The folks at Raydiance believe that femtosecond lasers will transform glass-cutting display applications, much as they have made significant contributions to micromachining solutions in the medical and automotive industries.
Raydiance Chief Scientist Michael Mielke told me this morning that his company's "R-Cut" solution can perform free-form cuts in Gorilla Glass and other materials, as well as drilling micro-holes and other precise features, and can produce cover-glass parts at half the cost of mechanical singulation methods. The cost savings are due in large part to the fact that femtosecond-laser cuts have an excellent finish and require no further polishing or smoothing steps, said Senior VP of Marketing Stefan Zschiegner.
Raydiance had held off introducing its process to the display community until it had prepared a complete solution. The company formally introduced the system today at Display Week. The solution includes sophisticated software control of the laser that makes it easy for operators to define new shapes and features. The system, said Mielke, is suitable for rapid prototyping as well as production. Zschiegner added that the system has been developed in cooperation with manufacturers.
Until now, conventional mechanical glass-cutting has stubbornly refused to give way to laser separation. Raydiance tells a convincing story that this state of affairs may soon begin to change. -- Ken Werner