Laser zoom optics enable real-time machining

Jan. 29, 2014
Materials processing depends on different optical laser beam delivery options to ensure the proper beam profile at the workpiece.

Materials processing depends on different optical laser beam delivery options to ensure the proper beam profile at the workpiece. While the beam profile and focus size can be modified through interchangeable optics (a manual and time-consuming process), Laserline’s (Santa Clara, CA) zoom homogenizer provides a rectangular top-hat focus. It is scalable on the fly in one or two axes by a factor of ten, so various focus sizes and ratios can be achieved with just one optic. This makes it particularly useful for heat treatment or cladding applications.

The zoom homogenizer is a sealed, water-cooled 135 × 137 × 300 mm module to allow simple and reliable operation in an industrial environment and weighs less than 8 kg. It is designed for Laserline’s fiber-coupled diode lasers and operates with laser power levels of up to 10 kW. The motorized movement of the optical-homogenizer elements inside the optic enables the laser focus width and/or height to be dynamically scaled within 1 s while maintaining a homogeneous energy distribution. Lines of up to 180 mm and rectangles of up to 80 × 80 mm can be achieved. Laserline produces several options to remotely control the focus size for integration into any machine control system. An optional pyrometer including controller allows closed-loop temperature control. Contact Wolfgang Todt at [email protected].

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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