Introduction

Lightmotif can assist customers with various micromachining problems, ranging from one-off manufacturing of test/prototype parts or small series production up to complete application development.

For customers that are investigating a new application we usually start with a quick feasibility study. If the results of this study are promising we can work towards a fully developed application in several iterations of process development, performed in close collaboration with the customer. Finally, we can do small scale production using our facilities, help setting up production at a specialized high-volume job-shop company, or supply a custom system to allow the customer to perform production in-house.

Feasibility Studies

Judging the feasibility of a new application is a very important step in the application development process. This step should answer if a solution can be obtained at all, and can give a first estimate of its costs.

The technical and economical feasibility can often only be answered by a hands-on feasibility study. The output of such a study could be a first prototype that the customer can use for initial testing. When planning a feasibility study a careful balance between cost efficiency and completeness has to be made.

We understand that customers will not want to spend too much on costly research at an early stage when the success of a project is uncertain, so we offer feasibility studies at a reduced price. We also benefit from a this lower barrier when it increases the adoption of our technology.

Process Development

Processes using an ultrashort pulse laser can be quite complex due to the large amount of parameters that may influence the results. Optimizing a process for speed or quality can be time consuming. Our engineers use extensive knowledge of laser-material interaction, motion and scanning systems, and measurement equipment when working on process research projects. A structured approach, clear goals, and good documentation allow us to get reproducible and usable results efficiently.

Job-Shop

Lightmotif offers job-shop services for specialty products and small series. Based on our advanced and flexible machines and our excellent process development services we can offer unique production capabilities.

Lightmotif is not specialized in high-volume production. However, we are open to transfer our processes to specialized high-volume job-shop companies in case a customer is not prepared to invest in a production machine.

Facilities

Our applications laboratory, R&D space, and production facility are housed in a temperature and humidity conditioned cleanroom.

Laser Workstations

We operate a flexible three-axis machine for 2.5D applications as well as a large five-axis system for 3D applications. These machines use custom developed laser micromachining control software that enables complex and large jobs.

Our systems use state-of-the-art picosecond pulse (< 12 ps) lasers from Time-Bandwidth ProductsThese lasers operate at multiple wavelengths (1064, 532, and 355 nm) and offer unmatched speed and flexibility with their very wide range of repetition rates, pulse energies, and burst sizes/shapes. Together with excellent beam quality and long term stability and the possibility of fast pulse energy modulation, these lasers are ideally suited for laser process research.

Our 3D system uses a custom large granite based five-axis manipulator that supports large/heavy workpieces. This machine was developed by Lightmotif to enable surface texturing and micromachining on complex 3D curved surfaces. For example, it can be used to apply functional surface textures to complex (3D curved) injection molds.

Measurement Equipment

High quality process development requires good measurement equipment. Lightmotif uses optical microscopy, laser profilometry, laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for its research and development.