Spiral optical designs for nonimaging applications
Manufacturing technologies as injection molding or embossing specify their production limits for minimum radii of the vertices or draft angle for demolding, for instance. In some demanding nonimaging applications, these restrictions may limit the system optical efficiency or affect the generation of undesired artifacts on the illumination pattern. A novel manufacturing concept is presented here, in which the optical surfaces are not obtained from the usual revolution symmetry with respect to a central axis (z axis), but they are calculated as free-form surfaces describing a spiral trajectory around z axis. The main advantage of this new concept lies in the manufacturing process: a molded piece can be easily separated from its mold just by applying a combination of rotational movement around axis z and linear movement along axis z, even for negative draft angles. Some of these spiral symmetry examples will be shown here, as well as their simulated results.