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High speed mill/laser machines

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THE laser options offered by Lasertec present an alternative to EDM erosion procedures and, in addition, the EMO novelty DMU 60 L combines high-speed milling with laser machining to form a complete package.

The machines of the DML series, available from DMG Australia , and the combined DMU 60 L by Lasertec, have one thing in common: the laser is extremely powerful.

Thus, highly delicate cavities in the most diverse materials can be machined. Steel as well as non-ferrous - and precious metal as well as light alloy.

Even 'alternative' materials, such as ceramics, tungsten carbide (stellite), CBN or PKD are no problem for the laser.

Complete machine programs can be generated by the press of a button through the programming software LaserSoft 3D, directly from previously entered 3D-CAD geometry-data.

These advantages become evident when compared with conventional machining options through erosion procedures. In this regard, the direct method of laser machining leads to time-savings of up to 70 per cent.

If the comparison between supervised and automatic machining times is taken into consideration, laser technology leads to a 90 per cent increase in comparison to EDM processes.

The laser machines of the DML 40 series are especially geared towards complete machining of detailed moulds, or as a supplement to HSC milling.

The prime example of this series is the DML 40SI. Through new 6-axis technology, workpieces with vertical walls can be machined with a horizontal laser.

In this case, machining with the laser is the ideal complement to milling in the area of, for example, fine, delicate contours, in small cast-iron moulds, model building, stamps or mould forming tools.

However, when workpieces have to be machined that have fine cavities also in their final contours, the machines of choice are the 6-axis milling-laser machines DMU 60 L.

The HSC milling head with spindle speeds of up to 42,000rpm takes care at first of the metal removal preparatory treatment with the highest precision.

In the same setup, the laser immediately processes the subsequent machining of fine details, sharp corners, engravings or lettering.

In addition, the newly developed control software LaserSoft 3D makes such combination-machining even more effective, because any material not reached by the milling tool is automatically calculated and consequently removed by the laser.

Both the laser machines of the DML 40 generation as well as the new, combination DMU 60 L work with pulsed Nd:YAD-lasers in the range of 100 watts average laser output.

Above the Q-switch, the beam is pulsed and reaches top output rates of between 10 and 20kW. With a beam diameter of 0.1mm, very high performance densities are achieved, which ultimately lead to the evaporation of the material.

While the high-speed mill-laser machine DMU 60 L is especially conceived for customers in the tool machining and die-cast industry, the exclusively laser-equipped DML 40 series is also opening up markets in the area of medical and micro technology, and in the electrical industry.

Ultimately, these trend-setting laser innovations will establish themselves wherever the machining of complex workpieces with detailed cavities entails cost and cycle-time reduction as well as increasing quality.

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