The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has over 100,000 members in all phases of manufacturing, and is behind shows like IMTS and FABTECH. They also publish Manufacturing Engineering magazine and sponsor Tooling U-SME, a forum devoted to delivering versatile, competency-based learning and development solutions to the manufacturing community (toolingu.com). As part of this effort, a new book has just been published entitled Design for Advanced Manufacturing – Technologies and Processes.
Published by McGraw-Hill Education (ISBN #978-1-259-58745-0), this book covers all aspects of machining—micro to macro. The chapter is entitled "Overview of Laser Manufacturing Processes" and the first two sentences—written by the editor, Dr. LaRoux Gillespie, who is not a "laser guy"—read as follows:
"While using lasers in manufacturing is not new, the advances made in recent years truly speak of new technology. Femtosecond lasers have been able to cleave stainless steel grains in half as sharply and cleanly as a knife through butter, and their economics and new applications have made them recently commercially viable for many applications."
So, a book about manufacturing in general starts out discussing lasers in the first sentence and then jumps right to femtosecond lasers in the second sentence. Furthermore, there are at least three sections in this book devoted entirely to lasers, and a large part of the text is devoted to laser manufacturing or laser-assisted manufacturing in some sense.
However, the book also discusses complimentary technologies such as EDM, ultrasonic drilling, cleaning, metrology, and a host of other subjects. Many times in my classes and discussions, people ask how lasers compare not only to other lasers, but also to other available technologies—and this book does a great job of presenting all of this information. I have made my contribution on page 239 with a chapter entitled "Design Considerations for Laser MicroMachining," and our newest Editorial Advisory Board member, Dr. Geoff Shannon, has likewise contributed with a chapter entitled "Practical Guide to Laser Micro Welding," beginning on page 465.
This 598-page resource is available from SME or McGraw-Hill (www.mhprofessional.com) and is hot off the presses, being published in 2017 (I just received my author copy two days ago). It should prove to be a valuable resource for not only laser users, but also for those trying to decide between available manufacturing technologies.
A few upcoming venues that will feature lasers and laser vendors are the SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing conference in Anaheim (the week of April 10th), BioMed Devices in Boston taking place May 3-4, and Eastec (Massachusetts) and CLEO (San Jose) both occurring during the week of May 15th.
I am always interested in hearing your thoughts concerning laser micromachining, the laser industry, comments on entrepreneurial endeavors, etc. AND … we are always looking for fresh, publishable material. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected].