1/3/2011 | 1 MINUTE READ

Laser Ablation Center

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GF AgieCharmilles (Lincolnshire, IL) has expanded its offerings to include laser ablation with the LASER 5Ax—in addition to its wire and diesinking EDM and high-speed, high-performance milling. The new machine provides a fully digitalized manufacturing process that yields detailed and nuanced texturing, microstructuring, engraving, marking and labeling.


Laser ablation represents a process that is faster, quieter, and more repeatable, flexible and environmentally friendly than conventional manual and chemical etching processes. 2D and 3D details are machined from a high-quality digital image, allowing completely reproducible results for specific textures, engravings, marks or labels.


The mapping system of the LASER 5Ax uses a pulsed laser to render the desired texturing. While chemical etching can only produced 3 to 5 layers, GF AgieCharmilles’ laser ablation technology can achieve 30 to 50 layers to provide a much higher level of detail. This allows for much greater creativity in part design across a wide variety of materials, including graphite, aluminum, copper, steel, carbide, brass and ceramics.


The LASER 5Ax provide two optical and five mechanical axes, housed in a cast iron body that achieves excellent absorption, stability and quality. Linear scales and rotary encoders ensure maximum accuracy. A 20-watt, Ytterbium pulsed fiber laser provides the heart of the machine, with a 50-watt option available to further boost capabilities. The machine also comes standard with a programmable, tilting laser head, high-resolution camera with integrated illumination for fine positioning, integrated touch probe, dust exhaust, central lubrication system and lenses of varying focal strength.


Ergonomics were given special attention throughout the design of the LASER 5Ax and the machine features excellent visual and physical access to the work area. Two front-opening doors ensure easy loading and unloading of large parts via a crane.


In addition to being a faster and more precise means of producing texture with increased reliability, laser ablation offers pollutant-free operation, producing no fluids, slurry or chips. Dust particles produced by the process are automatically extracted by vacuum to guarantee a clean process.