SC05 – Introduction to Optics Drawings


Since the late 1990s, the optics community has gradually been converting optics drawings from an unstandardized, notes-based method to ISO 10110, a standardized, international pictographic method. In 2015, significant advances were made in the drawing standards to allow the specification and tolerancing of complex optical surfaces, including freeforms. In 2017, the standards were revised again to provide more freedom in optics tolerancing, including the addition of the popular “scratch and dig” specification for surface imperfections, and in 2018 entirely new methods of tolerancing optical glass were added. This international standard is a great boon for an industry in need of standardization but can be very confusing to the uninitiated.

This course provides attendees with an introduction to ISO 10110, the international standard for optics drawing notations, and the American adaptation of it. The course concentrates on the fundamentals of the drawing layout and how to read the notations required for typical optics, such as glass parameters, radius, wave-front, surface imperfections and roughness. Throughout the course, attendees are also informed about the changes that are likely for ISO 10110 in the future and potential trouble spots where notes are still required. Practical and useful examples are included throughout.

Learning Outcomes

This course will enable you to:

  • Read and interpret an optical drawing prepared to ISO 10110
  • Understand the difference between the ISO standard and typical American notations
  • Identify the meaning of the symbology and specifications of ISO 10110 for material imperfections, surface form, wedge, surface  imperfections, and surface texture
  • Describe which symbol corresponds to each of the fundamental optical parameters


The course price includes handouts of the presentation material for all attendees.

Course Length

Half-day (3.5 hours)


Dave Aikens is the President and founder of Savvy Optics Corp. and has been involved in optics drawings and specifications for over 30 years. He is the head of the American delegation to ISO TC 172 SC1, and chair of the technical advisory group to TC172 for optics and photonics standards. He is chairman of the task force to adopt ISO 10110 as the American National Standard for optics drawings.

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