compiled by Julie MacShane, juliem@pennwell.

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compiled by Julie MacShane,

5-axis CNC laser drilling machine

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Mitsui Seiki (Franklin, NJ; has launched the VLD-300 small, vertical, Nd:YAG laser drilling machine for 12-in. cube parts (300mm x 300mm x 300mm in x, y, and z axes). This machine was developed collaboratively with several aerospace engine component manufacturers who expressed a need for a higher-speed and more accurate laser drilling machine than what was currently available on the market. The VLD-300 offers positioning accuracy and repeatability in x, y, and z axes of 0.00004 in. (0.001mm). Axis positioning accuracy is ±6 arc sec; repeatability is ±3 arc sec. C-axis accuracy is ±4 arc sec; repeatability is ±2 arc sec. X, y, and z axes cutting feed rate is 0.004 ~ 78in (0.1 ~ 20,000mm) and acceleration rate is 1.5g. There is a Nd:YAG version of this new machine. The VLD-300 is also designed to work with CO2, diode pump, and fiber lasers for different aerospace and other industry applications, such as certain electronics, medical, and automotive parts. The Nd:YAG system offers a focal length of 200mm or 300mm with a height sensor for scanning and work offset probing.

Ultrafast lasers

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Amplitude Systemes (Pessac, France; has released the Tangerine, the latest in a range of ultrafast lasers based upon direct diode pumping of ytterbium-doped gain materials. Tangerine is reportedly the first ultrafast fiber laser to offer high average power as well as high output energy. Its repetition rate is up to 30MHz. The Tangerine is specified as standard with 20W average power in either 10ps or 700fs versions and with 15W output combined with sub-100fs pulses. Pulse energies are up to 10μJ. Tangerine is built on a hermetically sealed monolithic housing for improved stability. It features a complete set of on-board diagnostics and simple control electronics. Tangerine can be used for ultrafast micro- and nano-scale machining, nonlinear optics studies, nanophotonics, and life science applications.

Enhanced system for generating large-volume components

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The latest development by Concept Laser GmbH (Lichtenfels, Germany; further advances the specifications and capabilities of the entry-level M1 LaserCUSING system. This system uses the fusion process to generate large-volume components layer-by-layer with 3D CAD data. The enhanced system is aimed at die casters, tool makers, contract manufacturers, and model-makers, and is capable of producing complex 3D components in a range of hot work steels, inconel, and stainless steel. The new M1 system’s work envelope has increased in size to 250mm x 250mm x 250mm. The system has a newly developed 200W fiber laser that enables a significant reduction in component construction time and generates smoother and brighter surface finishes on the completed parts. Laser processing takes place in an atmosphere-controlled area within the machine, and the system is capable of producing layer thicknesses of between 20μm and 80μm.

Conduction-cooled, fiber-coupled modules at 1550nm

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DILAS Diode Laser Inc. (Mainz, Germany; has introduced its latest conduction-cooled, fiber-coupled diode laser modules for pumping, medical treatments, materials processing, defense, and similar applications that demand high-power, stable sources with the highest beam quality. The 1550nm laser diode modules are based on the company’s single-bar and multi-bar configurations, depending on the customer’s requirements Modules in the range of 1550nm are shipped with 400μm, 0.22 NA, SMA fibers that deliver 5–30W output powers depending upon the number of diode bars integrated into the module.

Lenses for industrial laser scanning

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The family of TECHSPEC F-Theta scanning lenses from Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ; are optimized for use with either Nd:YAG lasers operating at 1064nm or CO2 lasers operating at 10.6μm. The F-Theta lens, most commonly used in high-end laser scanning and printing applications, is also widely used for laser marking, engraving, and cutting systems. In scanning systems incorporating galvanometers, the laser beam may propagate at varying angles relative to the optical axis, causing distortion. These lenses are designed to correct this distortion, providing a flat field at the image plane. They are available in a range of focal lengths varying from 100mm to >250mm, which can scan fields as large as 175 x 175mm. The Nd:YAG lens incorporates three elements with a highly efficient AR coating to provide optimal resolution and throughput. The CO2 lens is a single-element design. All lenses are provided with industry-standard M85 threading, which eases mounting and retrofitting on OEM equipment

Efficient laser stencil cutting

The new SL G 6060 stencil laser system from LPKF Laser & Electronics AG (Garbsen, Germany; has a LongLife laser and a dynamic motion system with a G-series architecture. Other benefits are small footprint and compact design, intuitive interface, minimum maintenance requirements, and compliance with Class I laser safety. The system delivers accurate paste deposit and optimal release characteristics and is capable of precisely cutting stainless steel stencils and those of nickel, molybdenum, or titanium. In addition, this system can be used to cut any contour with good accuracy. The system cuts metal sheets up to 600µm (23.6 mil) thick and adjusts to fit any stencil size up to 600 x 600mm (23.6 x 23.6 in.). LPKF’s service staff can remotely service the system from anywhere in the world using the Internet.

High accuracy USB 2.0 industrial beam analyzer

The BA150 industrial laser beam analyzer is a laser beam profiling system from Ophir-Spiricon Inc. (Logan, UT; that analyzes key laser parameters in order to maintain peak performance of precision materials processing lasers. A compact, self-contained unit that fits in almost any glovebox type laser system, the BA150 includes a state-of-the-art USB 2.0 silicon CCD camera and advanced beam analysis software. The system monitors all key laser beam parameters for 1064nm pulsed and CW industrial Nd:YAG, diode, and fiber lasers up to 150W. The BA150 is an integrated system, so there is no need for beam modifying splitters, attenuators, or other components. The BA150 is based on the company’s newly released SP620 USB 2.0 silicon CCD camera designed specifically for laser beam measurement applications.

Profile system for welding tubes and profiles

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This profile welding system (PWS) from Rofin-Baasel (Daventry, Northants, UK; is a complete system designed and configured to weld tubes and profiles using fully integrated sensor technology that detects the weld gap and enables seam tracking. In contrast to conventional TIG welding, non-contact laser welding achieves significantly higher process speeds, and the weld seams generated are also capable of withstanding very high stress levels without tearing. The profile welding system comprises a beam guidance and sensor system together with PC-controlled linear axes. All laser system functions, such as control of process gases, monitoring the optical safety circuit, and overall monitoring of the laser system and its associated cooling system, are handled by the integrated PLC control system. The high-speed precision linear drives used by the profile welding system provide positional accuracies of 20μm at production speeds of up to 60m/min.

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