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Proceedings Paper

Rapid tooling using controlled laser ablation
Author(s): Manfred Geiger; Doris Schubart; Michael Kauf
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Paper Abstract

Laser based rapid tooling techniques enable the completion of tools within a minimized period of time. Especially the controlled laser ablation process of metals or ceramics allows precise manufacturing along with a high surface accuracy of the parts. The reactive ablation mechanism of ferrous materials in oxygen atmosphere -- the chip removal - is described, as well as the optimization of the process parameters by systematical procedures. The processing results are limited with given radius of the interaction zone between the laser beam and the workpiece surface. Essential process-parameter is therefore the focus radius. This parameter, effectively being controlled by an adaptive optical mirror, strongly influences the process and thus the workpiece result. The laser ablation process characteristically offers a high flexibility concerning workpiece materials and geometries. In combination with the ability of processing even hardened steels without any tool wear laser ablation is predestined for the rapid tooling of metal forming tools like hot forging dies. Obtaining high workpiece accuracy along with short manufacturing times recommends the optimized ablation process not only for prototyping but for serial manufacturing as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 August 1996
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2787, Rapid Prototyping, (26 August 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.248586
Show Author Affiliations
Manfred Geiger, BLZ/Bavarian Laser Ctr. (Germany)
Doris Schubart, BLZ/Bavarian Laser Ctr. (Germany)
Michael Kauf, BLZ/Bavarian Laser Ctr. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2787:
Rapid Prototyping
Rolf-Juergen Ahlers; Gunther Reinhart, Editor(s)

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