Lens grinders and polishers make lenses for eyeglasses and equipment such as telescopes.
Lens grinders and polishers cut, grind, and finish lenses. They read prescriptions from opticians or optometrists to learn what type of lenses to make. They also look at work orders for specifications, such as color tints or protective coatings.
Lens grinders and polishers pick out plastic or glass lens blanks. They mark on the blank lenses where the curves need to be cut. They place the lenses in grinders and set up the machines for the proper types of cuts. Once the lenses are cut, lens grinders and polishers put the lenses in two other machines. These polishing and finishing machines use fine abrasives to smooth the edges and improve the lenses.
Lens grinders and polishers inspect the newly ground lenses to see if they match prescriptions. They may use lensometers, which are similar to microscopes, to check the lenses. They shape the sides at an angle and apply protective finishes or colors.
Lens grinders and polishers use hand tools to attach temple pieces and nose pads to frames. They polish lenses by hand to remove dust and smudges. They usually put the lens into the frames but will sometimes let the optician do this.
In smaller labs, lens grinders and polishers do all of these tasks. In larger labs, they may be responsible for running only one type of machine. In some retail stores, lens grinders and polishers repair or make adjustments to broken eyeglasses.
Some lens grinders and polishers make lenses for microscopes, telescopes, and other optical equipment.