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1. WO2020198553 - MATERIAL PROCESSING UTILIZING HIGH-FREQUENCY BEAM SHAPING

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A method of processing a workpiece, the method comprising:

providing a laser and an optical fiber having multiple interior regions, in-coupling of a laser emission into each of the interior regions causing the fiber to produce an output having a different spatial output profile;

in a temporal pattern, steering the laser emission to different ones of the interior regions of the fiber such that the output has different spatial output profiles; and

while directing the output onto the workpiece to process the workpiece, causing relative movement therebetween,

wherein the temporal pattern has a frequency sufficient such that the workpiece is processed, during the relative movement between the workpiece and the output, by an effective output shape combining the different spatial output profiles.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the workpiece undergoes a time-based response to the output based on the spatial output profile and a power density thereof.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the relative movement occurs no faster than a maximum processing speed, the maximum processing speed (i) being selected based on the time-based response of the material and the frequency of the temporal pattern and (ii) ensuring that the response is to the effective output shape.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein each interior region of the fiber is a core region.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the interior regions include at least a central first core and an annular second core surrounding the first core.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein at least one of the interior regions of the fiber is a core region and at least one of the interior regions of the fiber is a cladding region.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the laser emission is steered in response to a control waveform.

8 The method of claim 7, wherein the control waveform is a square wave.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein the effective output shape is a weighted average of the different spatial output profiles based on a shape and duty cycle of the control waveform.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the laser emission is a multi -wavelength beam.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the laser emission is steered to different ones of the interior regions of the fiber based on at least one of (i) a type of processing performed on the workpiece, (ii) a property of the workpiece, or (iii) a processing path along which the workpiece is processed.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the type of processing is selected from the list consisting of cutting, welding, etching, annealing, drilling, soldering, and brazing.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein the property of the workpiece comprises at least one of a thickness of the workpiece, a composition of the workpiece, a reflectivity of the workpiece, or a topography of the workpiece.

14. The method of claim 11, wherein the laser emission is steered to different ones of the interior regions of the fiber based on one or more directional changes in the processing path.

15. The method of claim 1, wherein the laser comprises:

one or more beam emitters emitting a plurality of discrete beams;

focusing optics for focusing the plurality of beams toward a dispersive element; the dispersive element for receiving and dispersing the received focused beams; and

a partially reflective output coupler positioned to receive the dispersed beams, transmit a portion of the dispersed beams therethrough as the laser emission, and reflect a second portion of the dispersed beams back toward the dispersive element,

wherein the laser emission is composed of multiple wavelengths.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the dispersive element comprises a diffraction grating.

17. The method of claim 1, wherein the optical fiber comprises a fiber core, a first cladding region surrounding the fiber core, and a second cladding region surrounding the first cladding region.

18. The method of claim 1, wherein the optical fiber comprises a fiber core, a first cladding region surrounding the fiber core, an annular core surrounding the first cladding region, and a second cladding region surrounding the annular core.

19. A method of processing a workpiece, the method comprising:

providing a laser and a fiber bundle having multiple optical fibers, in-coupling of a laser emission in at least two of the optical fibers causing the fiber bundle to produce an output having a different spatial output profile;

in a temporal pattern, steering the laser emission to different ones of the optical fibers of the fiber bundle such that the output has different spatial output profiles; and while directing the output onto the workpiece to process the workpiece, causing relative movement therebetween,

wherein the temporal pattern has a frequency sufficient such that the workpiece is processed, during the relative movement between the workpiece and the output, by an effective output shape combining the different spatial output profiles.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the workpiece undergoes a time-based response to the output based on the spatial output profile and a power density thereof.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the relative movement occurs no faster than a maximum processing speed, the maximum processing speed (i) being selected based on the time-based response of the material and the frequency of the temporal pattern and (ii) ensuring that the response is to the effective output shape.

22. The method of claim 19, wherein the laser emission is steered in response to a control waveform.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the control waveform is a square wave.

24. The method of claim 22, wherein the effective output shape is a weighted average of the different spatial output profiles based on a shape and duty cycle of the control waveform.

25. The method of claim 19, wherein the laser emission is a multi -wavelength beam.

26. The method of claim 19, wherein the laser emission is steered to different ones of the optical fibers based on at least one of (i) a type of processing performed on the workpiece, (ii) a property of the workpiece, or (iii) a processing path along which the workpiece is processed.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein the type of processing is selected from the list consisting of cutting, welding, etching, annealing, drilling, soldering, and brazing.

28. The method of claim 26, wherein the property of the workpiece comprises at least one of a thickness of the workpiece, a composition of the workpiece, a reflectivity of the workpiece, or a topography of the workpiece.

29. The method of claim 26, wherein the laser emission is steered to different ones of the optical fibers based on one or more directional changes in the processing path.

30. The method of claim 19, wherein the laser comprises:

one or more beam emitters emitting a plurality of discrete beams;

focusing optics for focusing the plurality of beams toward a dispersive element; the dispersive element for receiving and dispersing the received focused beams; and

a partially reflective output coupler positioned to receive the dispersed beams, transmit a portion of the dispersed beams therethrough as the laser emission, and reflect a second portion of the dispersed beams back toward the dispersive element,

wherein the laser emission is composed of multiple wavelengths.

31. The method of claim 30, wherein the dispersive element comprises a diffraction grating.

32. The method of claim 19, wherein at least one of the optical fibers comprises a fiber core, a first cladding region surrounding the fiber core, and a second cladding region surrounding the first cladding region.

33. The method of claim 19, wherein at least one of the optical fibers comprises a fiber core, a first cladding region surrounding the fiber core, an annular core surrounding the first cladding region, and a second cladding region surrounding the annular core.

34. A laser system comprising:

a beam source for emission of an input laser beam;

an optical fiber having multiple interior regions, in-coupling of an input laser emission into each of the interior regions causing the fiber to produce an output having a different spatial output profile;

a switching mechanism for steering the input laser emission to different ones of the interior regions of the fiber to produce different spatial output profiles in a temporal pattern having a frequency; and

a delivery mechanism for directing the output onto the workpiece while causing relative movement therebetween, thereby processing the workpiece,

wherein the frequency is sufficient such that the workpiece is processed, during the relative movement between the workpiece and the output, by an effective output shape combining the different spatial output profiles.

35. The system of claim 34, wherein the switching mechanism comprises a flexure-mounted reflector.

36. The system of claim 34, wherein the workpiece undergoes a time-based response to the output based on the spatial output profile and a power density thereof, the switching mechanism being configured to limit the relative movement to a maximum processing speed (i) selected based on the time-based response of the material and the frequency of the temporal pattern and (ii) ensuring that the response is to the effective output shape.

37. The system of claim 34, wherein each interior region of the fiber is a core region.

38. The system of claim 37, wherein the interior regions include at least a central first core and an annular second core surrounding the first core.

39. The system of claim 34, wherein at least one of the interior regions of the fiber is a core region and at least one of the interior regions of the fiber is a cladding region.

40. The system of claim 34, further comprising a waveform generator for generating a control waveform, the switching mechanism being configured to steer the input laser emission in response to the control waveform.

41. The system of claim 40, wherein the control waveform is a square wave.

42. The system of claim 40, wherein the effective output shape is a weighted average of the different spatial output profiles based on a shape and duty cycle of the control waveform.

43. The system of claim 34, wherein the input laser emission is a multi -wavelength beam.

44. The system of claim 34, wherein the switching mechanism is configured to steer the input laser emission to different ones of the interior regions of the fiber based on at least one of (i) a type of processing to be performed on the workpiece, (ii) a property of the workpiece, or (iii) a processing path along which the workpiece is to be processed.

45. The system of claim 44, wherein the type of processing is selected from the list consisting of cutting, welding, etching, annealing, drilling, soldering, and brazing.

46. The system of claim 44, wherein the property of the workpiece comprises at least one of a thickness of the workpiece, a composition of the workpiece, a reflectivity of the workpiece, or a topography of the workpiece.

47. The system of claim 44, wherein the switching mechanism is configured to steer the input laser emission to different ones of the interior regions of the fiber based on one or more directional changes in the processing path.

48. The system of claim 34, wherein the beam source comprises:

one or more beam emitters emitting a plurality of discrete beams;

focusing optics for focusing the plurality of beams toward a dispersive element; the dispersive element for receiving and dispersing the received focused beams; and

a partially reflective output coupler positioned to receive the dispersed beams, transmit a portion of the dispersed beams therethrough as the input laser emission, and reflect a second portion of the dispersed beams back toward the dispersive element, wherein the input laser emission is composed of multiple wavelengths.

49. The system of claim 48, wherein the dispersive element comprises a diffraction grating.

50. The system of claim 34, wherein the optical fiber comprises a fiber core, a first cladding region surrounding the fiber core, and a second cladding region surrounding the first cladding region.

51. The system of claim 34, wherein the optical fiber comprises a fiber core, a first cladding region surrounding the fiber core, an annular core surrounding the first cladding region, and a second cladding region surrounding the annular core.

52. A laser system comprising:

a beam source for emission of an input laser beam;

a fiber bundle having multiple optical fibers, in-coupling of an input laser emission into at least two of the optical fibers causing the fiber bundle to produce an output having a different spatial output profile;

a switching mechanism for steering the input laser emission to different ones of the optical fibers of the fiber bundle to produce different spatial output profiles in a temporal pattern having a frequency; and

a delivery mechanism for directing the output onto the workpiece while causing relative movement therebetween, thereby processing the workpiece,

wherein the frequency is sufficient such that the workpiece is processed, during the relative movement between the workpiece and the output, by an effective output shape combining the different spatial output profiles.

53. The system of claim 52, wherein the switching mechanism comprises a flexure-mounted reflector.

54. The system of claim 52, wherein the workpiece undergoes a time-based response to the output based on the spatial output profile and a power density thereof, the switching mechanism being configured to limit the relative movement to a maximum

processing speed (i) selected based on the time-based response of the material and the frequency of the temporal pattern and (ii) ensuring that the response is to the effective output shape.

55. The system of claim 52, further comprising a waveform generator for generating a control waveform, the switching mechanism being configured to steer the input laser emission in response to the control waveform.

56. The system of claim 55, wherein the control waveform is a square wave.

57. The system of claim 55, wherein the effective output shape is a weighted average of the different spatial output profiles based on a shape and duty cycle of the control waveform.

58. The system of claim 52, wherein the input laser emission is a multi -wavelength beam.

59. The system of claim 52, wherein the switching mechanism is configured to steer the input laser emission to different ones of the optical fibers based on at least one of (i) a type of processing to be performed on the workpiece, (ii) a property of the workpiece, or (iii) a processing path along which the workpiece is to be processed.

60. The system of claim 59, wherein the type of processing is selected from the list consisting of cutting, welding, etching, annealing, drilling, soldering, and brazing.

61. The system of claim 59, wherein the property of the workpiece comprises at least one of a thickness of the workpiece, a composition of the workpiece, a reflectivity of the workpiece, or a topography of the workpiece.

62. The system of claim 59, wherein the switching mechanism is configured to steer the input laser emission to different ones of the optical fibers based on one or more directional changes in the processing path.

63. The system of claim 52, wherein the beam source comprises:

one or more beam emitters emitting a plurality of discrete beams;

focusing optics for focusing the plurality of beams toward a dispersive element; the dispersive element for receiving and dispersing the received focused beams; and

a partially reflective output coupler positioned to receive the dispersed beams, transmit a portion of the dispersed beams therethrough as the input laser emission, and reflect a second portion of the dispersed beams back toward the dispersive element, wherein the input laser emission is composed of multiple wavelengths.

64. The system of claim 63, wherein the dispersive element comprises a diffraction grating.

65. The system of claim 52, wherein at least one optical fiber comprises a fiber core, a first cladding region surrounding the fiber core, and a second cladding region surrounding the first cladding region.

66. The system of claim 52, wherein at least one optical fiber comprises a fiber core, a first cladding region surrounding the fiber core, an annular core surrounding the first cladding region, and a second cladding region surrounding the annular core.