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Dynamic beam shaping for high power laser applications

Laser beam shaping is an established method to adapt the power distribution to the specific requirements of a particular laser application. The first applications to use beam shaping are laser surface treatment applications, such as laser heat treatment. Dynamic beam shaping is more flexible compared to static beam shaping, so it allows a precise adjustment of laser power distribution, even during laser processing. Nowadays, dynamic beam shaping focuses more on narrow gap welding, the welding of hard-to-weld materials like aluminium alloys, and on thick plate cutting. Fast galvanometer scanners are currently used to provide appropriate beam shaping, but new techniques such as microelectromechanical system (MEMS) scanners are on the way. Download the slides from this presentation, delivered as part of the Lasers in Action Forum at Lasys 2016, by clicking the link above.

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Information technologies like cloud computing and Internet of Things are bringing about big changes in manufacturing. Gemma Church looks at where laser systems will fit into these smart factories

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Matthew Dale asks what measures are needed to bring metal 3D printing into mainstream production

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Greg Blackman on the safety equipment for protecting against higher power and ultrafast lasers