Do you know how the telescope that you use to see the stars in the sky was made? Do you know how the video projectors that you use to create presentations were made? For this you need to have an idea about the process of Diamond Turning. It has recently grown to a large extent and is one of the latest technologies. It is a process which includes multiple stages carried out by Computer Numerical Control lathes of high accuracy and a diamond tipped lathe tool. So, the importance of Diamond turning is understood now.
The Process Of Diamond Turning
The aim of the process is to obtain sub-nanometer surface finishes. It also sometimes called Single point diamond turning. It also serves the processes of milling, grinding and honing. The surfaces that are diamond turned have a very bright appearance which does not require any further polishing of the surfaces. It is commonly used for making infrared optics. This is because optical performance is not much sensitive to the surface finish quality at longer wavelengths. This is a machine based process but it also requires good amount of manual labour.
The diamonds used in the process have quite a good strength in the vertical downward direction but on the other hand it is very weak in the sides and the upward directions. Controlling the temperature is very important as it affects the surface quite enough. Liquid coolant is added to the main spindle to keep it cool in order to prevent any change in temperature.
The Diamond Turning Methods
There were various methods of this process which consist of off-axis turning, free form machining, off-axis turning, fly-cutting and traditional turning.
Traditional turning includes accurate spindle and slides. A sharp diamond with an accurate nose radius is required to turn and face the part. It is easy like producing the parabola of a reflecting telescope. It is actually a turbo charged version. Off-axis turning is the process where a work piece is placed in an asymmetric fashion. This makes it possible to cut different parts at the same time. Fly cutting and milling results in flat or elliptical surfaces. You can create free form by adding more motions to the machine.
So, these were the different methods of Diamond turning. Surface finishes of approximately 3 to 4 nanometers are also seen as the cutting tool is diamond. There are several polymers that can be diamond turned directly like Styrene, Polyetherimide and other polymers. These also help in the production of light weight lenses. Diamond turned plastic optics are very accurate. There are companies providing quality service with minimized tool costing, high accuracy and speedy delivery.
After reading this article, you will know about the different methods of diamond turning. You will have a fair idea about diamond turning and the methods associated with it. There are various websites from where you can get information about the Diamond turning departments which can even help you. Optical engineering is something that you can also do. Now it is totally up to you.Read More