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JUL/AUG 2013  

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Top Features

Hard and brittle materials, like certain types of glass and sapphire, are difficult to process—even for lasers. Poor absorption at most wavelengths combined with poor heat-transfer properties make it difficult or impossible to realize structures in these materials.

The use of fiber lasers for microwelding is increasing. They are particularly well-suited for microwelding medical and electronic components, such as hypodermic tube assemblies and disk-drive armatures.

Among the reasons manufacturers perform surface-texture operations is to change a part’s appearance, change how it feels, lower its reflectivity and/or decrease friction. Textures can be applied by sandblasting, waterjet cutting, mechanical imprinting, chemical etching, EDMing and lasing.

The laser world descends each year on the Photonics West conference and exhibition. The event is hosted by SPIE, an international society devoted to advancing biophotonics, biomedical optics, industrial lasers, optoelectronics, microfabrication and green photonics.

Lasers offer a flexible, virtually trouble-free way to mark components for identification purposes. As a result, laser marking has gained ground on other parts-marking techniques.

Marking microparts with lasers

With the increasing need for traceability, marking operations have become essential at all levels of manufacturing. There are many ways to permanently mark parts, each with advantages and limitations, depending on the application.

Top Videos

PSMPPhotoScribe Technologies offers this brief video demonstrating a complete turn-key marking solution that the company delivered to a customer for marking pharmaceutical tablets. The laser system is designed to mark on the fly as parts pass beneath the laser.

Keyence’s VK-X 3D laser scanning microscopes combine the capabilities of an optical microscope, profilometer and an SEM, according to the company.


beam profilingMost people working with lasers today are trying to do something with the light beam, either as the raw beam or, more commonly, modified with optics. Whether it is printing a label on a part, welding a precision joint or repairing a retina, it is important to understand the nature of the laser beam and its performance.

During the 7th International Conference on MicroManufacturing in March, conference co-chairs Jian Cao and Kornel Ehmann, along with a few of their students, provided an overview of their research and work stations at the university's micromanufacturing lab.

Small Car at Vienna thumbA 285µm-long racecar has been fabricated in record time via ultrahigh-precision 3-D printing at Vienna University of Technology.

Top Products

Shannon MicroCoil

Shannon Microcoil, Limerick, Ireland, uses both round and flat wire in sizes from 0.001” (25 micron) upwards in round and flat wire. Common materials include, stainless steels such as 302, 304 and 316, Precious Metal Alloys such as PtW, PtIr, Pd, and coated materials such as gold coated steels and PTFE coated steels.

IPG Photonics Corp.

cleo 2013 tIPG Photonics Corp., a provider of fiber lasers and amplifiers, introduced the IX-255 UV Laser Micromachining System.

Deli Laser Solutions Co. Ltd.

Deli LaserDeli Laser Solutions Co. Ltd. specializes in laser micromachining hard, brittle materials, including ceramics, silicon, glass, quartz and sapphire. The company performs cutting, marking, dicing, etching, welding and drilling. Deli Laser Solutions reports that it can laser-drill 50?m holes with smooth sidewalls and no burrs in 1mm-thick materials.

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT

pm tThe Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has unveiled its new “bd-2” sensor for thickness measurements. The system can accurately measure foils, rolled strips and other metallic semi-finished products with an accuracy of at least 100nm, within a measurement range of several millimeters, according to the company.

Trotec Laser Inc.

LWS 780Trotec Laser Inc.'s LWS 780 marking station is a turn-key laser system for industrial marking and labeling. Typical applications include component marking in machine construction and tool construction and in medical technology and electronics.