With the AGV3D, Aerotech, manufacturer of very high-performance motion control and positioning systems, is launching a new 3-dimensional beam deflection system for laser micro-machining. According to Aerotech, the 3D laser scanner with high thermal stability is particularly suitable for the high precision manufacture of complex components for applications in the medical, microelectronics, automotive, and now also in additive manufacturing. Easy-to-use features make it easier to integrate into a machine, system or subsystem.
3D laser scanner heads are particularly suitable in applications, for which flat-screen lenses (f-lenses) cannot be used or for cases where the outline of a machinepiece requires an adaptation of the z-direction focus distance. Most 3D scanners available on the market so far use a third rotating galvometric engine with a tangential arm to track the focus optics. However, these constructions tend to become thermally unstable. This limits dynamism and accuracy in continuous operation, while it becomes the norm for all industries and applications.
"With our AGV3D system, we offer a fast, flexible and highly accurate laser scanner solution that linearly positions the focus optics with a direct linear drive system, with a very high-resolution position coder," explainsSimon Smith, European Director of Aerotech. Positioning errors are greatly minimized by the high rigidity and accuracy of the linear module called DFM(Dynamic Focusing Module). "As the only scanner on the market with a DFM that relies on a linear-engine focus axis and high-performance direct drive, the AGV3D delivers superior dynamic performance with controlled motion for precise and reproducible focus,"continues Simon Smith.
Versatility and efficiency in a manufacturing process
Thanks to water and air cooling, the new scanner guarantees maximum thermal stability. Temperature gradients within the AGV3D are avoided and errors due to thermal drift are reduced. This allows for stable performance over the entire machining time, with highly constant and repeatable laser machining accuracy.
"Thanks to this innovation, AGV3D achieves the highest productivity of any 3D scanner currently available - for a multitude of different laser wavelengths,"says Smith. This allows versatility and efficiency in the manufacturing process and makes manual focal distance adjustments unnecessary in the event of a change of parts to be manufactured.
Thus, the AGV3D allows to maintain the right focal distance for the laser on the entire volume of work, quickly and comfortably. Unlike other solutions that, in the event of a change of part to work, require tedious manual DFM adaptations, the AGV3D has two simple configuration settings, to be chosen by the user, which cover fields of vision from 100×100 mm up to 1000×1000 mm and more.
Optimized for industrial use
Thanks to the AGV3D's large field of view, it is also possible to use smaller, more efficient motion mechanisms for the positioning of the machining part. Depending on the respective process requirements, the 3D scanner is available with different apertures for different ray diameters. On request, Aerotech also delivers the fully configured AGV3D, including the lens. The use of AGV3D is particularly relevant for applications, where parts to be machined fluctuate in height and density, or for additive manufacturing, over several layers. If, in addition to a constant focusing diameter, an angle of incidence as perpendicular as possible is also important, the AGV3D can of course also be used with telecentric lenses.
Thus, the 3-axis laser scanner is in practice predestined for applications in which 3D volumes need to be processed, the working distance will have to vary or when a field of view wider than that of F-theta lenses must be reached. This may include, for example, the manufacture of medical products, but also, in general, additive manufacturing by selective 3D laser sintering, cylinder and tube machining, deep engravings, 3D laser micro-machining and micro-structuring.
"As with all Aerotech products, our AGV3D is also designed for a long life in production environments," explainsSmith. The body of the scanner is sealed and airtight, to protect the optical components from impurities and to reduce the risk of damage.
A controller for all movements
The use of an Aerotech controller facilitates the synchronization and coordination of the AGV3D's movement with other axis of motion in the system, including servo-powered tables and step-by-step engines, piezoelectric nano-positioners and hexapods. Since all devices are programmed and controlled via the same user interface, the ease of use is seamless and intuitive.
Synchronization with other axis of motion allows the AGV3D in addition to the special ability to process machining parts that are larger than its field of view, but which still retain their high machining quality in doing so. To avoid discontinuities and connections, the proven IFOV function (infinite field of view) is available. With this, linear or rotating axes are synchronized with the laser scanner, which theoretically enlarges the scanner's field of view to infinity.
Aerotech'sSynchronized Output (Pitd Output) psO function synchronises an exit to the position and triggers the hyper laser precisely on the trajectory. This output can also be used to make data acquisition in a perfectly synchronized way with the position on the trajectory. In addition, an analysis is done to take into account the delay of triggering, or acceleration phases are anticipated to limit trigger errors.