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Basket Weaving Goes High Tech

Laser ablation can texturize, engrave, mark, label and create microstructures on various materials with complex shapes.

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Laser ablation can texturize, engrave, mark, label and create microstructures on various materials with complex shapes.

The 3D basket-weave texture on this workpiece was produced by laser ablation on one of the new laser machines being introduced to the North American market by GF AgieCharmilles. This technology makes it possible to duplicate patterns found in nature or in the work of skilled artisans. Reproducing such textures on freeform workpieces is one of the primary applications for this line of laser-powered machine tools. The key is being able to turn a “virtual texture” created in 2D graphic software or generated by a 3D scanner into a CNC program that drives the multi-axis laser head on the machine. Read more here.

This and many other new developments in “alternative manufacturing processes” will be covered in the IMTS 2010 Industry & Technology Conference, September 13-17, 2010.