In 1967, Luis Alvarez introduced a novel concept for a focusing lens whereby two transmitting elements with cubic polynomial surfaces yield a composite lens of variable focal length with small lateral shifts. Computer simulations have demonstrated the behavior of these devices, but fabricating the refractive cubic surfaces of the types needed with adequate precision and depth modulation has proven to be challenging using standard methods, and, to the authors' knowledge, Alvarez lens elements have not been previously machined in infrared materials. Recent developments in freeform diamond machining capability have enabled the fabrication of such devices. In this paper, we discuss the fabrication of freeform refractive Alvarez elements in germanium using diamond micro-milling on a five-axis Moore Nanotech® 350FG Freeform Generator. Machining approaches are discussed, and measurements of surface figure and finish are presented. Initial experimental tests of optical performance are also discussed.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.