The diode laser systems emit light from their emitters which is not collimated in their vertical and horizontal axis. In com- parison, the divergence in the y-axis is significantly higher than the divergence in the x-axis.
Due to this observation, the y-axis is called fast-axis while the x-axis is called slow- axis. High power diode manufacturer provide specifications for the divergence distribution of the lasers.
In common laser system, only a convex lens is used to zoom the laser beam, resulting in the rectangular laser spot, like Atomstack A5 and many other laser engravers from other brands, however in high-end laser engravers, such as Atomstack A5 pro, A5 M30 and A5 M40, besides convex lens, an additional lens called Fast-Axis-Collimating Lens is used.
FAC lens is an optical lens that collimates light spreading from a semiconductor laser (LD) in the fast-axis direction. LD have a large divergence angle in the fast-axis direction, so the output light cannot be efficiently used unless collimated. The FAC lens collimates light spreading from a LD into a narrow beam with a radiation angle of several milliradians (mrad) or less so that the diverging light can be efficiently utilized.
In this case, instead of a rectangular spot, laser beam pass through FAC lens and Convex Lens is zoomed in a more squared spot. We call it compressed-spot laser. Adding a FAC lens to our laser system won’t noticeably reduce the laser power, and since laser beam is more concentrated, the power density is much higher than those laser engravers don’t have FAC lens.
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Laser engraving is a popular option that provides a permanent and legible marking on an object through etching, ablation, or deep laser engraving. It is similar to laser marking, but the resulting appearance differs due to the depth of laser penetration.
Laser engraving is commonly used to create permanent serial markings on substrates made of: Metal, Wood, Plastic, Leather.
Benefits Of Laser Engraving Over Traditional Processes
Compared to manual engraving:
Minimally Invasive: Laser engraving can be performed at a range of depths without any direct contact at all. Surface marks can even be done on stainless steel with no depth. Overall, lasers are less damaging than manual engraving and keep the substrate material’s physical integrity intact.
Precise: Lasers provide a level of control that’s impossible to achieve manually. Compared to hand-engraving, the process is swift, clean, and highly repeatable, with little room for human error.
Versatile: A single laser engraving machine can be used to create a host of different designs with only minimal calibration. They can also produce exceptionally complex patterns.
Affordable: On average, laser devices last longer than other engraving machines and require less maintenance, resulting in savings that can be passed along to the consumer.
Fast: Lasers can be programmed to render virtually any design in a matter of moments. Because the process is automated, it’s easy to scale production runs as needed according to demand.
Long-Lasting: Laser-engraved designs are permanent but can wear over time, depending on the substrate material that’s used. Soft metals, for example, may experience more signs of wear than hardwood. In general, however, laser-engraved designs tend to have a longer lifespan compared to other engraving methods.