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Laser Ablation

LASER ABLATION MACHINING COMPANY - ACCURATE, NON-CONTACT MICROFABRICATION

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MACHINING THE IMPOSSIBLE – LASER ABLATION SERVICES

EDM Intelligent Solutions offers a very unique manufacturing process known as Laser Ablation that allows for precision machining of the nonconductive materials that are not compatible with electrical discharge machining. This includes ceramics, diamonds, glass and even plastics. Complimenting our Wire EDM and Sinker EDM processes, Laser Ablation is the preferred alternative to conventional CNC machining methods for which extremely hard, nonconductive materials would require the use of costly diamond coating CNC milling tools. Since the “cutting tool” of Laser Ablation is a beam of light, the added benefit of this type of machining is that there is no physical contact ever made with the workpiece. Our 5-Axis CNC laser ablation machining centers are capable of cutting with laser beams smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Advanced thermally stable construction of each machine ensures consistent cutting performance and production of quality components. Scalable machine tending robotic automation integrated with our CNC laser machines allows for continuous production to run around the clock, lights out.

 

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. This unique process allows EDM Intelligent Solutions to produce intricate shapes, extremely sharp cutting edges and accurate holes in all types of nonconductive materials.  Our laser cutting machines are designed for the highest levels of accuracy and incredible reliability. Leveraging integrated automation to increase productivity makes Laser Ablation a perfect option for projects requiring the use of nonconductive materials and quantities ranging from just a few all the way up to high volume production applications requiring thousands of pieces.

LASER ABLATION 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.

We are continuously working with our technology partners to upgrade our CNC laser ablation capabilities to meet the ever-evolving needs of our diverse base of customers. We also complement our laser ablation capabilities with other manufacturing services like Wire EDM and Sinker EDM , as well as 3D measurement of machined components for full quality assurance.

 

Laser Ablation Machining Specifics

  • Advanced 5-Axis CNC Laser Ablation machines built for efficient 24/7 operation
  • No consumable tooling costs from electrodes, wire or cutters
  • No solvent chemicals, oils or coolants used in process
  • Workpieces up to 8″ thick are easily machined using laser cutting
  • High precision laser cutting tolerances of 0.0002″ to 0.0004″ (5 to 10 microns)
  • Extremely small beam diameter of 0.0020″ (50 micron) allows for increased flexibility in designs of micro structures and engineered surfaces
  • Fine surface finishes down to 10-12Ra µin (micro inch) eliminate finishing and require no additional polishing
  • Fast machining speeds with consistent machining quality
  • Machining is virtually burr-free and requires no addition deburring
  • Material removal rate is controlled at the nanometer scale
  • Low overall process temperature results in extremely low to marginal effects on the micro structure of the material
  • Small quantities of 1-50+ pieces
  • Contract Manufacturing of full production quantities of thousands of pieces

LASER ABLATION MATERIALS

EDMIS strives to meet your specific needs. Through strategic sourcing partnerships with a vast array of qualified material suppliers nationwide, we can manufacture your components from the exact materials that you require. Strict quality standards are met by all vendors and material suppliers to EDM Intelligent Solutions to ensure that the components we produce can meet the highest standards commonly required by the Aerospace, Automotive, Communications, Defense, Medical and Scientific industries.

When it comes to materials, Laser Ablation is compatible with a large range of ceramics, diamond, glass, metals and plastics that conventional machining, like drilling and milling, are not always cut out for. Hardened materials like tungsten carbide and diamond are no match for the laser ablation process. Softer materials like copper and plastics are gently shaped by the beam of focused high energy light and extremely thin materials are protected from damage and accurately machined since the laser beam never actually makes contact with the workpiece.

 

Laser Ablation Compatible Materials

EDM Intelligent Solutions has completed thousands of Laser Ablation projects using a diverse set of materials including those listed below. Don’t see your specific material on the list? Contact us to determine if that material can be cut using CNC laser machining and how EDMIS can source that material for you.

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

COMMON LASER ABLATION APPLICATIONS

Components requiring base materials that are extremely hard and/or nonconductive should be machined using laser machining. Laser Ablation services are well suited for parts requiring intricate tolerances, the limitation of material stress and thermal heating, and those needing superior surface roughness finishes. Laser Ablation is sometimes the only machining method that can produce accurate features and holes in parts when materials that are too hard or too brittle are required by design. Conventional machining methods like CNC milling and drilling would require expensive diamond coating tooling that will eventually wear out. Since the cutting tool in laser ablation is a beam of high energy light, it can never wear out and is ready for continuous 24/7 operation. Through integrated machine automation, the quantities of parts being completed can easily be scaled up to meet the high volumes required by some of our largest customers.

This is just a small sample of all the types of components that EDM Intelligent Solutions has manufactured using our advanced Laser Ablation machining processes. There really aren’t many types of parts that EDMIS has not worked on in some form over the last 25 years serving these industries. No project is too big or part too complex or tolerance too tight for EDM Intelligent Solutions which makes us the preferred partner for OEM manufacturers nationwide. To learn more about how EDMIS can help you contact our manufacturing team with your request for quote.

 

Sample Laser Ablation Applications

  • 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
  • Polycrystalline diamond form creation
  • Cutting tools modification in PCD and Carbide
  • PCD bearing modifications

Competitive Laser Ablation Machining Solutions

Over the past 25 years, we’ve completed thousands of Laser Ablation projects. What differentiates EDM Intelligent Solutions manufacturing services from the competition is our ability to not only hold micron tolerances but to do so while still offering globally competitive pricing and lead times. Utilizing our vast knowledge of Laser Ablation techniques and decades of industry experience, we are confident that we can produce your most challenging components to your exact specifications. To learn more about how EDMIS can help you contact our manufacturing team with your request for quote.

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