Insights from industry

The Benefits of the Hybrid Honeycomb Breadboard

For years, engineers have had to choose between a machined aluminium plate and a honeycomb optical breadboard. Steve Ryan, Divisional Vice President at Technical Manufacturing Corporation TMC talks to AZoM about their new product the Hybrid Honeycomb Breadboard which combines the best of both.

Please tell us a bit about the Hybrid Honeycomb Breadboard?

As the name suggests, the design is a hybrid.  It combines the best attributes of metal honeycomb optical breadboards and machined aluminium plates.

A honeycomb pattern is machined in the underside of an aluminium plate and a face sheet is bonded to the structure.

What are the major advantages of the Hybrid Honeycomb? 

The Hybrid Honeycomb Breadboard combines the ability to machine a precision hole pattern with the high stiffness to weight ratio and structural damping of a honeycomb breadboard.

aluminium plate

What makes the Hybrid Honeycomb unique? 

Optical Engineers often desire to mount optical sub-assemblies on a rigid structure.  Aluminum is typically chosen as the structure because of its ability to be machined to precise tolerances.

However, aluminium plates do not always provide the required stiffness or damping necessary to maintain the stability of the precision optical pathways.

What are the primary applications of the Hybrid Honeycomb? 

Any complex tool with a precise optical sub-assembly. Typical applications include optical inspection instruments, metrology tools, lab automation, and gene sequencing tools.

What industries will benefit from the Hybrid Honeycomb? How? 

The Hybrid Honeycomb allows engineers to incorporate the benefits of honeycomb technology in ever smaller envelopes.

Industries in which tools sizes are rapidly decreasing will benefit the most.  These include gene sequencing tools and other lab automation equipment.

aluminium plate

How does the Hybrid Honeycomb compare to other models on the market? 

The Hyrbid Honeycomb Breadboard offers better stiffness, stiffness-to-weight, and damping then machined aluminium plates and a more precise hole pattern than a honeycomb optical breadboard.

How can the Hybrid improve processes? What difficulties were engineers facing in the past?

It allows complex optical insturments to be made lighter and smaller without compromise in optical resolution or precision of the optical sub-systems. Until now, engineers have had to choose between a machined aluminum plate and a honeycomb optical breadboard.

What does the Hybrid mean for the future of Technical Manufacturing Corporation? 

It is the latest in our long line of innovations in the field of precision floor vibration vibration isolation and optical breadboards.

It is an indication of our commitment to innovation and in our industry leadership position.

Where can our readers go to find out more?

Please check out our website at  

About Steve Ryan

Steve Ryan is the Divisional Vice President with overall responsibility for TMC, an AMETEK business.  

Steve holds a B.S. in Physics from Bates College and has over 30 years of experience in building floor vibration control and vibration control of nuclear reactors and steam & electric plants in Trident and Seawolf submarines.

A patented inventor with other patents pending.

Steve Ryan

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Mychealla Rice

Written by

Mychealla Rice

Originally from Ireland, Mychealla graduated from Northumbria University in Newcastle with Bachelor's degree in Journalism with English Literature. After spending a year traveling around Asia and Australia she moved to Manchester. In her spare time, Mychealla can be found spending time with family and friends, hiking, going to the gym/doing yoga and like everyone else getting stuck into the latest Netflix series.  


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