11 March 2008

Cutting It Fine With Lasers

Rofin Starcut Universal - Fully Integrated SystemFine cutting and micro machining applications can today, be found across a diverse range of products and industries. The increasing demand for smaller and more accurate components, especially within the medical and electronics sectors, can now only be met using laser technology. The speed and productivity of laser cutting clearly exceeds the capabilities of traditional mechanical or chemical machining processes.

Precision, Performance and Flexibility – StarCut Universal

The introduction of solid state lasers brings many process advantages such as burr free edges, low heat input and the ability to machine most metals and alloys however, the power and performance of the laser is only one part of the solution. To make the most of the latest generation laser technology, the laser source needs to be coupled with other elements of automation such as motion stages, safety enclosures and control systems to provide a complete solution.

Rofin’s StarCut Universal system (Fig.1) neatly integrates everything required for fine cutting applications into a standard machine. A large work envelope of 600mm x 300mm x 200mm combined with three high precision CNC axes provides flexibility and 50µ precision for fine laser cutting operations. Additional capability can be achieved by the use of an optional rotary axis enabling complex 3D geometries to be produced within the system.

The fully integrated CNC controller and software is compatible with all prominent CAD formats enabling easy set up and quick programme changeover. Users will also find the PC based control system simple to operate.  

Choice of Lasers

StarCut Universal is available with a choice of laser sources from the new StarCut generation, which provide high beam quality and high cutting speeds in a compact package. Options include the proven StarCut 18 which has a power range of 7 to 25 W and achieves kerf widths of 18-20 microns. Additional laser options include the new StarCut 12fm, a 12 W fundamental mode laser which because of its unique pulse characteristics can cut material up to 1.0mm thick – in fine tube or plate, and a kerf width of 15 microns is possible. All laser sources within the StarCut family provide excellent pulse to pulse stability and the full range provides up to 300 W of power and frequencies of up to 3,000Hz.

With all of the main elements such as the laser source, motion stages and control system incorporated within a stand-alone system, StarCut Universal has been designed to be a practical and ergonomic turnkey solution for fine cutting applications.

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