Laser micromachining encompasses many processes including laser cutting, laser drilling, laser ablation, laser scribing, laser texturing as well as advanced laser machining processes.
Laser micromachining has some very specific processing requirements, including quality, dimensional accuracy, debris management, and the thermal impact of the process on the part. In general, “advanced laser micromachining” means creating feature sizes of less than 1 millimeter (0.04"mm) and in many cases much smaller. The micromachining umbrella includes cutting, drilling, scribing, ablation, and texturing processes, each of which requires material removal. There is a wide range of materials that can be machined including polymers, metals, ceramics, glasses as well as parts with multi layers of different materials. Advanced laser micromachining processes covers machining blind non-thickness penetrating features such as grooves, pockets, holes with in some cases a control of the cross section of the geometry as well as the basic width and depth dimensions. The non-contact nature of the laser provides an excellent tool that can machine mechanically delicate parts without the application of force. With spot sizes down to less than 10 microns, highly accurate and small features are possible with extreme control over how much material is removed, down to the micron level.
Advanced laser micromachining processes use lasers that operate in “pulsed mode,” so the optical energy is delivered to the material by discrete pulses that have a certain time duration, frequency (repetition rate) and power level.
Amada Miyachi has many lasers in our laser toolbox including microsecond, nanosecond, picosecond and femtosecond lasers with wavelengths from 10604nm to 355nm each with different process capabilities to align to specific application and production needs. Custom laser micromachining systems using these lasers can be paired with many motion configurations of stage and scan heads to enable processing of a wide variety of components and feature geometries for industries including medical, aerospace, electronics and automotive.