New mini scanner saves 90% installation space
The scanner's compact design means several mini scanners can be integrated into one multi-beam head. (Image: Fraunhofer ILT)
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have developed a new compact galvanometer scanner for 3D printing, micromachining, and medical applications.
Thanks to its smaller dimensions, achieved by fusing the scanner drive and mirror substrate, the new planar galvanometer scanner saves up to 90% installation space compared to conventional systems, Fraunhofer ILT says.
With a size of 50 cm³, the scanner can be used for hand-guided laser processes involving medical technology, laser drilling, and marking without sacrificing precision or dynamics.
Additionally, its compact design allows multiple scanners to be integrated into a single processing head – a feature the researchers have demonstrated with four 2D deflection units that have one F-theta lens each. The scanner array has a construction volume of 140 x 140 x 90 mm³.
The mini scanner is also suitable for industrial use, such as with hand-held laser marking and engraving systems. (Image: Fraunhofer ILT)
The team at Fraunhofer ILT successfully tested the system with laser powers of up to 150 W per scan head for laser marking and engraving applications – with comparable accuracy and dynamics to conventional galvanometer scanners.
The mini scanner uses commercially available, model-based control electronics, allowing customers to integrate it into existing machines using standardised communication protocols. This closed-loop control is more robust, precise and faster than conventional PID controllers, Fraunhofer ILT says, especially due to scanning without tracking delay.
The scanner will be on display at LASER World of Photonics 2023 in Munich next month, at booth A3.441.