Laser System Solutions for Mold & Die Production
Areas of Application in Mold & Die Production
Frosting and surface texturing
The laser can be used for the defined structuring of tool surfaces. Typically, relatively small structural elements that are repeated continuously, but not necessarily visibly, are engraved in order to create a smooth – and in some cases polished – surface. These structures may be made up of geometrical elements in order to produce a certain visual impression or may consist of irregular textural units, for example as they occur in leather grains or in a brushed wooden structure. The textures must be available to the software program as a 3D data model.
The grain of interior linings that are used in the automotive industry is typically etched. However, engraving this grain or surface texture on small parts using a laser is often easier and therefore more economical. A faulty surface structure in a mold can also be repaired with the laser.
A process that has been developed by ACSYS for the exact replication of the “sandblasting” effect when laser frosting.
2.5D and 3D laser engraving
The image on the right shows the basic principle of 3D laser engraving.
With 2.5D and 3D laser engraving, the surface of the workpiece is removed to a certain depth in a software-controlled process. The material is evaporated layer by layer so that the desired structure gradually appears.
High-precision depth removal in three dimensions is made possible with the AC LASER Software and laser machining centers by ACSYS.
2.5D and 3D laser engraving by means of software-controlled removal of material
2.5D and 3D engraving differs from deep engraving in the extent of software-controlled depth removal. This way, predefined edge angles for jewelry can be realized as easily as complex three-dimensional surface textures / structures on a wide variety of very different materials.
3D laser engraving and excellent processing times
A mold insert for the sliding handle of a designer zip as an example of high-precision 3D laser engraving. In general, it is either very time-consuming or simply impossible to create the structure mechanically, for example by milling, because of the small size and high resolution of the structural elements.
ODC – Online Depth Control
For depth engraving and 3D engraving,the material is removed down to μm-level, ensuring high-precisionresults. The ODC module measures the actual engraving depth contact-freeand controls the exact target depth of the laser.
Free-form surfaces can also be sampled and digitized with the ODC module, making them easy to process.
Ultra-High-Resolution Cameras and Dual-Camera Preview
The LAS – Live Adjust System camera set-up module by ACSYS makes working with the laser very efficient.
2D and 3D graphics as well as text can be edited directly on the workpiece using camera-based editing. A dual-camera solution provides an additional ultra-high-resolution preview of the workpiece straight through the laser beam.
Applications for lasers in mold and die production
In mold and die production, in particular, lasers offer a wide range of options and advantages where conventional systems are reaching their limits. Annealing marking on cores and mandrels in mold and die production, roughening of smooth plastic surfaces that will be used subsequently for gluing, or copper electrodes are all part of an extremely diverse range of applications that form the day-to-day task list of our laser systems.
Flexible marking dies
Marking requirements for identification purposes in the automotive industry demand flexible solutions for mold and die production. In addition to permanent marks in the mold, it is also possible to manufacture date dies, acronym dies and signet dies with frequently changing content quickly and cost-effectively with the laser.
Engraving vs. laser engraving
The contact-free removal of material from a wide range of different materials with the laser offers a number of advantages over conventional systems in terms of flexibility. Some places in injection molds or dies are simply impossible to reach for conventional engraving systems. By contrast, lasers with their variable focal length are capable of precise engraving processes even at a distance of 1 m or more.