Awards & Engraving

July '16

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18 • A&E JULY 2016 by Richard Korbyl LASER ENGRAVING APPLICATIONS Galvo-based laser systems are like any other type of laser in that they process an extremely concentrated beam of light. So what makes up a galvo-based laser and how does it work? COMPONENTS James Minchau, Trotec Lasers, has had years of experience with galvo-based lasers. The description of a galvo-based laser system may sound complicated, but in reality it isn't. Minchau suggests that a galvo-based laser system relies on a few major com- ponents to operate. Many of these components reside inside the head of the laser, known as the galvo head. A main component of the galvo system is "a galvanometer, or galvo, which is a device that uses a permanent magnet and an electro magnet to bend a meal coil," says Minchau. The galvanom- eter helps flick the mirrors to obtain ultra fine precision, he adds. Another main component of a galvo head is the dual mirrors. These mirrors, which are extremely small, can move at a very fast rate. In fact, the mirrors move so fast they appear to jiggle, and it is this jiggling motion that helps posi- tioned the laser beam. An equally fundamental part of the galvo head is the controlling component, which is made up of com- puter-driven servo drivers L aser technology has matured drastically over the years and even today, laser manufacturers still make great advancements in speed, throughput and software compatibility. Because laser technol- ogy has found its way into many awards and engraving shops, the use of a laser is not as unique as it used to be in the 1990s. In fact, lasers have actually become more of an expectation in shops these days. But the laser technology that garners the attention of even the most experienced laser owners is the operation of a galvo-based laser. Sometimes a Big Head is a Good Thing Galvo-based lasers and how they work A galvo head from a nd:YAG laser marking system. This laser uses a 4.5-inch diameter lens. IMAGES COURTESY RICHARD KORBYL A major component within the galvo head is the mirrors. These mirrors rotate at such a rate that they appear to almost "flicker".

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