EPIC Technology Report on Freeform Optical Systems by Oliver Faehnle


This technology report informs about freeform optical systems, an innovative and rapidly evolving field that challenges traditional optical design principles. These systems employ non-conventional curved surfaces, deviating from standard spherical and aspherical shapes, to achieve improved performance and compactness in optical devices.
The report spans the arc from freeform design to freeforms fabrication, focusing on the advantages in design and the challenges in manufacturing. The performance of freeform optics is discussed in comparison to aspherical lenses, metasurfaces or diffractive optical solutions. Six different freeform products, ranging from space-borne pollution scanning to various enhanced imaging qualities in industrial applications, are presented and discussed in detail.
The report underscores how freeform optical systems will drive future technological advancements by reaching unprecedented levels of miniaturization, enhanced optical performance, and novel designs that were previously unattainable.

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