GF Machining Solutions - Microlution - Perfect Walls and Edges enable new products
1. The demand for smaller, smarter parts in the products that the world wants is driving exciting
innovations in the world of laser micromachining. Advances in ultrafast (femtosecond) laser
micromachining have allowed the technology to evolve from a scientific research tool to an
industrial micromachining solution.
PERFECT WALLS AND
EDGES ENABLE NEW
micro walls and edges advanced
consumer, semiconductor and
Ultrafast laser micro
makes new levels of
precision possible, with
and edges that are
processes and products
2. GF MICROLUTION, INC. 6635 W IRVING PARK RD. CHICAGO, IL 60634 TEL. 773-282-6495 FAX. 866-417-4459 www.microlution-inc.com
Because the duration of Femtosecond laser pulses is shorter in time than the material being
machined can absorb heat, material is removed at high precision without any Heat Affected Zone
(HAZ) and thermal damage to the part. Also, because light is the machining tool, it does not wear
down so there is no variability from tool decay. Thermal damage and tool wear from mechanical
micromachining and slower pulsed laser machining technologies limit the precision that can be
achieved, and leave side effects that require costly, time consuming post processing.
The figure below shows micro holes drilled with different pulse widths, from nanosecond to
femtosecond regimes. Note the surface and edge quality of the ultrafast femtosecond laser process.
Removing material without heat leaves no Heat Affected Zone (HAZ), or thermal damage that
would need to be addressed with costly post processing.
One of the emerging applications for ultrafast laser micromachining is the creating of perfectly
straight, perpendicular walls for micro parts to make intricate movements and connections possible.
These features have typically been machined with wire EDM, but in many cases superior results
and faster cycle times can be achieved with ultrafast lasers.
Precision watches involve hundreds of intricate gears that must fit together perfectly in order to
achieve the kind of accuracy that consumers demand. Increasing competition in the fine watch
market is driving manufacturers to find more efficient manufacturing processes to achieve the kind
of wall and edge integrity they need with higher yields and faster processes. Ultrafast laser
technology is helping advance this industry by enabling the precise cutting of any material to exact
dimensions at high speeds and with no thermal damage, eliminating costly post processing steps.
3. GF MICROLUTION, INC. 6635 W IRVING PARK RD. CHICAGO, IL 60634 TEL. 773-282-6495 FAX. 866-417-4459 www.microlution-inc.com
Semiconductor Probe Cards
Semiconductor probe card hole fabrication is one of the most grueling and technically challenging
applications for any micromachining platform. Probe cards are testing sockets for the thousands of
micron-scale wires and connectors on an integrated circuit. A single probe card can require 50,000
micro holes in a 1 inch x 1 inch (25 mm x 25 mm) area, with micro level precision requirements.
New designs for semiconductor probe cards call for different shaped sockets, including square and
rounded corner shapes. Ultrafast laser platforms are proving capable of cutting these holes with
extreme speed and precision, dramatically improving cycle times and part quality.
High precision micro slots are critical to many applications including microfluidic channel
machining, where slots must be sized separate fluids at molecular levels, transmitting the fluids to
be extracted and tested and filtering out all others. Micro slots are also critical devices on medical
devices that require precise fluid distribution, as well as micro implantable devices. Ultrafast laser
micromachining makes it possible to manufacture micro slots with exceptional perpendicularity at
production speeds, with precision assured by integrated part validation and characterization.
4. GF MICROLUTION, INC. 6635 W IRVING PARK RD. CHICAGO, IL 60634 TEL. 773-282-6495 FAX. 866-417-4459 www.microlution-inc.com
Microlution, a subsidiary of GF Machining Solutions, pioneered the world first industrial class
ultrafast laser micromachining platform. The ML-5 is a 5-axis station that can be configured to drill,
mill and cut with no Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) to deliver precision parts in seconds. The ML-5 is
at work in automotive, medical, consumer product, life sciences and semiconductor industries
around the world, combining ultrafast laser precision material removal with exceptional stability,
motion control, part handling and integrated measurement and verification.
ML-5 5-Axis Ultrafast Laser Key Features:
Laser and laser/mechanical configurations
Up to 5 axes of motion
Precision ground natural granite base
High-acceleration linear motors
Heidenhain glass scale encoders
Granite-mounted ironless rails
Supports multiple laser types
Laser tool sensor
In-line workpiece touch probe
Confocal laser probe
Positional accuracy: +/- 1 µm
Repeatability: +/- 0.5 µm
5. GF MICROLUTION, INC. 6635 W IRVING PARK RD. CHICAGO, IL 60634 TEL. 773-282-6495 FAX. 866-417-4459 www.microlution-inc.com
X, Y, Z Motion
• X-Axis: Up to 12” (305mm)
• Y-Axis: Up to 13” (330mm)
• Z-Axis: Up to 12” (305mm)
Compact footprint (W x D x H):
• 91 x 41 x 82 in
• 2312 x 1050 x 2073 mm