Ultrafast laser tutorial at Lasers for Manufacturing Event

Schaumburg, IL - We at ILS are filling our calendars for the Laser Institute of America's Lasers for Manufacturing Event (LME) coming up later this month: Oct. 23-24 in Schaumburg, IL. Drop us a line if you'll be there too, if you have something to share about laser materials processing or the industrial laser market itself.

Here's one part of the show we'll encourage our readers and anyone else to attend: a special two-hour tutorial on the basics of ultrafast laser machining, presented by Prof. Reinhart Poprawe of Fraunhofer ILT (and president of the LIA). He's earned Aviation Week's 2012 Innovation Challenge award for producing a vital multiblade compressor component far faster and more cheaply with lasers than with traditional milling. Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen is renowned for its work in ultrashort laser processing, femtosecond lasers, and kW-class lasers.

Starting with the physical basics of ultrashort pulse interaction phenomena, the tutorial will survey a broad array of applications: tool and molding, automotive engine components, LED and OLED light-guiding systems, photovoltaics and energy storage, biomedical applications, and general surface processing. Various approaches for setting up ultrashort pulsed lasers will be addressed, as will system requirements for high-speed scanning and modulations systems. Topics for discussion will include requirements on system technology with respect to laser parameters and processing parameters, and how performance of precision machining applications (~10 μm accuracies) can add functions through laser-based surface functionalization. Ablation rates on the order of 10 mm3/s have been demonstrated and will be presented, according to the LIA.

"Ultrashort pulsed lasers are heading to the edge of mass industrialization and will undergo similar growth rates like other lasers in the past," Prof. Poprawe asserts. "Industrial needs have to be specified for numerous applications so researchers and system manufacturers can concentrate on short cycle time manufacturing solutions."

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