Laser Systems for Glass Manufacturing

Glass meets Micromachining Excellence

Laser manufacturing for display applications

Display Applications

Cutting of coated, uncoated, and stacked display components for:

Display and touch components of cell phones, tablets, wearables, etc.

Waveguides for AR-devices like holographic displays, smart glasses, and head up displays (HUD)

Digital x-ray imaging units

OLED devices such as mobile phones, monitors, laptops, lighting elements etc.

Laser manufacturing for electronics devices made of glass

Electronic Devices

Dicing and drilling of pale and pre-processed wafers for:

Pressure sensors

Spacer and encapsulation parts that are used as packaging

Substrates for Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)

Laser manufacturing of glass for health technology

Health Technology

Cutting and pre-cutting of predetermined breaking lines on substrates for:

Microscopic slides and cover slips or cover glasses

Customized diagnostic slides

Flow cells for next-generation sequencing (NGS)

Laser manufacturing of glass for optical devices

Optical Devices

Singulation of lenses for optical devices like

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)

Camera covers

Micro-Lens-Array-Systems (MLA) for lighting devices

Laser Machining of Transparent Brittle Materials

Optimized Laser Systems and Processes for Industrial Production

Glass materials such as borosilicate, aluminosilicate (e.g., Gorilla®), fused silica, sapphire and other types of special glass are used in many applications. Due to their special properties such as extreme thermal stability, extra-ordinary flatness, chemical resistance or outstanding optical performance, they are used as materials in various industries.

How brittle materials were processed until now

In most cases, glass processing starts on raw substrates that come in the form of flat glass. Unsurprisingly, the display industry and manufacturers of optical components are working with sheet glass as raw materials. However, plate glass also needs to be processed in electronic manufacturing and medical technology.

Originally, most of the glass processing has been done with mechanical scoring and breaking or other process steps such as sandblasting, ultrasonic machining or wet etching. Only recently have manufacturers started turning away from those rather unsubtle processing methods and using laser technology in order to achieve more precise processing of glass materials. The main advantages are plain to see: Ultrashort pulse lasers facilitate highly precise and always reproducible processing of brittle materials at a very high pace.

Benefits of processing brittle materials with lasers

Laser processes for glass processing industries include laser cutting by generating filaments/modifications, laser drilling, and layer-by-layer ablation, which can generate complete 3D structures in glass.

At 3D-Micromac we use laser beam sources that are 24/7 production qualified. Pulse durations – as one main selection criterion – range from femtoseconds to a few picoseconds. Due to its beam characteristics, a laser can be highly selective, making it ideal for damage-free cutting and drilling as well as for coating removal. In addition, a single laser source can be used in different processing steps. For example, any laser source that might be used for cutting glass sheets can also be used to create permanent engravings or markings for internal or external quality assurance matters.

No matter if wafer, panels or ultra-thin glass

Usually, glass substrates are available either as wafers or as large panels. Nevertheless, increasing production throughputs requires the processing of ever larger panels or even the conversion from wafer processing to panel processing in more and more cases.

Typically, in industrial applications rigid glasses with a thickness greater than 0.3 mm are used. Nevertheless, the industry is moving towards thinner and more flexible substrates. Ultra-thin glasses with only 30 µm thickness are becoming ubiquitous. Naturally, this trend offers vast possibilities for new applications and designs. At the same time, this trend makes changes to new and flexible production technologies necessary for manufacturers and processors.

Ready for the future with laser processing

We at 3D-Micromac offer glass processing systems for all common output formats. These systems are based on different platforms and characterized by a particularly ergonomic material flow and good automation capabilities. 3D-Micromac’s innovative technology modules enable laser cutting, drilling, and surface structuring at very high throughput rates.

Our engineers at 3D-Micromac make sure that all processes meet the requirements and standards of the respective industries and guarantee a stable processing quality with extremely low downtimes.

Advantages of laser processing

Compared to conventional glass processing methods, laser processing scores with:

  • Superior surface and edge quality

    Ultrashort pulse lasers guarantee minimum heat affected zones and therefore minimized defect initiation.

  • Internal contours and holes

    Using laser processing, the production of internal contours and holes are easily achievable.

  • Free-form capability

    Laser processing leaves nothing to be desired regarding contours that can be cut out of brittle materials.

  • Almost no consumables

    While working with laser technology, safety is our main priority. Nevertheless, personal protective equipment and consumables required for wet chemistry are not needed with lasers.

  • Minimized particle generation

    The non-ablative, „zero kerf” micro-perforation process carried out by lasers eliminates the generation of particles.

  • Suitable for coated substrates and stack materials

    Since lasers can be adjusted to be highly selective, coated substrates and so-called “sandwich” substrates (or stacks) are easy to process.

Our Services

From the first idea to industrial production

Laser process development for glass cutting

Process Development

Your glass product ideas are a game changer?

A high-quality, reliable and cost-efficient production process is what you’re looking for?

The development of exceptional laser processes is our strength!

We fully support our customers in the qualification of product ideas as well as in the development of stable laser processes for production facilities.

Contract Manufacturing by 3D-Micromac

Would you like to produce components in recurring high quality?

Are you planning only a small volume production where an investment in your own laser production systems wouldn’t pay off?

Do you need an interim solution until your new production equipment will be delivered?

With our unique process expertise, we manufacture high-quality components as a contract manufacturing service for you.

We guarantee the manufacturing of high-quality components and devices. Production efficiency and cost awareness are always our top priority.

More information:

Laser systems for glass processing

Do you need a reliable and user-friendly laser system for glass processing?

Are you looking for a partner who covers your whole workflow?

We offer machining solutions built with high German quality standards focusing on an optimized workflow.

Our modular laser systems cover workflows from manual loading up to line integration at substrate sizes of up to 2000 x 3000 mm².

Customer-specific adaptations of the laser systems to the application are our daily business.

More information:

We are the leading specialist in laser micromachining.

Our laser expertise and engineering competency allow us to stand alongside our customers as reliable partners in technology and process development, contract manufacturing as well as in the development of manufacturing solutions and customer-specific systems.

We are able to find the most efficient solution for you!

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