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Laser micromachining is a precision non-contact process that uses a laser beam to remove small layers of material from a sample surface – often only microns or tenths of a thousandth of an inch at a time. A form of “subtractive manufacturing”, laser micromachining is valuable for precision milling, selective ablation, wire stripping, drilling, surface texturing, and marking. It provides essential processing capabilities for multiple industries, including medical devices, automotive and e-mobility, microelectronics, aerospace, defense, telecommunications, and academia, and often replaces traditional processes, like mechanical milling, EDM, or chemical etching, which can be expensive, might require extensive post-process cleaning, and can lead to overall reduced throughput.
Laser micromachining can produce very small, highly precise features and geometries with excellent quality: no burrs or dross, minimal heat-affected zone, and low surface roughness. A range of different laser sources can be used, but ultrashort pulse (USP) femtosecond lasers provide the best material removal quality, with minimal-to-no thermal defects, and the highest degree of process stability and precision. With options in IR, green, and in special cases, UV, wavelengths, femtosecond lasers provide the optimal processing capability for nearly any material, including metals and metal alloys, plastics and polymers, ceramics, and glasses. For processes that benefit from other types of laser sources, Micromachining Systems can also be configured with a range of fiber, DPSS nanosecond green or UV, CO2, and picosecond lasers, selected specifically for the application.
The integrated systems that support laser micromachining come in a range of sizes and form factors to readily accommodate a large variety of sample part sizes, motion stage travel dimensions, laser sources, optical delivery methods, and automation and accessory components. The laser beam is typically delivered with a galvanometer scan head, a fixed-optic focus head with high-pressure gas-assist, or a multi-axis head for more control over cut angles and kerf geometries. Motion stages can include simple rotaries and linear axes, as well as much more complex multi-axis stages with coordinated motion. Dedicated tooling, machine vision, sophisticated automation and loading mechanisms, and pre- and post-process inspection capabilities can all be combined to provide a fully functional production-ready system.
Both the component selection and the overall design of the system to enable the laser process are critical for a production machine. AMADA WELD TECH’s broad range of technologies, products, and systems makes it possible for us to provide complete solutions for both simple and complex manufacturing challenges. The path to solving even your most difficult materials processing needs begins with our technical sales experts. Working with our applications engineers, our broad, experienced team offers insightful feedback on process feasibility and part design to maximize production reliability. Application/sample qualification in our labs helps you determine the best choice of equipment for a robust, production-ready process. If a system is needed, our team of system engineers with expertise in motion, tooling, vision and software deliver smart and innovative solutions tailored to functional requirements and budget. Define – Design – Deliver.
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