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  1. Abstract This article is written as a tribute to Professor Frederick Fongsun Ling 1927–2014. Single-point diamond machining, a subset of a broader class of processes characterized as ultraprecision machining, is used for the creation of surfaces and components with nanometer scale surface roughnesses, and submicrometer scale geometrical form accuracies. Its initial development centered mainly on the machining of optics for energy and defense related needs. Today, diamond machining has broad applications that include the manufacture of precision freeform optics for defense and commercial applications, the structuring of surfaces for functional performance, and the creation of molds used for the replication of a broad range of components in plastic or glass. The present work focuses on a brief review of the technology. First addressed is the state of current understanding of the mechanics that govern the process including the resulting forces, energies and the size effect, forces when cutting single crystals, and resulting cutting temperatures. Efforts to model the process are then described. The workpiece material response when cutting ductile and brittle materials is also included. Then the present state of the art in machine tools, diamond tools and tool development, various cutting configurations used, and some examples of diamond machinedmore »surfaces and components are presented. A discussion on the measurement of surface topography, geometrical form, and subsurface damage of diamond machined surfaces is also included.« less