Surface modification and micromachining today move from the processing of flat surfaces to markets where three dimensional shapes are requested. As for this kind of laser-based manufacturing the processing beam needs to be scanned over the work piece with speed of up to 10 meters per second, highly dynamic scanning devices are an essential must. While there are plenty of good implementations for scanning in the plane, the solutions for a displacement of the beam in the third dimension lags behind by a factor of four. A new approach to scan the third dimension with the same technology as the first two has been demonstrated at lab scale and now needs to be applied to industrial manufacturing.
FAST3DSA aims at the application of a new scanning system manufacturing systems with a focus on surface modification and micromachining of industrial products. The additional dimension adds the possibility to enter new markets where parts with three dimensional functional surfaces would be enhanced by laser-based manufacturing processes. The assessment will validate the viability of established 2d processes into the third dimension and provide a basis to exploit increasingly powerful ultrafast laser sources towards industrial applications.
The new dynamic z-axis, adapted to a standard 2D scanning system, enables highly dynamic laser processing of complex 3D surfaces. Compared to conventional z-axes, several tests have shown that the new z-axis is not a limiting factor any more thanks to the use of galvanometer technology. The new system enables identically high acceleration values in all three spatial directions.