Laser Line Ultra

Contact Details

EWAG (United Grinding Technologies Inc.)
Address
5160 Lad Land Dr.
Fredericksburg
22407
VA
United States
Phone
540-898-3700
Fax
540-898-6819
February 10,2020

Related Glossary Terms

  • chemical vapor deposition ( CVD)

    chemical vapor deposition ( CVD)

    High-temperature (1,000° C or higher), atmosphere-controlled process in which a chemical reaction is induced for the purpose of depositing a coating 2µm to 12µm thick on a tool’s surface. See coated tools; PVD, physical vapor deposition.

  • clearance

    clearance

    Space provided behind a tool’s land or relief to prevent rubbing and subsequent premature deterioration of the tool. See land; relief.

  • cubic boron nitride ( CBN)

    cubic boron nitride ( CBN)

    Crystal manufactured from boron nitride under high pressure and temperature. Used to cut hard-to-machine ferrous and nickel-base materials up to 70 HRC. Second hardest material after diamond. See superabrasive tools.

  • gang cutting ( milling)

    gang cutting ( milling)

    Machining with several cutters mounted on a single arbor, generally for simultaneous cutting.

  • grinding

    grinding

    Machining operation in which material is removed from the workpiece by a powered abrasive wheel, stone, belt, paste, sheet, compound, slurry, etc. Takes various forms: surface grinding (creates flat and/or squared surfaces); cylindrical grinding (for external cylindrical and tapered shapes, fillets, undercuts, etc.); centerless grinding; chamfering; thread and form grinding; tool and cutter grinding; offhand grinding; lapping and polishing (grinding with extremely fine grits to create ultrasmooth surfaces); honing; and disc grinding.

  • hardness

    hardness

    Hardness is a measure of the resistance of a material to surface indentation or abrasion. There is no absolute scale for hardness. In order to express hardness quantitatively, each type of test has its own scale, which defines hardness. Indentation hardness obtained through static methods is measured by Brinell, Rockwell, Vickers and Knoop tests. Hardness without indentation is measured by a dynamic method, known as the Scleroscope test.

  • milling

    milling

    Machining operation in which metal or other material is removed by applying power to a rotating cutter. In vertical milling, the cutting tool is mounted vertically on the spindle. In horizontal milling, the cutting tool is mounted horizontally, either directly on the spindle or on an arbor. Horizontal milling is further broken down into conventional milling, where the cutter rotates opposite the direction of feed, or “up” into the workpiece; and climb milling, where the cutter rotates in the direction of feed, or “down” into the workpiece. Milling operations include plane or surface milling, endmilling, facemilling, angle milling, form milling and profiling.

  • milling machine ( mill)

    milling machine ( mill)

    Runs endmills and arbor-mounted milling cutters. Features include a head with a spindle that drives the cutters; a column, knee and table that provide motion in the three Cartesian axes; and a base that supports the components and houses the cutting-fluid pump and reservoir. The work is mounted on the table and fed into the rotating cutter or endmill to accomplish the milling steps; vertical milling machines also feed endmills into the work by means of a spindle-mounted quill. Models range from small manual machines to big bed-type and duplex mills. All take one of three basic forms: vertical, horizontal or convertible horizontal/vertical. Vertical machines may be knee-type (the table is mounted on a knee that can be elevated) or bed-type (the table is securely supported and only moves horizontally). In general, horizontal machines are bigger and more powerful, while vertical machines are lighter but more versatile and easier to set up and operate.

  • physical vapor deposition ( PVD)

    physical vapor deposition ( PVD)

    Tool-coating process performed at low temperature (500° C), compared to chemical vapor deposition (1,000° C). Employs electric field to generate necessary heat for depositing coating on a tool’s surface. See CVD, chemical vapor deposition.

  • polycrystalline diamond ( PCD)

    polycrystalline diamond ( PCD)

    Cutting tool material consisting of natural or synthetic diamond crystals bonded together under high pressure at elevated temperatures. PCD is available as a tip brazed to a carbide insert carrier. Used for machining nonferrous alloys and nonmetallic materials at high cutting speeds.

  • profiling

    profiling

    Machining vertical edges of workpieces having irregular contours; normally performed with an endmill in a vertical spindle on a milling machine or with a profiler, following a pattern. See mill, milling machine.

  • tolerance

    tolerance

    Minimum and maximum amount a workpiece dimension is allowed to vary from a set standard and still be acceptable.

  • tungsten carbide ( WC)

    tungsten carbide ( WC)

    Intermetallic compound consisting of equal parts, by atomic weight, of tungsten and carbon. Sometimes tungsten carbide is used in reference to the cemented tungsten carbide material with cobalt added and/or with titanium carbide or tantalum carbide added. Thus, the tungsten carbide may be used to refer to pure tungsten carbide as well as co-bonded tungsten carbide, which may or may not contain added titanium carbide and/or tantalum carbide.

  • tungsten carbide ( WC)2

    tungsten carbide ( WC)

    Intermetallic compound consisting of equal parts, by atomic weight, of tungsten and carbon. Sometimes tungsten carbide is used in reference to the cemented tungsten carbide material with cobalt added and/or with titanium carbide or tantalum carbide added. Thus, the tungsten carbide may be used to refer to pure tungsten carbide as well as co-bonded tungsten carbide, which may or may not contain added titanium carbide and/or tantalum carbide.

Laser Line Ultra

As products grow thinner and lighter to meet the needs of the electronics, medical and micromechanics industries, United Grinding and Ewag have developed the Laser Line Ultra for machining the incredibly precise microtools required for these applications. Specializing in the laser fabrication of cutting tools made of hard and ultrahard materials such as tungsten carbide, PCD, chemical vapor deposition diamond and CBN, the Laser Line Ultra uses an 8-axis configuration and picosecond lasers to machine complex micro geometries in cutting tools regardless of the material’s hardness and with negligible heat-affected zones. 

To ensure homogenous hole quality with micro-sized drill bits, wear-resistance of the tools is of utmost importance and can only be achieved by micro-cutting tools made out of ultrahard materials. By using ultrashort laser pulses and the Ewag Drill Module, the Laser Line Ultra enables diameter-to-length ratios up to 1-20. This technology allows manufacturers to produce tip thinning or chamfers, and unlike conventional techniques, the force-free process eliminates waste from tool breakage. 

Laser processing ordinarily removes material according to thermal-based mechanisms. However, by using ultrashort laser pulses and correct laser parameters, the pulse is so short that significant heat has no time to be conducted into the cutting tool, creating little, if any, heat-affected zones. For example, carbide drill bits fabricated with the Laser Line Ultra can accept the same processing chain and recipe for PVD coatings as ground cutting tools.

Applications of micro endmills include profiling printed circuit boards, milling of enclosures such as mobile phone cases and for the fabrication of molds and dies. By using the Ewag Mill Module, the Laser Line Ultra is able to fabricate 4-flute PCD endmills from cylindrical blanks with primary and secondary clearance faces fabricated both at the tip and circumference as well as a smooth, uninterrupted interface between PCD and WC – a crucial factor in the quality and chip evacuation performance of spiral tools. As a result, the surface quality of lasered WC surfaces is 20% better than the equivalent ground drill bit.

In general, lasered spiral tool surfaces, regardless of material, exhibit surface roughness values for Ra and Rz of <0.25 µm and <1.5 µm, respectively. Additionally, cutting edge radii are typically ≤5 µm and are symmetric with a K-factor typically equal to 1±0.2. In terms of diameter stability, a tolerance of ±0.005 mm can be achieved given a production run of 12 hours in a climate-controlled facility.

The Ewag Drill and Mill Module are software options which enable users of the Laser Line Ultra to fabricate spiral tools made of tungsten carbide or PCD between 0.4 mm to 3 mm in diameter. Like the Helitronic Tool Studio from Walter, parametric programming and automatic recommendations for laser processing parameters contribute to the module’s ease of use.