MIM Technologies for Advanced Optical Manufacturing

In the manufacture of optical parts, high accuracy of critical dimensions is essential for further observation, recording and analysis functions. Although metal injection molding (MIM) technology is highly efficient in mass production of complex geometries, its tolerance ranges from 0.3% to 0.5%, which is unacceptable in optical instruments.

The tolerance of MIM technology is limited by uncontrollable and unpredictable errors in the entire metal manufacturing process, from injection molding, debinding to sintering and secondary processing, with a typical absolute dimensional tolerance of 0.05 mm. Even the best tolerance of 0.025 mm is difficult to achieve in mass production.

Rotating camera monitor hinge

Low alloy nickel steel (FN08) painted using conventional MIM process.


In contrast, CNC machining is a traditional metal processing technology that can achieve higher accuracy than any other metal processing method. Since CNC machining controls different tools through a common electronic system, it has some design limitations, such as mechanical structure, tool geometry and tool accessibility. Therefore, CNC machining is not a cost-effective method for mass production of complex structures.

We use MIM technology to produce complex sintered parts, and then use CNC machining to improve the tolerance of critical dimensions. XY-GLOBAL can combine these two metal processing technologies according to customer requirements to provide the highest quality MIM parts, thus meeting the high precision needs of optical parts.

Focus on MIM
Metal Injection Molding (MIM) is a high-tech near-net-shape technology used to mass-produce small but precise metal parts with complex structures, high accuracy and high performance requirements.
The benefits of using MIM to manufacture components include:
♦ Cost-effectiveness, design flexibility, material diversity and integrity
♦ Complexity: allows freedom to manufacture complex shapes that other methods consider cost-prohibitive.
♦ Accuracy: +/-0.3 to 0.5% tolerance.
♦ Weight and size: 0.1-500g
♦ Section thickness: 0.09-10mm
♦ Sintered density: 95 to 100% dense
♦ Material utilization: >98%
♦ Production volume: can produce millions of parts quickly and efficiently.

Examples of Precision MIM Optical Parts

Our services to Edmund Optics and Pangolin Laser Systems, Inc. have demonstrated our capabilities in high-precision optical parts manufacturing.

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