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Laser Drilling

Our laser drilling supports your drive to build things smaller.

Today’s manufactured parts call for microscopic features that can only be created with laser drilling. Laser Light Technologies answers that call with expertise that maintains micro-level tolerances in metals, polymers, and ceramics. This specialized knowledge, plus our collaborative process, are an ideal match for client success today.

Laser drilling is a highly adaptable, versatile and reliable micromanufacturing process used in a broad range of industries. We work closely with you to customize our laser manufacturing and post-laser processing to match your unique drilling needs, optimizing applications including: micro holes, hole arrays, blind wells, and specialized portals.

It’s our goal to deliver the precision, speed and quality you need throughout the life of your project, from initial design to micromanufacturing and packaging for shipping. That’s why Laser Light doesn’t provide design services, recommendations or quotes until we’ve learned from you about unique project needs and tested sample materials in-house.




Applications

With laser drilling, the impossible becomes possible. This manufacturing method creates microscopic features that no other form of technology can deliver. If you don’t see your specific application in the list here, please contact us to explore how our capabilities can contribute to your project.

Laser Light drilling applications include:

  • Drilling in polyethylene laminate discs for life sciences applications
  • Micro holes and portals for wire routing in surgical and cardiovascular delivery catheters
  • Micropore arrays in flat sheets for cardiovascular embolic filters
  • Hole drilling for peripheral vascular drug delivery catheters
  • Hole drilling for optical biosensors used for in-vitro diagnostics
  • Drilling for embolic filters in medical devices
  • Flow holes for oxygen regulator devices
  • Laser drilling orifices in injection-molded, disposable parts for medical devices
  • Microelectronic orifice plates for inkjet printers
  • Laser micro via drilling for microelectronic parts


Materials

We have proven expertise in laser drilling a wide variety of materials including: ceramics, glass, metals and alloys, polymers, and semiconductors. If you don’t see the material for your project in the list below, contact us to discuss capabilities and recommended solutions.

Processes

We design the right laser and cleaning process for your project based on material thickness, edge quality, and production volume, as well as hole depth, diameter and number. The processes below are examples of how we match specific needs.

Image Projection (Mask Illumination) vs. Direct Write

Mask illumination uses an imaging lens to image a mask at a plane other than that of the focal point of the lens. This process differs from direct write technique in the fundamental premise that in mask illumination, a mask is imaged at its conjugate plane opposed to in direct write, where the laser beam is used at its focal point. Mask size and shape provide control of the hole geometry, size and shape. This enables added capability to produce multiple holes in one mask or make complex features on a large area using coordinated motion between mask and image plane. In direct write, the focal spot is moved around (using galvo scanner) holding the part steady or part is moved in reference to the laser beam (fine-kerf cutting) to achieve the desired feature sizes. In image projection, the extent of demagnification develops the required energy density to machine a particular material in contrast to direct write, the energy deposited at the focal plane complemented by assist gas or multiple passes machine the necessary material.

Percussion Laser Drilling

Percussion laser drilling uses a “rapid-fire burst-of-pulses” micromachining method. Varying the laser pulse duration, spot size, optics and beam characteristics, percussion laser drilling produces a high-quality hole with minimal residue and consistent edge quality from entry to exit point. Percussion laser drilling evaporates the machined substrates layer by layer without noticeable strata or striations. Percussion laser drilling technology is especially suitable for metal, ceramic, polyimide/polyamide, polycarbonate, Pyrex, quartz and composite substrates.

Trepanning Laser Drilling

Trepanned laser drilling is a method used to remove a cylindrical core, or circular disc from a substrate. Unlike percussion laser drilling, the position of the beam or substrate is moved in conjunction with a predetermined laser beam “overlap” to achieve the desired edge quality and production throughput. Less overlap trepanning laser drilling increases throughput but produces a more jagged edge quality. More overlap creates finer hole resolution and edge quality.

Certain types of trepanning laser drilling can completely eradicate first pulse suppression which is a common concern in laser micromachining. Laser drilling in a trepanned, spiral pattern begins in the approximate center of the laser drilled hole and prevents hole inconsistencies related to the start/stop of the laser beam. Laser drilling utilizing the trepanning method can also produce proportionately larger exit holes by “tilting” the laser beam within an already drilled entrance hole. This method of trepanning laser drilling is achieved through the special use of optics and galvos.

To learn how we can provide the required laser drilling solutions for your industry, contact us at 573-486-5600 or online.