Overview of CNC Machining for Optical Precision Components

Cameral lens
Jack Lie CNC machining expert

Specialize in CNC Milling, CNC Turning, 3D Printing, Urethane Casting, and Sheet Metal Fabrication Services.

Over the last ten years, the optical communication business has seen remarkable expansion. It is anticipated that the market size will exceed $37.6 billion by the year 2028, having already been estimated at $18.7 billion in 2020 alone. CNC machining is one of the important technologies contributing to this sector’s spectacular expansion over the last few years.

CNC machining, which stands for computer numerical control, uses computer code to turn 3D CAD models into machined components. As a result, these machined parts are very precise when fabricating optical communication components.

The fundamentals of CNC machining precision optical components will be covered in this article. In addition, we will examine the many parts of optical communication systems that may be machined using CNC technology.

The Process of CNC Machining Precision Optical Components

The CNC machining process begins with creating a three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) model of the required optical component by the product designer using CAD software. After that, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) application is used to turn this three-dimensional computer-aided design (3D CAD) model into a computer program (g-code).

The g-code is used to regulate the sequence of motion of the CNC cutting tools and the workpiece to produce the appropriate optical assemblies.

4 Precision Optical Components Manufactured Using CNC Machines


Lenses are an essential part of optical communication systems because they capture more radiation than the human eye can do on its own. It results in distant things seeming clearer and more enlarged to the observer.

Lenses come in diverse varieties (aspheres, fresnel, etc.), sizes, and visual materials (glasses, crystals, plastics, etc.). But one point that all of these lenses have in common is that it is difficult to make them using traditional production techniques. As a direct consequence, most of the work that goes into the fabrication of optical communication components is done on CNC machines.

For the production of lenses composed of optical glass, for instance, producers begin by utilizing CNC milling machines to cut planks of this glass workpiece to make circular blanks. After that, further manufacturing operations are carried out to transform these blanks into the wanted lens shape.

Because CNC machines are compatible with thick materials, optical communication firms can now create high-index glasses, which are often rather dense and are used in certain applications with rigorous lens quality criteria.

Laser holder

A lens holder is a common component of an electron microscope. Its purpose is to make it easier to handle and safeguard fragile lenses. You may have already realized that the dimensional precision of the lens and lens holder is directly related to the optical performance of electron microscopes.

CNC technologies make highly precise lens holders, enabling product designers to fulfill rigorous tolerance standards in the optical communication sector.

CNC laser machine

Lasers are devices that are useful in a wide variety of fields. Still, they are particularly important in the medical sector since they are used for surgical operations. To attain the level of performance considered optimal for a laser, its many parts must be built with high precision and within precise tolerances.

Casings, start rings, and mirrors are some of the components that are often found in lasers. These components are typically manufactured using CNC machines. CNC machines are the machining method for producing laser components that need high dimensional precision and a great surface finish. It is because CNC machines can make parts to fulfill a tolerance requirement of 4 microns and surface roughness of Ra 0.9 microns.

optical communication product

In general, the production of lasers, microscopes, and different optical communication equipment takes place in relatively low quantities. Consequently, you could face difficulties while replacing old parts or optical components.

One strategy that optical communication firms are using to address this issue is the use of third-party CNC machining providers to produce customer-specific optical components using CNC manufacturing technology.

These machine shops use reverse engineering to turn real samples of an old item into a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) model. After that, an expert machinist will program a computer numerically controlled machine (CNC) to duplicate these samples in an exact and precise manner.


CNC machines are, without a doubt, the best option for producing a broad range of precision optical components. The machine shop you collaborate with will impact the outcome of the optical component manufacturing project you are working on. You want to collaborate with a machine shop that has highly advanced CNC machining equipment and employs highly skilled engineers who can produce precise components. Additionally, you need to seek manufacturers that comply with the regulatory criteria of the industry that you want to serve in the future.

Runsom – Precision Optical Component CNC Machining Manufacturer

Work with Runsom Precision– an experienced expert in Precision Optical CNC Machining, and you will receive top-quality products that comply with the regulatory standards in the industry you intend to serve. Feel free to get an instant quote today!

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