
  • Preston's Equation
  • Stiffness
  • Sub-aperture
  • UFF
  • UltraForm Finishing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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