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Automation

  • Stitching: galvo + stages automation
  • Variables for easy parameter change
  • Loops for repetitive tasks
  • Focus distance adjustment
  • Triggers
  • 3D printing process automation

Stitching: galvo + stages automation

DMC laser machining software has a Stitching tool to combine the motion of galvo scanners and linear stages. It makes use of the fast speed of galvo scanners and the field size of linear stages. And all of it is controlled with an easy function in a single window.

Stitching allows to

  • divide large objects or recipes into tiles or
  • center each object in the galvo field e.g. for laser drilling.

Instead of generating G-Code, DMC controls all of the hardware directly, so all the motions are coordinated with available feedback from controllers.

Variables for easy parameter change

Laser machining recipes can be automated using variables. Each parameter in the recipe (e.g. position, size, rotation angle, motion speed, galvo delay, number of repetitions, etc.) can be entered as a variable. For example, create a variable with the name “v” and enter it anywhere where motion speed needs to be controlled. Now change just the value of the variable “v” and speed will change everywhere it is used. Changing variable values is also possible within the recipe, e.g. increasing the value of “v” by 50 mm/s for each next rectangle, to test process parameters.

All the parameters and the variables can be described by mathematical formulas as well. E.g. value of “v” can be “i*pi^2+3” where “i” is the name of another variable and “pi” is a constant π.

Loops for repetitive tasks

Any part of the laser machining recipe can be looped in DMC. That allows creating flexible repetitive recipes easily. Using loops most complex shapes and patterns can be created. It is also great for testing various machining parameters as the same object can be repeated with different laser or motion parameters a number of times.

The number of loops can be a fixed number or formula or variable. The number (counter) of the loop is also a variable on its own and can be used for automation.

Loops within loops are also allowed.

Focus distance adjustment

When the sample is tilted or has an uneven surface, distance to it can be acquired via the camera focus function or some other sensor (e.g. Keyence height sensor). That data is generated to a heightmap and is used to compensate beam focus position.

Users can select which area should be mapped and the device to do it. Alternatively, a map created by other means can be imported as a CSV file.

Z position of each object is adjusted with the Z positioning stage or galvo Z-axis according to the map data to keep the laser beam always in focus on the uneven surface.

Triggers

DMC allows recipe start or restart control by digital inputs. Use a Wait For Trigger command to stop the execution of the recipe in a set place. And it will be continued when a set digital input is set to High or Low value.

Use this to idle the process until the machine performs some other actions, e.g. adds more material for the additive manufacturing process.

3D printing process automation

Additive laser manufacturing or 3D laser printing processes like SLS, SLM or stereolithography may use an additional level of automation.

All the inserted STL objects are combined to machine them together layer by layer. Many different objects can be printed at the same time, with a start position at different heights as well.

Specific action sequences can be described to perform before and after each layer. Use this to add more material and other tasks.