We discuss and describe the development of an origination process for planar free-form micro-optical elements from a given optical design. The targeted masters serve as origination structures for a roll-to-roll mass fabrication process. Specifically targeted are complex, optically smooth, surface relief structures with variable structure heights in the range of 1–20 µm, with typical lateral sizes of more than 5 µm. The area of the targeted masters is in the range of 1cm21cm2. The main part of the paper is devoted to the description of a self-developed grayscale laser direct-write platform enabling one- and two-photon absorption lithography, also in combination on one and the same sample. In the following, we describe both methods and show that both lead to excellent structural quality of surface micro-relief structures. As a showcase of what the system can do in principle, we designed and fabricated free-form micro-optical elements to project light from an LED as a defined light pattern onto a wall. The proper optical functionality of the fabricated element was shown within a demonstrator setup.
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