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Proceedings of CAD'16, 2016, 246-250
Fabrication of Right Triangular Prism Retroreflectors through 3½½-Axis Ultraprecise Single Point Inverted Cutting
Abstract. A retroreflector (RR) is an optical device that reflects the light back to the originating source. Two of the most common types of RRs are lens-and-mirror (commonly called cat’s eye) and inverted corner cube (ICC). While lens-and-mirror RR relies on a mirror to return the incident beam, ICC makes use of its three mutually perpendicular facets to achieve retroreflection. The retroreflective property of these optical elements is speculated in a number of applications including, but not limited to traffic safety, communications, and metrology. Automotive industry widely employs ICC RR elements for illumination/lighting purposes, a typical example in this category being represented by the taillights installed on virtually every vehicle. The conventional process of manufacturing ICC RR arrays involves the use of pin-bundling technique, which has been in use for several decades. According to this fabrication method, each RR element of the array is being individually formed by the end of a pin characterized by a hexagonal cross-section and three mutually-orthogonal end faces. Each of the forming face of the pin is manufactured by lapping, in an attempt to attain a qualitatively superior surface.
Keywords. Automotive lighting, retroreflector design, optical performance, 3½½-axis diamond cutting