Free-form optics are those with refractive and reflective surfaces that differ significantly from typical spherical and aspheric geometries. For customers from research and industry, Fraunhofer ILT develops tailor-made free-form optics for applications in various industries. These optics are used, for example, in the field of general, street and architectural lighting. They increase energy efficiencies and reduce operating costs.
Adapted optical free-form surfaces allow the redistribution of power through refraction and reflection. A goal here, for example, is to obtain the desired power density distribution at maximum light output with a minimum number of optical surfaces. Fraunhofer ILT develops algorithms for the design of optical free-form surfaces with which, for example, refractive and reflective surfaces can be combined in an optical element. The optical design creates virtual prototypes whose properties are checked with simulation software. Commercial and self-developed tools help to verify the lighting function and determine the influence of manufacturing and assembly tolerances.
The range of services offered by Fraunhofer ILT includes implementing ideas from the virtual prototype via the production-adapted design and measurement, characterization and functional testing of manufactured optics all the way to simulations and consulting.