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Car headlight aluminum reflector prototype

At A Glance Of The Project

ProductAluminium Reflector
ChallengesComplex optical details, surface accuracy of ±0.05mm
TechnologyCNC milling, micro-milling, high polish
MaterialAluminium 7075
Surface finishMirror-polished, surface roughness Ra0.05μm
Quantity6 Prototypes
Lead Time12 business days

About The Customer And Product

The customers are from a company that specializes in the development of automotive components. They intend to make some headlight reflector assemblies for optical testing purposes. These headlight reflectors will be a component used for brake, turn, parking, and fog lights. After conducting a series of research, they found Elimold as their partner, who has rich experience in making optical components for headlights.

What Are The Key Challenges To Making The Aluminum Reflector?

In the automotive industry, making aluminum reflectors is one of the most challenging tasks for carlight prototypes. It places high demands on the experience and capabilities of the prototype manufacturer. This is because the reflector needs both functionality (optical action) and appearance.

The product designers specifically wanted Elimold to pay full attention to the small details they were concerned about, which were the one of challenges in the project – the optical details (fine tooth shape).

Another processing challenge is the aluminum reflector needs to be machined as close as possible to the 3D model without leaving large radii and to scan the surface accuracy of ±0.05mm. At the same time, the final parts also need to be mirror-polished to achieve a 0.05um surface.

Understand product design in detail and formulate processing plans based on customer drawings

After carefully analyzing the CAD files sent by the customer, The first thing Elimold attention to is the optical surface in the design, which is the most important part of the design because it assumes the role of optical performance testing. The entire optical surface consists of many small optical surfaces, which are derived from the calculation of the corresponding surface equations. Meanwhile, these small optical surfaces are able to discretize the light source to achieve optical effects. So this was the key to the whole project.

Another attracts our attention is the holes on the back side of the design. The reflector will be placed in the proper position of the headlight through these holes, for testing the reflection angle. As a result, during the machining process, we need to pay attention to the holes’ dimensions and the distance between them. Therefore, in addition to checking the tolerances, we need to carry out a trial assembly on the final parts.

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