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Application Note

Automation1 & Laser Scan Head Material Processing

The Benefits of Controlling a Laser Scan Head and Servo Stages from a Single Motion Controller

Many laser machine builders are experienced in building systems that incorporate both laser scan heads and direct- or screw-driven servo stages. In most cases, the laser-material interaction drives component selections and process control approaches. For example, a laser scan head is often selected based on process throughput considerations. However, laser scan heads typically use f-theta optics that affect beam quality – and therefore part quality and process performance – the farther from the center of the optic the beam is commanded. This throughput versus quality consideration lives under the broader envelope of applying laser energy to the surface when and where the user desires. 

Fortunately for machine builders, there is a way to manage these tradeoffs and build a machine that optimizes process throughput while maintaining part quality: Aerotech’s high-performance laser scan heads and controls, which use a single controller for scan head and servo motion control and offer controller features for precision process control.