Ewag Laser Line Ultra Fabricates Micro Tools from Hard Alloys
As products grow thinner and lighter to meet the needs of the electronics, medical and micromechanics industries, United Grinding and Ewag have developed the Laser Line
As products grow thinner and lighter to meet the needs of the electronics, medical and micromechanics industries, United Grinding and Ewag have developed the Laser Line Ultra for machining the microtools required for these applications. Designed for hard and ultrahard materials such as tungsten carbide (WC), polycrystalline diamond (PCD), chemical vapor deposition diamond (CVD-D) and cubic boron nitride (CBN), the machine uses an eight-axis configuration and picosecond lasers to machine complex micro geometries in cutting tools regardless of the material’s hardness and with negligible heat-affected zones.
Ultrashort laser pulses and the Ewag Drill Module enable machining tools with diameter-to-length ratios ranging to 1-20. This technology is said to enable tip thinning and chamfering. Unlike conventional techniques, the force-free laser process eliminates waste from tool breakage, the company says.
Laser processing ordinarily removes material according to thermal mechanisms. However, ultrashort laser pulses with correct laser parameters leave fewer heat-affected zones because there is less time for heat to conduct into the cutting tool. For example, carbide drill bits fabricated with the Laser Line Ultra can accept the same processing chain and recipe for PVD coatings as ground cutting tools, the company says.
In titanium, significant savings and process efficiency can result from the simple fact that abrasive waterjet cutting leaves the remaining stock intact.
This family-owned job shop has developed an integrated fabrication and machine shop in order to satisfy customers' changing needs. In doing so it has become an example that other shops might want to imitate.
Soon, industrial users of waterjet metalcutting may be able to cut sheet metal, composites and other materials without abrasives -- or at least with much less abrasive than they're accustomed to using.