University of Birmingham with the support of their strategic project partner, LASEA SA, Belgium, (www.lasea.com) have recently commissioned a state-of-the-art LS4 laser micro-processing machine at the University. It integrates two laser sources, in particular 50 Watt green nanosecond and a dual wavelength (NIR & Green) 10 Watts femtosecond ones, to perform micro structuring/patterning/texturing of almost any material.
It is a multi-axis processing platform that incorporates three linear mechanical axes (X, Y, Z), two rotary axes (B, C) and 2 beam deflectors/optical axes (GX, GY) for executing complex operations on 3D surfaces. Up to 7 axes can be controlled simultaneously, for example two optical axes can be used to move the laser beam at high speed while the substrates are re-positioned synchronously employing the mechanical axes. These multi-axis processing capabilities make possible not only micro processing of free form surfaces but also the high precision processing of surfaces that are bigger than the field of view of the focusing lens.
Also, the LS4 machine is equipped with the LS-Precess module to provide capabilities for cutting and drilling while controlling the resulting taper on substrates’ sidewalls. In particular, this module allows a collimated laser beam to be rotated around its axis at high speed while using the scan head (the two optical axes) simultaneously to move the beam. In this way, cutting and drilling operations can be performed at high speed while controlling the beam incident angle and thus to achieve zero or negative tapers on sidewalls.
The machine was acquired as part of the Smart Factory Hub (SmartFub) project funded by England ERDF/ESIF Growth Programme 2014-2020. The project aims to support SMEs located in the Midlands, especially in developing new products and processes through the use of advanced manufacturing technologies. For further information or to engage directly with the SmartFub project, please see contact details below.