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Material from http://www.diamond-turning.com/
Diamond-machining is a generic term describing the application of one of two specific processes. Diamond-turning and diamond-flycutting are similar processes, each using a sculpted, solid diamond as the cutting tool. Diamond-turning and flycutting allow for the production of superior optical surface quality, down to the angstrom level, (254 angstroms = 1 microinch, and 1,000,000 microinches = 1 inch). These processes produce a degree of accuracy in tooling and fixturing, and in the parts produced, which is not possible when employing traditional machining methods. The tolerances, that is, the deviation from a mathematical model of the surface to be produced, are typically measured in fractions of a wavelength of light.
The machines on which the processes are performed, and the cutting tools themselves are expensive. The optics manufacturers must absorb considerable expenses in environmental controls and support equipment. Test equipment (to certify that the optic meets specs) is expensive. And let’s not forget that capable, experienced people complete the equation. So in the end, the customer must expect to participate in paying for all the benefits.
All this to say, Diamond-machining is a relatively expensive method.
THE BENEFITS OF DIAMOND-MACHINING
Ultra-Precision accuracy and “Optical” surface quality! Diamond-Turning or Diamond-Flycutting produces amazing figure accuracy and surface quality (without post-polishing) on aspheric, spherical and plano (flat) surfaces for either transmissive or reflective applications. Only these manufacturing processes provide ultra-precision dimensional toleranceing and angstrom-level surface quality. Applications are typically within the Visible or the Infrared spectral ranges.
Commonly Diamond-Turned and Diamond-Flycut Materials • Aluminum • Copper • Nickel-Plated Substrates • Engineering Crystals • Plastics
Surfaces and Shapes, Applications galore!! • Injection Molds • Faceted Optics • Beam Integrators • Etalons • Polygonal Mirrors • Cassegrain Telescope Optics • Inter-Cavity Optics • Steering Mirrors • Off-Axis Paraboloids • Other Parabolics • Diode Laser Heatsinks • Hyperboloids • Ellipsoids • Torroids • Cylinder Sections • Spherical Optics • Axicons • Waxicons • Flashlight Reflectors • Copier Drums • Windows • Aircraft Cabin Windows • Grooved Optics • Mirrors • Fresnel Surfaces • Projection TV Lenses • Contact Lenses • Inter-Ocular Lenses • Spectacle Lenses • Diffractive optics —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jimaustin (talk • contribs) 17:26, August 29, 2006.
- I was going to flag this as a copyright violation  , but I see that your username is the same as that of the owner of that website. I presume you are the author of this material, and that your intent was to allow its use here under the public license Wikipedia uses. If so, thank you. Wikipedia takes copyrights seriously, and does not use material from other sources (including websites) without permission.--Srleffler 23:50, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I do not think the following is correct:
"The motion of the tool is controlled by a list of coordinates generated by a computer directly from a CAD model in newer machines or by manually generated machining code (usually G-Code or a derivative) on older machines ."
For all other types lathes and other machining equipment, if the equipment is CNC, then it is commanded using g-code(or other near equivalents.) This is true whether or not the machine is "newer." The machine does not know or care how the g-code in generated. G-code can be "generated manually," (i.e., coded by directly by the machinist) or it can be generated from a CAD model via a tool chain: create the model using a CAD program and then use a CAM program to generate the g-code from the model. The CAD and CAM steps run on general-purpose computers, not on the machine controller, so they do not depend on whether or not the diamond-turning machine is "modern." I am changing the wording to reflect this, but I am not specifically familiar with diamond turning. Can another editor please check my work? -Arch dude (talk) 22:16, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
What does this mean?
" Diamond turning is most often used in infrared wavelengths because of the materials, surface roughness, and pick distance for the tooling." I don't understand -- the diamond is a lathe, so what does the infrared wavelength do? PedEye1 (talk) 11:44, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
- What it means to say is that diamond turning is most often used to make optics that are designed for use at infrared wavelengths. The surface profile from diamond turning is not as smooth as from traditional optical polishing. The turning process leaves microscopic (submicroscopic?) grooves in the surface. Visible light would scatter when passing through the grooved surface. Since infrared has longer wavelengths, it is less sensitive to such tiny imperfections. In general, the longer the wavelength, the bigger an imperfection can be before it has an effect.--Srleffler (talk) 18:08, 24 December 2012 (UTC)