What You Need to Know about Direct Diode Laser CuttersDirect Diode Lasers (DDLs) have long been the elusive holy grail of laser cutters. Recent advancements in DDL technology, however, are paving the way to make direct diode laser cutters more accessible – enabling manufacturers to produce machines that can achieve better results with a range of materials (including varying types, thicknesses, and strengths) in less time.

Mazak Optonics recently published an article exploring how DDL technology works, the benefits it brings, and two of the direct diode laser cutters Mazak currently manufacturers. We’ve summarized their findings here for you:

How Does DDL Technology Work?

The strength of DDL technology lies in its exactness. While other laser cutters need to use a middle man (like fiber lasers with their doped fiber systems), direct diode laser cutters use diodes directly, irradiating a focused laser beam onto the given target.

Direct diode lasers function by passing light from multiple emitters through a transform lens, and then focusing it onto a dispersive element (prism, diffraction grating, etc.). Waiting on the other side of the dispersive element will be an output coupler. This needs to be perpendicular to the dispersive element to ensure all beams leaving the coupler will be superimposed onto each other to produce a narrower spectrum of wavelengths.

This makes DDLs the most reliable, compact, and highest quality lasers available on the market.

Until recently, DDL technology has been available solely in power levels lower than 2,000 watts. This has limited its wider adoption for industrial applications. Today DDLs can accommodate upwards of 8,000 watts of power and be used for thicker materials – achieving edge qualities not yet possible with traditional laser cutting technologies.

What Are the Benefits of Using Direct Diode Laser Cutters?

Mazak outlined a number of advantages associated with direct diode laser cutters, two of the major ones being:

  1. Cut Speeds: Direct diode laser cutters are about 15% faster across all material thicknesses and types. The best results come with aluminum, where cut speeds can be up to 30% faster than they would normally be with other laser cutters.
  1. Quality: Direct diode laser cutters are able to achieve superior cuts and edges with a range of materials including common metals like aluminum and steel, as well as less prevalent substances including Hastelloy, titanium, and Inconel.

Overall, direct diode laser cutters are more efficient to operate and maintain than their conventional counterparts (fiber, disc, or CO2), boasting higher wall plug efficiencies and lower maintenance costs over their lifetime.

Mazak Optonics’ Advanced, Pioneering Direct Diode Laser Cutters

In recent years, Mazak Optonics has taken significant strides to create proprietary DDL technology. It currently produces two direct diode laser cutting machines – a cost-effective tube production laser and a high speed, high power, flat sheet laser cutting system.

  1. Diode Laser CuttersVCL-T100: Mazak Optonics debuted a prototype of this compact laser tube at FABTECH 2015, where it quickly garnered attention as one of the few DDL machines in development. Today, the VCL-T100 remains an affordable tube production laser delivering greater efficiency and reliability than fiber or solid state lasers.
  1. OPTIPLEX 3015 DDL: The OPTIPLEX 3015 DDL has been a game changing machine for both Mazak Optonics and its customers, providing unsurpassed edge quality and production speeds. It incorporates Mazak Optonics’ PreviewG control and drive system with integrated tech tables that simplify operation, plus the Intelligent Multi-Control Torch HP-D and Nozzle Changer technology that boosts end user productivity by letting the machine dynamically optimize torch setup between programs. This improves cut speeds, increases throughput, requires less intervention from the operator, and ensures more predictable results every time.

With innovations like these, Mazak Optonics continues to distinguish itself as a market leader in laser cutting technology and DDL development.

Do you want to discuss how a direct diode laser cutter from Mazak Optonics can work for your application? Contact the experts at Westway today!

Like this post? You’ll also enjoy:

Enjoyed the read?

Why not share so others can read it too