Essential the fuller the information the better and the more accurate our quote will be. Clearly set out specifications and background information are key and should include space limitations and dimensions, material considerations, any temperature or environmental aspects to consider etc etc. Last but not least drawings or concept sketches are extremely useful. I believe optical engineers rarely get things wrong to microns but can get it wrong by metres if a specification is not clear.
There is no doubt getting the optical designer engaged at an early stage is the best insurance of a good outcome. So often the mechanics and housing are designed first then the optics engineer is asked can you fit your lens in this space to do this function? In this case the reply is not always positive. Generally the optics design and the optic itself is a much more difficult proposition that the housing or related design so it is best considered first.
We work on a daily fee rate or pro-rata plus VAT where applicable. With novel or complex optics where there is some technical doubt we usually propose a feasibility study. This helps sets optical parameters and data gathering withing a specification. In such as study new simpler or improved ideas may emerge which are discussed with the client on completion. When a way forward is agreed a full design is carry out. Most of the time the work done in the study form part of the full design work so can save time. For simple projects a study of a few days is normally sufficient . After that the full design time will be project dependent. From a few days to months for the most challenging projects or designs.
Generally this is not required and rarely happens but if desired by the client it would be charged at the daily rate plus all travel expenses.
New clients are asked for a 30% to 50% deposit on all stages of work. The balance is payable 28 days after delivery of a design or part.
We offer competitive pricing on our tools, typically £3000 to £5000 for simple cavity types. the tools are held by us unless otherwise negotiated.
This is difficult to generalise but we have moulded PIR lenses for a delivered price of around £0.30 for batches of 5000 + in the UK.