Laser Ablation

Accurate Non-Contact Laser Ablation of Ultra-Hard Materials

Laser Capabilities

Laser ablation is a flexible process for microfabrication, where the base material is removed layer by layer using an intense laser beam. The scanning pattern of the laser machining process can be varied for each layer throughout the depth of the machining path allowing this 2.5-dimensional machining method to produce complex 3D products.

This highly accurate, non-contact machining allows for the manufacturing of both extremely small and fragile parts, as well as the use of extremely hard materials like diamond and carbide. Tolerances of 5µm and below are common for our laser applications. Our 3D laser machines can produce almost any shape that you can model. Grayscale and bitmap machining are also made possible through the use of our laser ablation machines. We provide advanced laser micromachining services to the aerospace, medical, microelectronic, scientific and semiconductor industries.

What is Laser Ablation?

The laser ablation process uses a highly focused laser beam to remove material from solid surfaces by irradiating the base material to a point that it evaporates, sublimates or is converted to a plasma. The laser beam can be controlled in a manner where short pulses remove the material so quickly that the surrounding material absorbs very little heat, preventing thermal distortion in the base material.

Our company is continuously working with our technology partners to upgrade our laser machining capabilities to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers. We complement our laser capabilities with other services like Precision Grinding and Micro Milling, as well as 3D part scans for quality assurance.

Advantages of Laser Ablation Machining:

  • High precision tolerances of 5 to 10µm
  • Fine surface finishes down to 10-12Ra µin (micro inch)
  • Fast machining speeds with consistent machining quality
  • Machining is virtually burr-free
  • Material removal rate is controlled at the nanometer scale
  • No consumable tooling costs from electrodes, wire or cutters
  • No solvent chemicals, oils or coolants used in process
  • Low overall process temperature results in extremely low to marginal effects on the micro structure of the material
  • Extremely small beam diameter allows for increased flexibility in designs of micro structures and engineered surfaces

We’d love to talk to you about your next laser machining project. Call us today at 630.736.0531 or email us at [email protected] 

Laser Materials

EDM strives to meet your needs. Through strategic partnerships with a vast array of qualified material suppliers, we manufacture using the materials you require, all while meeting strict standards. When it comes to Laser machining we have worked with a diverse list of materials including:

  • CBN Diamond
  • PCD Diamond
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Exotic Metals
  • Graphite
  • Molybdenum
  • Performance Plastics
  • Precision Tool Steels
  • Stainless Steels
  • Titanium
  • Tungsten

Laser Projects

Our laser ablation services give us the ability to hold micron tolerances in some of the hardest materials available on the market.

A few projects we have completed include:

  • Injection Mold Patterning and Texturing
  • Machining of Highly Engineered Surfaces
    • Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Surfaces
    • Oleophilic and Oleophobic Surfaces
  • Etching and Engraving
  • Interconnect Components
  • Fiber Optic Components
  • Medical Components
  • Optical Lenses
  • Research & Development Projects
  • Polycristaline diamond form creation
  • Cutting tools modification in PCD and Carbide
  • PCD bearing modifications