Typical considerations in cutting applications are the accuracy of the cut placement, minimization of the material lost in the cutting process, and minimization of heating damage; all while achieving the maximum possible processing speed.
“High cut quality” is a subjective parameter that depends on the application and determines the choice of a laser system and configuration of the micromachining system.
For some applications a ‘fixed beam’ is used with the part moving under the beam to create the desired machining pattern. The part handling stages can have various axes of motion (X, Y, Z, theta, lathe, etc) coordinated with laser triggering to allow highly complex machining
patterns. Typical positional accuracies are better than 3 microns per 150 mm of stage travel, for stage linear speeds up to about 1 meter/sec.
Galvanometers are typically used for applications that benefit from moving the beam at higher speed over the part. Typically the positional accuracy achieved with galvanometers is not as high as that achieved with linear stages, but recent advances with the galvanometer and their controllers continue to improve their accuracy and repeatability. Typical writing speeds are within 1-5 meters/sec, with short settling times. IPG's Quasi-CW lasers and ultrafast pico and femtosecond lasers are commonly used in micro cutting applications. Complete systems can be provided from the Dual Laser R&D workstations to semi-automatic and fully automatic systems.