Micro-LAM technologies has developed a technology using lasers and diamonds for cutting of hard and brittle materials. Machining hard and brittle materials is difficult since continuous use leads to wear and tear. Most tools use diamond tipped cutters since diamonds are universally acknowledged as one the hardest materials on earth. Diamond tools find applications in manufacture of high-powered electronics, computer chips, and lenses, windows and mirrors for optical and laser systems.
The Micro-LAM technology focuses a laser beam on the surface and uses diamond tipped tools to cut the softened surface. Diamonds with low impurities are transparent to laser beams and hence are not affected by the heat.
This invention is estimated to benefit and save a typical part manufacturer $150,000 to $500,000 a year.
Image Credit: The Micro-LAM system cutting silicon.