Mylar, soda lime glass, and aluminum are the foundational materials we use for rotary encoder wheel fabrication at Photo Solutions. These materials are corrosion-resistant, have high-tensile properties, and are ideal for delivering the precision our customers need. Explore these materials’ amazing applications in our precision-designed photonic engineering rotary encoder wheels.

Precision Designed Photonic Engineering

Design is a crucial step when creating photonics products. Our engineering starts with design and CAD services to create microlithographic patterns. Other aspects of our work include CNC diamond machining, scribing, and high-speed diamond sawing to shape glass, quartz, and other substrates.

As a custom shop, we serve the needs of our global customers with cost-effective solutions to optoelectronic engineering problems across industries. Our craftsmen’s deep experience in the photonics industry means we welcome custom projects that are challenging and unique—such as different types of rotary encoder wheels and their varying applications.

Exploring Rotary Encoder Wheel Material Options

Now, let’s explore the materials used to manufacture our rotary encoder wheels and their various strengths and applications.


Glass encoder discs offer the highest degree of precision due to the flat nature of their surfaces. We use a high-resolution glass master from which the parts are printed. These differ from our transmissive mode glass rotary encoder wheels, used for more extreme performance requirements.

Transmissive Mode Glass

Transmissive mode glass is used for high-performance applications. Soda-lime glass is used for these disc configurations with low reflective chrome. However, we can also use an ultra-flat quartz material for extreme performance requirements, such as for sine wave technologies.

Reflective Aluminum

Reflective aluminum is a great material for rotary encoder wheels requiring high-temperature applications. Photo Solutions encoder discs made with reflective aluminum can withstand extreme environmental conditions. These are available in diameters up to 250mm.

Reflective Mylar

Lastly, rotary encoder wheel options are available in reflective mylar. Mylar is a polyester film used in laminating, embossing, and casting. The material’s strong properties are great for shock absorption. Reflective Mylar is a low-cost alternative for many types of applications. Photo Solution’s Mylar encoder options have pressure-sensitive adhesive, which makes for easy installation across applications.

Photo Solutions’ Rotary Encoder Wheel Fabrication Process

Firstly, Photo Solutions’ fabrication process includes material selection, CNC machining, coating or finishing, and quality control. A high degree of detail is crucial to our fabrication process. Every product we create is highly accurate and reliable.

To request a quote from us, here is the information we need from clients to ensure everything meets their specifications. Then, we get started with creating your optical components to meet your deadlines:

Disc outside diameter (OD)
Disc inside diameter (ID)
Code track optical radius or diameter
Code track OD & ID or length of track
Index description if needed
Code track counts per revolution (CPR)
Material type
Quantity needed

Our quality control process includes a series of checks that ensure our products meet the highest standards before shipment and delivery to the client.

Industry Applications

Our specialized optoelectronics are used in various applications and industries. These systems rely on custom photonics parts to function, from image detectors to machine vision cameras, part separator tools, zoom microscopes, camera lenses, thermal cameras, and 3-D laser scanners. Here are a few examples of common industries our photonics solutions serve:

Automation/ Robotics

Photo Solutions works with some of the most advanced robotic companies in the industry. Robotic components proliferate industries from auto manufacturing to self-driving vehicle technology and Lidar. Our precision photonics play a role in accurately measuring the position and speed of joints and other moving parts. Encoder wheels also help these motion-controlled systems manage the efficiency and precision of their operational systems. In addition, they are prevalent in factory and warehouse automation, CNC machining systems, satellite receivers, and even elevators.

Medical Industry

Rotary encoder wheels are commonly used in medical devices, surgical robots, imaging equipment, and anything involved in motion stabilization, positioning, or imaging. They are often used in specialty diagnostic machines that treat or find disease through the imagery of bones, tissue, and organs

Automotive and Aerospace Applications

Aerospace technologies rely on encoder discs as machinery components in engines and turbines, data converters, and sensors. The components are used in aircraft, spacecraft, aiming and tracking devices, and drone sensors. Rotary encoder wheels provide interfaces that are cheaper to manufacture than their traditional counterparts. And even better, they provide more security for these applications. Reliance on these components allows the aerospace industry to be even more innovative and creative.

Trust Photo Solutions for Your Next Rotary Encoder Wheel Application

Work with a trusted encoder disc manufacturer like Photo Solutions to get the highest quality product in the industry. We serve clients with the most rigorous specifications and highly-specialized custom orders. Contact us, and we’ll walk you through any technical assistance or support through the fabricating process.