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Appl Opt. 2013 Mar 1;52(7):C88-99. doi: 10.1364/AO.52.000C88.

Design, tolerance, and fabrication of an optical see-through head-mounted display with free-form surface elements.

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  • 1School of Optoelectronics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China.


Free-form surfaces (FFSs) provide more freedom to design an optical system with fewer elements and hence to reduce the size and weight of the overall system than rotationally symmetric optical surfaces. In this paper, an optical see-through (OST), head-mounted display (HMD) consisting of a free-form, wedge-shaped prism and a free-form lens is designed and fabricated through the injection molding method. The free-form prism for the projection system is designed with a field-of-view (FOV) of 36°; the free-form lens is cemented to the prism for the see-through system to achieve a FOV of 50°. The free-form prism and lens are expanded at the edge area during the design stage in order to reduce the effects of surface deformation in the working area in molding fabrication process and to improve ergonomic fit with the head of a user. The tolerance analyzes considering the mold design for the free-form optical systems are carried out using the Monte Carlo method. The FFS optical elements are successfully fabricated and the system performance is carefully examined. The results indicate that the performance of the OST-HMD is sufficient for both entertainment and scientific applications.

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