For laser marking applications, there is often a need to change the spot size and focus height during the mark to achieve the shade, surface fi nish and speed of the mark. Using a small laser spot gives good image quality in the edges and corners of the mark, but large areas of fi lling in the image can take a long time to complete. A small spot will etch into a metal part creating a bright, textured mark. A larger spot on the other hand is useful for fi lling large areas of a laser marked image, but leads to a low defi nition of the edges of the image. Larger spot sizes will have an annealing eff ect, creating a smooth, dark mark.
For many applications, the benefi ts of both a small and large spot size may be required on the same part. Changing the spot size by ‘de-focussing’ the laser leads to inconsistences in the marking process. The part may have diff erent levels, requiring the focus height to be changed during the mark.
Using the new Zoom Beam Expander from LASER COMPONENTS, both the laser spot size and focus height can be adjusted in real time. Unlike commonly available manual beam expanders, the LASER COMPONENTS beam expander may be integrated seamlessly into a production process, with compatible lasers from IPG, Raycus, SPI Ø35 collimated and SPI LPPK diverging output housings.
A number of standard beam diameter ranges are available, with multiple control options to suit most laser marking applications. Custom confi gurations are available upon request.