Processing materials with a laser requires high-speed precision path control while keeping the laser beam at normal incidence and optimum focal length on curved, flexible, or brittle surfaces. Synchronized movement of multiple linear and rotational axes using novel forward and inverse kinematic equations to accurately control deposition and thickness of nanoparticle inks, for example, also requires precision multi-axis positioning systems that synchronize laser pulses with rapidly moving part positions.
If you thought that three dimensions was enough to manage such complex machining operations, consider what a five-axis gimbal positioner offers: 5D vector path laser triggering from ALIO Industries (Arvada, CO) positions the laser beam at a nominal focal length and incidence angle in five dimensions, including three linear axes (x, y, and z) and two rotational axes theta-z (A) and theta-y (B). Most engineers are familiar with x, y, z positioning, which typically supports processing on flat (planar) substrates. Positioning in five-axis space adds the ability to process complex nonplanar components containing features on multiple surfaces with a standard processing work envelope of 395 × 320 × 170 mm and with angular travel ranges of up to ±172° in theta-y and continuous 360° in theta-z. Linear-axis accuracy is better than ±1 µm with bidirectional repeatability of less than ±50 nm and 0.5 arcsec for the rotary axes. Reference: https://goo.gl/mkqjmp.