Optical fabrication of lightweighted 3D printed mirrors

Harrison Herzog, Jacob Segal, Jeremy Smith, Richard Bates, Jacob Calis, Alyssa De La Torre, Dae Wook Kim, Joni Mici, Jorge Mireles, David M. Stubbs, Ryan Wicker

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

23 Scopus citations


Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) 3D printing technologies were utilized to create lightweight, optical grade mirrors out of AlSi10Mg aluminum and Ti6Al4V titanium alloys at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The mirror prototypes were polished to meet the λ/20 RMS and λ/4 P-V surface figure requirements. The intent of this project was to design topologically optimized mirrors that had a high specific stiffness and low surface displacement. Two models were designed using Altair Inspire software, and the mirrors had to endure the polishing process with the necessary stiffness to eliminate print-through. Mitigating porosity of the 3D printed mirror blanks was a challenge in the face of reconciling new printing technologies with traditional optical polishing methods. The prototypes underwent Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) and heat treatment to improve density, eliminate porosity, and relieve internal stresses. Metal 3D printing allows for nearly unlimited topological constraints on design and virtually eliminates the need for a machine shop when creating an optical quality mirror. This research can lead to an increase in mirror mounting support complexity in the manufacturing of lightweight mirrors and improve overall process efficiency. The project aspired to have many future applications of lightweighted 3D printed mirrors, such as spaceflight. This paper covers the design/fab/polish/test of 3D printed mirrors, thermal/structural finite element analysis, and results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptomechanical Engineering 2015
EditorsAlson E. Hatheway
ISBN (Electronic)9781628417395
StatePublished - 2015
EventOptomechanical Engineering 2015 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2015Aug 12 2015

Publication series

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


ConferenceOptomechanical Engineering 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Additive manufacturing
  • DMLS
  • EBM
  • Lightweight
  • Mirror
  • Polish
  • Topological optimization

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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