Micro-Optics Molding

Micro-optics molding is a precision injection mold process that produces optical components on a smaller scale than is attainable than with traditional molding techniques. Due to the overall size and detail, part tolerances are measured in microns. Parts of this nature take the form of connectors and sensors, and are used in illumination, optics, and imaging. Micro-optics molded components are often used very small medical, data-com and wearable devices.

Micro-Optics Molding is as much an art form as it is an engineering feat. Taming thermoplastic and resin behavior with micron tolerances required not just a scientific understanding of micro mold materials, but the raw experience decades of engineering trial and error provides.

We are world leaders in thermoplastic micro injection molded components, glass, and molded optics. We routinely complete complex overmolding of optics into housings and overmolding for laser systems or other high-powered outputs.

Three things to know about micro-optics molding

Our micro-optics process starts with our DFM Engineers and expert toolmakers all of whom have decades of experience in micro-optics molding. Our technicians use highly sophisticated metrology tools to maintain micron and even half micron tolerances.

When your component or part is ready to scale quickly, our custom automation and vision systems ensure the part is exactly the same from the first to last. Because no one in the world operates within the micron tolerances we’re known for, we had to create our own in-house functional testing systems.

1. Molding Tolerances

Micro-Optics Molding Fiber Array
Micro-Optics Molding Fiber Array

Standard optical projects require P/V tolerance of 1 micron and a surface finish of 100 angstroms. In recent projects, we have achieved P/V tolerance of 200 nm and a surface finish of 20 angstroms. Positional tolerances are as tight as +/- 1 micron and repeatable to .5 microns. Make sure to check out our micro mold design guidelines.

2. Packing and Clean Rooms

Our in-house custom packaging process not only protects and ships critical components but guarantees the parts will be well received into your manufacturing process. Our micro mold packaging capabilities include tape & reel, trays and gel-paks as a starting point, but we also custom design packaging processes to fit every client’s unique needs.

Our custom packaging is a perfect complement to our micro mold clean rooms. Our cleanrooms meet ISO standards, 100k (ISO Class 8) and 10k (ISO Class 7).

3. Molding Materials

Ultem Polyetherimide PEI - micro molding materials
Ultem / PEI

Our optical material molding expertise is in, CoC, PMMA, PC, Acrylic, COP, PS & PEI (Extem & Ultem) and we are experts in molding engineered resins for high-heat applications that require 260° C reflow processes to the JADEC standard. We also provide turn-key solutions for coatings including reflective coatings, AR, & EMI shielding. 

Material Factoids

Optical component success hinges on our ability to use the best micro mold material for your project.

  • High index of refraction materials.
  • Experts in molding IR clear resins that can survive reflow processing.
  • Beta test site for next-gen materials with top resin suppliers.
  • Application-specific attenuated materials

View our shortlist of micro-molding materials >

Market Experience And Micro Mold Examples

  • Multi-lens arrays for datacom devices.
  • High-volume molded optics for sensors and other photonics packaging.
  • Molded optics for medical devices such as endoscopes, diagnostics, imaging devices and other medical sensors.
  • Molded optic lenses for general imaging, vision and projection.
  • Turning mirrors, light guides, and diffractives for light management systems.
  • Check our these micro optics molding examples >

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