These ultrafast lasers can cut high-precision features as small as 0.0005 inches
The fastest, highest-precision laser in micromanufacturing today, femtosecond lasers can process nearly any type of solid material, including layered, mixed, laminated, or coated materials, with the highest quality and precision.
Femtosecond lasers are transforming manufacturing by performing high-speed, high-precision material removal, additive processes such as laser-induced forward transfer (a noncontact direct-write technique), and sometimes even hybrid subtractive-additive processes when needed. Features as small as 0.0005 inches (13 microns) can be laser-cut with high dimensional accuracy.
Femtosecond lasers emit energy pulses that are as short as a few femtoseconds (1 fs = 10−15 s). The ultrafast emittance of these ultrashort pulses results in no thermal damage or heat-affected zones to the material being processed, which is ideal for sensitive materials. Secondary processing is typically not required to clear burrs from cut features or enhance edge quality.
Laser parameters such as pulse duration, pulse energy, pulse speed, and average power are material-dependent and can be customized as needed for individual projects. Lasers can be automated to run 24/7 for large-volume or high-priority parts, maximizing production efficiency and speed to market.
Popular uses of femtosecond lasers are:
- Drilling high-precision holes in a variety of patterns
- Removing material in virtually any shape or pattern
- Micro texturing 3D-lattice structures or dimples on part surfaces
- Micro texturing patterns or grooves into the sides of molds
- Joining dissimilar materials through laser micro texturing
- Using Joining dissimilar materials through laser micro texturing
- Both laser texturing and polishing to enhance surface performance
One of the greatest benefits of femtosecond lasers is the reliability and repeatability of the micromachining of complex features and patterns with great accuracy. Features can be a small as a few microns, including 3D blind features with high-precision depth resolutions and clean, sub-micron kerfs. The lack of burring or redeposited debris reduces or eliminates most post processing. Because it does not generate heat, femtosecond lasering is ideal for processing thin films and delicate materials.
Other operational benefits include:
- Fast set-up and processing
- Can operate unattended 24/7, thereby optimizing workflow and reducing operating costs
- Consistent, repeatable quality, thanks to high constant speed and automated platforms
Femtosecond laser micromachining is a non-contact technology that makes highly accurate and repeatable components and features, with minimal or no thermal damage to the materials being processed. Rapid processing and the elimination of secondary finishing processes save time, reduces costs, and gets products to market faster.
For more information, or to discuss if femtosecond laser machining is a good choice for your next project, contact our Client Success Team for an immediate consultation.