5+4-Axis Laser Structuring

The Fraunhofer IPT provides you with process knowledge as well as practical software and system solutions for the functional (short-pulse and ultra-short-pulse) laser structuring of 3D free-form surfaces with complex geometries.

International Bionic Award

The Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (the Association of German Engineers VDI) presented the Schauenburg Foundation’s International Bionic Award for exemplary inter-disciplinary cooperation jointly to the Fraunhofer IPT, the RWTH Aachen and the Johannes Kepler University of Linz.

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Micrometer and Nanometer Dimensions

CAM-controlled 5+4-axis laser machines can use ultra-short pulse lasers to apply and to automatically align self-organized nanostructures on free-form surfaces.

Procedural Structures

The Fraunhofer IPT is developing a potentially groundbreaking method of describing and programming laser surface structuring patterns.

Laser Ablation with Short Pulse and Ultra-Short Pulse Lasers

The Fraunhofer IPT is using short-pulse and ultra-short pulse lasers to apply high-precision functional surface structures in the micrometer and nanometre dimensions. Direct laser structuring technology is used to produce structures with lateral expansions in excess of 10 µm, while self-organized structuring strategies are capable of applying smaller, periodic structures in dimensions of down to 100 nm. It is possible to use this technique for nearly all materials.

Short-pulse and ultra-short pulse lasers are currently applied by the Fraunhofer IPT‘s 5+4-axis machines. For the future, it is planned to integrate robots into the handling systems. Sophisticated 3D-structuring processes require fully integrated process chains, and we are building our system around the "CALM" CAM solution which was developed by the IPT’s in-house research engineers.

This software solution allows us to structure free-form surfaces with complex geometries by transferring structural models seamlessly to the actual work pieces.

Our Services

  • Laser structuring of geometrically complex components with short-pulse and ultra-short pulse lasers
  • Technology consultancy, customized to your individual requirements
  • Adaptation and integration of processes into your manufacturing environment
  • Technical and economic feasibility studies
  • Laser structuring of customized small and medium-sized batches

Typical Applications in Industrial Production

Tribology

Microstructures that have been applied by laser to the surfaces of tribological components reduce or minimize friction as well as the level of wear.

Haptics

Microstructures determine the feel of the surfaces to which they have been applied. Laser structuring can provide surfaces with the required haptic properties.

Biomedicine

Microstructures and nanostructures on work piece surfaces determine the behaviour of cells and bacteria, inhibiting or accelerating cell growth according to requirements or even allowing the controlled differentiation of stem cells.

Wettability and fluid
dynamics

Microstructures and nanostructures can serve to alter the wettability properties of surfaces, allowing the application of hydrophilic and hydrophobic sections to a single component. On top of that, tiny capillary structures are capable of transporting fluid passively.

Design and Optics

Laser structuring can change the aesthetic and visual properties of component surfaces, enabling the industrial application of virtually any design pattern.

Machining of Diamonds

Diamonds are generally too hard for conventional machining techniques. Laser structuring converts diamonds into graphite, allowing far higher rates of ablation.