Laser prints colorful images in plastic

Oct. 2, 2000
Lambda Physik (Gottingen, Germany) has built a diode-pumped solid-state laser system capable of emitting three wavelengths; the system is intended specifically for laser coloring of polymeric materials.

Lambda Physik (Göttingen, Germany) has built a diode-pumped solid-state laser system capable of emitting three wavelengths; the system is intended specifically for laser coloring of polymeric materials. Still in its testing stage, the technology can potentially mark almost any type of plastic consumer product with colored designs, as long as the product is made from a kind of plastic that contains special color-changing organic pigments.

The Lambda Physik light source contains two Nd:YAG lasers, one emitting at 1064 nm and the other at 1320 nm, according to Gerd Spiecker, sponsor of all applications at Lambda Physik. The 1064-nm output is frequency-doubled to make 532-nm green light. The 1320-nm output is doubled to make 660-nm red light and tripled to produce 440-nm blue light. Lambda Physik is developing a 10-kHz industrial-grade version of the laser system for integration into high-volume production processes.

In addition to bank-card security, the consortium's plans include applying the color-marking technology to the automotive and electronics industries for both decoration and security purposes. In the area of decoration, the process would provide a simple way of printing colorful corporate logos onto plastic.

About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a quote: Micro 3D Printed Part or microArch micro-precision 3D printers

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a Micro 3D Printed Benchmark Part: Send us your file.

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!