META: Compact Laser Machine Tools

Coherent META Laser Machining Centers are turnkey systems that enable the rapid production of high precision parts from a wide range of both metals and non-metals. Their small size permits their use in even highly space constrained facilities, and their easy to use software interface facilitates their use with minimal operator training. 

Coherent META products integrate a CO2 laser, CNC controller, beam delivery system, assist gas delivery system, drive system and laser cutting head all into one highly compact machine frame with a standard table size of 1.25 m x 1.25 m.  They are capable of cutting metals, such as stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum and titanium, in thicknesses of up to 6 mm (depending upon system power and the specific material), as well as wood, plastics, rubber, thin films, composites and other organics in thicknesses of up to 32 mm.  The system can deliver a precision of up to 25 µm  (50 µm repeatability), at cutting speeds up to 50 m/min.

Job instructions are supplied to the system in much the same way as other digital cutting systems.  Namely, part drawings are created in SolidWorks or other application that produces files in DXF, DWG, HPGL, Gerber, JPG, BMP or TIF format.  The file is then processed through the included CAM software and delivered to the human/machine interface (HMI) with process and motion control commands to complete the part. 

Material can be rapidly loaded into the machine, where it is held in place by a vacuum bed.  When cutting metals, changing materials or thickness can be done quickly because META systems utilize a capacitive sensor to accurately maintain the standoff distance from the work piece. 

An optional camera system also facilitates rapid loading of material into the cutting bed.  This smart system can identify fiducial marks on the work piece.  It then uses these to perform cutting that is referenced to existing features on material regardless of its orientation in the machine.  The software can even scale or rotate the cutting pattern to correct for any dimensional changes in the material from the originally specified values. 

Currently, four different META series products are available: 

The META 10C represents a unique combination of compact size and high laser output power. With its integrated 1kW CO2 laser it cuts metals up to 6 mm thickness, as well as a wide range of organic materials, such as plastics, fabrics, leather, wood, paper and thin films.  The high-pressure cutting head allows for assist gas pressure up to 20 bar. A contact free height sensor provides consistent, high quality cutting results. A sturdy steel frame and precision optical linear scales ensure the META 10C can process the most demanding jobs – from prototyping to serial production. 

The META 4C is based on a 400W CO2 laser, making it a cost effective solution for processing both metals up to 3 mm in thickness and non-metal materials in thicknesses of up to 25 mm. 

The Meta 2C, which incorporates a 200W CO2 laser, is an ideal solution for prototyping and high volume manufacturing applications involving a wide range of non-metal materials, such as wood, acrylic and more. 

The META 1.5C utilizes a 150W CO2 laser, making it suitable for cutting and engraving a number of organic materials, including wood, acrylic, polymerized substrates, leather, rubber plastics and flexible circuit materials.

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