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Laser Cutting and Engraving Application

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Application: Laser Cutting Machine

Laser cutting and engraving techniques use a laser to process materials which are commonly used for industrial manufacturing applications, such as cutting plastic, metal, coated metal, stone, and glass. The laser engraving process leaves a clean edge for a high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters are used to cut flat sheet-like materials as well as structural and piping materials.

Laser cutting and engraving equipment compose of a laser generator, a controller, and a work piece (surface). Normally, the laser beam has a focused spot of 0.2 mm diameter at the cutting surface and is emitted from the laser generator which allows the controller to trace patterns onto the surface. The controller masters the direction, the intensity, the speed of movement, and the spread of the laser beam aimed at the surface. The surface is picked to match what the laser can act on.

Compared with mechanical surface finishing processes, laser cutting offers advantages over mechanical cutting processes, including being easier to work with, reducing contamination of work-piece, and a cleaner surface finish.

To complete CNC processes, laser cutting and engraving processes are applied to make the molding, work the surface, cut the material, drill PCB holes, and cut electrodes. The laser cutting takes direct input in the form of electronic data from a CAD drawing to produce flat form parts of great complexity. By using laser technology, accuracy and precision can be easily reached.

ADLINK Solution: PCI-8254/8258: DSP-based 4/8-axis Advanced Motion Controllers

One challenge equipment manufacturers face is how to control the intensity of the laser with synchronous positioning and speed movements. To improve the smooth path of a uniform laser process, the ADLINK PCI-8254/8258 utilizes a look-up table to ensure accurate variability of intensity and speed of movement. In addition, the PCI-8254/8258 provides both PWM and analog signals to control the intensity of the laser precisely by separately changing the frequency or period of PWM signals.

The PCI-8254/8258 also features a point-table function to simultaneously perform a particular path and control on-board I/O based on the electronic data. Through DSP technology integration, the PCI-8254/8258 further provides velocity planning, trajectory smoothing, and automatic point-feeding to perform 2D laser-table (X-Y table) movement precisely and smoothly.

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