DAC ALM Lens Lathe

DAC ALM Ultra Precision Diamond Turning Lathe

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  • Single-point diamond turning of plastics and non-ferrous metals.
  • CNC machine tool capability
  • Free form capability
  • Turns spheres, aspheres and nonrotationally symmetric designs
  • Fast-tool servo with large excursion
  • Open architecture to interface with 3rd-party instrumentation


Red BoxFeatures

  • Air-Bearing Stages
  • Linear Motor Stage Drives
  • Sub-Nanometer Position Resolution
  • Aspheric Software
  • Adaptive Tooling Positions
  • Fast Tool Servo Technology Option
  • Air-Bearing Spindle
  • Edge Radiusing
  • Lens Design Graphics
  • Stable Granite Base on Vibration Isolation System
  • DAC Script Language
  • Hi-Speed Servo System
  • Windows and DOS Operating Systems



Red BoxDescription

Each axis is driven by linear motors with position feedback from linear encoders with sub-nanometer resolution. The technology of the air-bearing slides eliminates air restrictor ports and provides ultra-smooth motion that translates to ultra-smooth surface finishes.

The lathe base is a 200 mm thick granite surface plate for accuracy and stability. The surface plate is mounted on 4
vibration isolators on a welded steel frame. The complete machine and electronics are housed in a single cabinet.
The Y axis is mounted directly to the granite and carries the spindle. The X slide is also mounted on the granite
and precisely positioned at 90° to the Y slide. This machine geometry assures that machining loads are
well centered within the travel of the slides and that the spindle mounting is stiff and stable.

Multiple sets of tooling and a front surface gauging system are mounted on the X slide. The optional Oscillating Tool Technology (OTT) system can be added at the time of purchase or later to meet customer needs. The lathe spindle is a carefully balanced, air-bearing high-frequency unit with programmable speeds of 0 to 10,000 rpm. A DC motor with encoder feedback provides torque at all speeds and the ability to synchronize withthe OTT tooling.



Red BoxOperation

It is recommended that all parts turned on the ALM Lathe be blocked. Special collet configurations are available upon request. The roughing natural diamond tool is used to remove the bulk of the material. As the finishing tool removes only a minimal amount of material, its edge (and life) is preserved.

All cuts are made by X or Y motion, or by XY interpolation. Any number of spheres and aspheric surfaces (front or back) can be turned. In addition, with the OTT option, the complete range of toric and atoric front and base curve surfaces can be turned. DAC has developed more than 40 algorithms that laboratories use to create their own special lens offerings. These include lenses that are spheres, aspheres, torics, atorics, bitorics, and keratoconus solutions for their clients. Because of the fine resolution, the surfaces require little or no polishing, depending on the material used and the manufacturer’s process.

Edge radiusing is accomplished by utilizing a special tool with XY interpolation to produce the desired contour. Typical contact lens base and front curves can be produced in 30 to 60 seconds, depending on geometry and material used. Very complex designs, such as crescent toric segmented bifocals, will take longer.


Operator Interaction

Red BoxOperator Interaction

“Menu” type queries, on the color monitor screen, guide the user quickly through machine set-up, calibration, alignment, and tool replacement. The Windows-based software, along with our DAC Script Language (DSL), employs a subset of RS-274D machine language. This high-level programming language is easily understood by the user and is included in each lathe. Our Windows based software gives the flexibility to interface with host computers and other Windows-based products, such as measuring equipment.

If all lens design parameters are known, the user simply enters the appropriate numbers using the keyboard. The machine calculates variables, such as junction thickness, after the entry of basic design factors. A display of a lens cross-section aids the user in the design process by graphically presenting the actual design. The machine’s
computer automatically converts lens design specifications into the machine language program necessary to machine
the desired part.

DAC software presents the laboratory with many options for the creation of lenses to meet the most demanding requirements.


Control System

Red BoxControl System

The DAC Digital Motion Control (DMC) system is at the “heart” of all DAC Lathes. It is housed in the on-board computer, mounted with the servo amplifiers, in the base of the machine behind doors for easy access. Each axis is driven by a linear servo motor with linear encoder feedback.

Auxiliary functions such as actuating lights, vacuums, air blow-offs, autoloaders, etc., are controlled by outputs from the programmable logic control.



Red BoxTooling

OTT-Tooling.02-08 Oscillating Tool Technology Closeup

Three tools are held in newly designed, micro-positioned holders that keep the tool parallel with spindle center.

  • Roughing/diametering tool
  • Controlled waviness finish tool
  • Edge radius tool

These robust tool holders are adjustable to accommodate a wide range of tool shank sizes.



Red BoxSoftware

DAC International offers the industry’s most comprehensive lens manufacturing software — easy to use and easy to customize.  Full maintenance and calibration capability is built into our software, as well as on-line editing

Full details on DAC International Software




OTT-Tooling.02-08 Oscillating Tool Technology Closeup

Fast Tool Servo Technology 

A Z’ axis provides synchronized motion with the spindle to produce toric shapes. The oscillating tool has ±1 mm travel. It holds a diamond insert and is adjusted in the same vertical manner as the other three tools.

The Fast Tool Servo Option includes:

(1) software to produce base curve torics in multiple zones, as required, plus toric optic zones in aspheres;

(2) software to produce front torics, bi-torics, round toric zones, bi-sym and quad-sym geometries, segmented bi-focals and dynamic and prismatic stabilization.
A Drill Marker is included for axis and diagnostic marking.

Universal 1000 Autoloader

Universal Autoloader 1000 Elevator Closeup
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A 10-tray elevator system provides the ability to run up to 1,000 parts without stopping to reload, allowing “lights out” operation. Custom autoloading applications, such as molded parts, are available upon request.

Environmental Chamber

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Used in conjunction with cryogenic lathing applications, this enclosure keeps parts in the Universal 1000 elevator between 10° and 15°C (50–59°F), or can be used for control of humidity sensitive hydrophilic materials.

Reference Mark Locator

Recognizes scribes or contrasting marks on molds and lens blanks located in the spindle collet. Once recognized this mark will be used as a reference point for turning the desired lens design or geometry by the DAC ALM Lathe. This option includes all recognition software for the locator system, the reference software link to the part program, the link to the DAC DMC III control system and required calibration routines.

 Laser Etching

Laser Marker Etching

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CO2 laser with graphic and alphanumeric software for etching of identification and/or scribe marks on contact and intraocular lenses.


Digital Gauge Tool Holder Upgrade

IOL Haptic on DAC Mill Lathe Combo System


Provides the capability to mill, as well as lathe on one machine.  The air-bearing, liquid-cooled mill spindle is mounted on the X-Axis and is programmable from 15,000 to 160,000 RPM.




Red BoxSpecifications

Slides:Linear slides are DC linear servo motor with linear encoder feedback.  (Custom slide lengths are available.)
Travel:305 mm (12″)203 mm (8″)
Accuracy (incremental):Center Thickness< 2.5 microns (0.0001″)
Diameter< 5 microns (0.0002″)
Radius of Curvature< 2.5 microns (0.0001″)
Traverse rates:Maximum of 18 meters/minute (720 IPM)
DC servo motor/encoder spindles—0 to 10,000 RPM with sub-degree resolution
Collets:Standard collet supplied with lathe—12.7 mm x 12.7 mm (0.5″ x 0.5″) with dead length stop
Specials supplied upon request.


Installation Data

Red BoxInstallation Data

Power:208, 220, 230, 240 VAC, single phase,
50/60 Hz, 20 Amps
Air:5 CFM @ 80 PSIG
(9 m3/hr. @ 5.6 kg./cm2)
Air quality per ISO 8573.1 (2001), Class 2 or better
Clean, filtered, dry; supplied by user
Temperature:68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 23 degrees Celsius)
Vacuum:User-furnished 58 mm (2.25″) diameter
Floor space:1,219 mm x 1,270 mm x 1,778 mm
(48″ x 50″ x 70″)
Weight:Floor 1,089 kg. (2,400 lbs.)
Shipping1,271 kg. (2,800 lbs.)



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