Laser Drilling

Laser Light Technologies has a variety of commercial wavelength laser systems that can be adapted to achieve the best quality fit and finish for your exact drilling application. Whether we are drilling micro holes for inkjet printer components or lifesaving catheters, our world-class engineers, technicians, and skilled staff are always focused on meeting your most stringent engineering requirements to deliver superior quality products on time.

From design to test drilling a sample of the part material, we use a collaborative process where we work with you at every phase of the project to ensure that we meet your exact specifications. The variety of services and capabilities Laser Light Technologies offers throughout every step in our process gives us the flexibility needed for your unique project.


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 required for your project listed below, contact us and our skilled staff can give your more information about our laser drilling capabilities and solutions as it applies to your specified material.

Laser Drilling Processes

Selecting the right process for your laser drilling project will depend on the type of hole, depth requirement, material thickness, hole diameter, number of holes, edge quality and production quantity.

Listed below are some of the laser drilling processes that we utilize:

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.