Comparison of Beam Delivery Techniques

DPM- Direct Part Marking

With either the solid state lasers or the solid state lasers there are two principle types of work handling. Each has technical advantages and trade-offs.

The two types are beam steered galvanometer based systems and X-Y plotter/gantry engravers.

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The galvanometer steered laser

Beam steered galvanometer based beam delivery systems use small mirrors attached to fast reacting servo motors called “galvanometers”. These fast reacting motors make very small adjustments in mirror angles to move the laser beam rapidly in precise straight, angles and arcs as directed by computer programs. The optics are stationary and the laser beam “dances” across the part to be marked. As a general rule these types of lasers do best with vector (point-to-point) engraving files as opposed to “raster” files.

Beam steered galvanometer based beam delivery systems offer extremely quick and extremely precise ways to mark and engrave. Precision and accuracy is +/- 0.0001 inch (0.0025mm). The trade off for the speed and precision is a reality small marking area (4 inch x 4 inch, 6 inch by 6 inch or 8inch by 8 inch is typical).

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The GCC Series (X-Y plotter)

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Gantry systems sometimes referred to as “flying optics” or “X-Y plotters” physically move the laser optics over the part to be marked by using a belt driven mirror/optics package on a linear rail. While precise positioning and pure straight lines are a strength of this design they are significantly slower in engraving speed when marking angles and arcs into metals. These types of lasers do best with raster (left-right, line-by-line) engraving files as opposed to “vector” files.

X-Y plotters system like those of the GCC Series are accurate to 0.001 inch ( 0.025mm) and offer the advantage of very large marking fields (24 x 12 inch, 36 x 24 inch and 51 x 24 inch is standard) where several parts can be nested together allowing for multiple step-and-repeat marking solutions. The trade off for the large marking area is speed and precision.