Laser marking on smooth even surfaces is easy. The challenge is laser marking on curved or uneven surfaces. Surfaces that are curved, or those with varying heights, pose a problem for laser marking. The traditional method of handling such issues was for the operator to mechanically adjust the laser head situated on a movable jig. This allows the laser to mark on all surfaces from the same relative height.
In recent times, this method has become difficult to use, as it is labor intensive, since a dedicated operator has to oversee the functioning of a laser. At the same time, output of the machine as well as the operator is greatly reduced in this method. Adjustment of such heavy machinery is extremely difficult and causes accuracy issues.
Additionally, maintenance and repair work is tedious and expensive. Hence, there was a need to develop better systems for laser marking of uneven surfaces.
Three-Axis Control Technology: Use of Z-axis to Laser Mark Curved or Uneven Surfaces
The problem with the earlier machines was that they could only mark surfaces in the X and Y-axis. In the new system, the laser head contains an expansion lens situated on a sliding electronic galvonometer. This allows the lens to move in the Z-axis to a certain extent.
The three-axis control technology has helped open up a world of opportunities. The lasers can now mark two or more surfaces with a difference of ±21 mm. Hence, the laser is able to seamlessly mark curved as well as uneven surfaces like cylinders, spheres, and multi-tiered surfaces.
At the same time, since the three-axis laser operates in a completely automated manner, this helps to counter problems related to labor dependency. With reduced manual control, the accuracy increases, and operation cost reduces.
Laser marking is one of the most efficient ways of marking a surface in a permanent fashion. It can print barcodes, names, numbers, and other graphics onto almost all surfaces. This technology has been improved so that it can be used in several other applications as well.
Apart from commercial and regular use, laser marking can be used effectively for industrial applications. It is useful in industries where the wear and tear of the applications is quite high. Since laser marking provides permanent results, the durability of the marking will be much higher as compared to its counterparts.