3-D-laser material processing has profited in recent years from the developments in high brightness disk and fiber lasers. The advantages of these lasers are: fiber coupled beam guidance, high beam quality, high laser efficiency, good pulsability, small size and decreasing investment costs. Additionally, the inherent advantages of combi-processing (cutting and welding with the same processing head), shortened process chains, high flexibility and accuracy make 3-D laser processing ever more attractive.
A new combi-head design for integrated beam guidance with improved features for optimized 3-D processing is presented in this paper. The operating window for combi-processing profits from high beam quality because high beam quality allows robust parameter tolerances and a high flexibility of the laser spot size and nozzle distance for welding. A programmable laser modulation control allows a high variation of speeds in 3-D contours and leads to burr free cuts at all speeds.
As an example of combi-head technology an automotive application is presented here: the processing of a B-pillar with trimming, hole-cutting and welding operations on a high dynamical 3-D machine.