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Femtosecond Laser Micromachining as a Rapid Prototyping Environment: System Development and Initial Results

[+] Author Affiliations
Nitin Uppal, Panos S. Shiakolas, Sunil Belligundu

University of Texas at Arlington

Paper No. IMECE2006-14456, pp. 363-370; 8 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Manufacturing Engineering and Textile Engineering
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Manufacturing Engineering Division and Textile Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4774-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Femtosecond laser micromachining (FLM) is a fairly new and novel technology for 3-D processing of engineering materials without the constraints associated with traditional micromachining based on Si technologies. FLM has shown great promise in rapidly fabricating components at a microscale and that it can also be used to machine on an array of engineering materials both metals and non-metals for variety of applications. This work presents the development of a FLM environment equivalent to a 3 DOF CNC machine with the laser beam acting as the machine tool. The environment includes a Ti:Sapphire laser (800 nm wavelength and 120 fs pulsewidth), various optics for beam guidance and power control and three mutually perpendicular motorized stages (8 in travel with 0.05 μm resolution of motion and capable of executing industry standard G-codes). A postprocessor for generating the G-codes using CAD/CAM software is successfully customized. Subsequently, the results of an ablation study for common engineering materials and its usage in defining machining parameters for rapid prototyping of various thermal actuators will be presented along with examples of microcomponent fabrication.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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