, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 33-38
Date: 31 Jan 2008

Manufacturing of molds for replication of micro cube corner retroreflectors

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Retroreflectors composed of micron-sized cube corner elements are widely used as reflectors on clothes for safety reasons or for measuring applications. Due to the small size of the individual reflector elements structured films can be flexed widely without affecting the geometry of each element too much so that it can still fulfill its function. However, the efficiency of triangle cube corner reflectors widely used today is limited. It could be improved by applying structures with a hexagonal shape resulting in a significantly better performance of the reflector. Up to now these structures are not machinable at micron size (50–500 μm) in sufficient quality. This paper introduces a new machining process, diamond micro chiselling, which is capable of generating these micro retroreflectors and other microoptic structure geometries not machinable so far.