Optical devices and instruments are all around, whether it is used in the camera zoom lens or spacecraft optical tools. To develop such optomechanical components and tools, the knowledge, and experience of optomechanics are required. Opto-mechanical engineers combine mechanical engineering and optical engineering to develop and design advanced tools and equipment. The wide range of applications in high-tech industrial sectors and day-to-day technology, optomechanical devices, and tools are in great demand.

What is optomechanical engineering?

Optical engineering involves the characterization and designing of systems that use and manipulate light. An optical engineer will utilize computer simulation and mathematics to anticipate the behavior of light. On the other hand, mechanical engineering involves designing and analysis of mechanical systems. A mechanical engineer combines mathematics as well computer simulations to implement knowledge and expertise from engineering mechanics and material science. Optomechanical engineering is the field that involves the mechanical aspects of optical systems.

Experienced optomechanical engineering are in demand

The demand for optomechanical devices and tools is high in the present world. Such tools have to meet stringent industry requirements and protocols in terms of size and shape while being resistant to every kind of external force. This makes the development, designing, and production of optomechanical components and parts a big challenge. This is where optomechanical engineers need to come up with solutions. Their understanding of mechanical engineering principles and knowledge of the physical properties of light can be a great help.

Functions of optomechanical engineering

Some of the common optomechanical engineering functions are mentioned as below:

·        Analyzing optical systems like mounting effects

·        Designing of mounting for optical elements

·        Analyzing distortion of an optical tool with orientation

·        Designing a tool that offers accurate adjustments

·        Executing optical alignment

·        Fabrication of optical devices

·        Tolerancing of optical equipment

Importance of optomechanical engineering

In the majority of the industries, optical engineers are hired. To study, design, and build systems using optics, the optical engineer needs to deal with all the mechanical aspects of the system. The engineering design is driven by analysis which demands excellent command over computer models and analytics for data assessment. The analysis is a significant factor for two reasons:

1.     It offers trade-offs making the system efficient and thereby enhancing performance to the level required by the system.

2.     The analysis is the best way to assess and understand whether the system designed and developed will cater to the requirements.

Hence, the presence of optomechanical engineers is important as they have the skill and the understanding to study and develop systems utilizing optomechanical components.

Optomechanical applications

Optical tools and devices utilize light to observe their surroundings, to receive and send information. There are optomechanical applications found in the lasers, imaging optics, fibers, lighting, and illumination sectors. Microscopes, CDs, camera lenses, optical sensors, etc., are some of the optical devices that utilize the basics of optomechanical engineering.

The importance of design optimization

When developing optomechanical systems, optimization of design is always demanded. Things can always be made better, but it would cost more. The two extremes for design optimization are mentioned below.

1.     Optimizing for performance

When design optimization is concentrated solely on performance, fabrication limitations dominate the scenario. To seek advantages of state-of-the-art technologies, mechanical and fabrication engineers have to work together with an optical designer.

2.     Optimizing for cost

When design optimization is carried out solely for cost, production limitations will dominate. Along with optics designing, the focus should be on top-notch mechanical engineering. This will help in setting up an efficient production process, curtailing the cost factor.


The bottom line is that the success of an optical engineer depends on optomechanical engineering, which involves a mechanical engineer as well. An optical engineer and a mechanical engineer must work hand-in-hand maintaining close communication. Proper communication can help them to exploit tradeoffs in system designs easily. Henceforth, the modifying of optical design to surpass a difficult tolerance is also easy and seamless. When both the experts work independently, they lack certain technical specifications and understanding required to study optomechanical components and build systems. An optical engineer might not have an understanding of the tolerance level being too tight. Similarly, a mechanical engineer doesn’t have the know-how of the specific design that can ease the tolerance.