Focus in a flash.

  Blitzschnell scharf gestelltWILD has developed the mechanical system of a variable-focus moiré lens for Diffratec, showcasing its micrometre-range alignment and precision manufacturing Expertise.

The moiré lens has similar properties as the human eye. It allows you to focus on objects at different distances. In contrast to the human eye, however, it can withstand extremely high light intensities, can react much more quickly to object movements and can be adjusted much more precisely. As a result, it has the potential to revolutionise 3D laser processing and 3D microscopy. Diffratec Optics CEO Martin Bawart is convinced of this and is planning to introduce moiré lens technology to various different sectors. ”Due to its robustness to temperature, vibration and pressure, the lens can be used, for instance, as a zoom system for infrared cameras, as correction for defective vision in virtual reality glasses or in the microscopy examination of living cells”, Bawart explains.

The greatest challenge in achieving this, however, lies in the demanding manufacturing process. Manufacturing tolerances of mere thousandths of a millimetre are required to ensure the correct functioning of the lenses. In addition, the lens must withstand permanent operation over several years. With WILD, the Innsbruck-based spinoff has now found a development and manufacturing partner who can guarantee these standards. ”We were looking for a specialist who has the necessary resources for the implementation of the project and a reputation for top quality. WILD meets both requirements”, Martin Bawart explains. In June 2019, Diffratec assigned development of the mechanical system of a variable-focus moiré lens to the systems partner. ”The specific aim was to guarantee highly precise bearing and positioning of the diffractive optical elements and alignment of the optics in the micrometre range. Our development expertise, proven alignment concepts, and experience in gluing technology and precision manufacturing gave us a decisive competitive edge”, explains Stefan Werkl, Head of Optical Technologies at WILD GmbH.

The next stage will be the development of a motorised version of the moiré lens. ”So far, the cooperation with WILD has been to our full satisfaction. Communication has always been uncomplicated and solution-oriented. They prepared the proposed concepts for us in a manner that was very easy to grasp and helped the ideal project path to quickly take shape. In addition to the high precision shown by WILD in the implementation of the project, there was also a palpable attention to clean workmanship and attractive design”, says Bawart.