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Galvo heads for laser: focus on a powerful tool

The laser scanning heads are a fundamental component of the galvo systems for laser cutting and marking. These devices deflect the laser beam coming from the source and move it along the X and Y axes according to the operation required.

A mirror galvanometer and a z-linear optic inside a Galvo Scanning Head El.En. GioScan 1735

The components of a galvo head for laser

A scanning head is made of different components.

Galvo mirrors

El.En.'s complete range of galvo mirrors

Mirrors mounted on galvanometric rotary motors deflect the laser beam. These motors transform electrical voltage into angular movement.

The mirrors, mounted perpendicularly on the engines, move the laser beam along the X and Y axes according to the input received from the motor.

The big advantage of these devices is that they can reach a very high acceleration and speed of movement.

The size of the mirror depends on the laser beam. As the diameter and the power of the beam increase so must the diameter of the mirror. The same size in turn influences the acceleration and speed of the engine’s angular movement. The smaller mirrors reach higher accelerations than the larger mirrors.

In the range of El.En.’s products there are galvanometric mirrors for different applications. Find out more about our complete 2-axis CO2 laser galvanometer mirror line on our website.

Z-linear optics

El.En.'s z-linear optics

Galvo mirrors are not the only components of a scanning head. The z-linear lens, which focuses the laser on the work surface, has an important role to play too.

To focus the laser beam and get it to work optimally, the focal length of the lens must vary based on the distance between the scanning head and the point it needs to reach on the surface.

The z-linear lens changes the focal length in real time and maintains the laser beam in focus regardless of its distance from the workpiece.

The control software

The control software makes sure that all the moving parts of the scanning head stay coordinated.

It transforms a vector file (the place where the work to be performed is described), into a path for the laser beam. The control software makes the galvo head and the laser source work together to achieve the desired result.

What processing can be performed with a laser galvo head?

As previously mentioned, the laser galvo heads are mainly used for cutting and laser marking.

Laser galvo cutting

Galvo heads make it possible to reach high processing speeds for cutting applications. Galvo heads are perfect for the processing of thin materials such as paper, cardboard and plastic film.

The head can cut out any shape quickly.

Some of the industries that benefit most from the use of galvanometric motors are the adhesive label sector that use kiss-cutting applications and the packaging industry that uses galvo-laser applications to make products with advanced features.

Galvo laser marking

A sheet of fabric engraved with galvo-laser marking

The main marking applications include the marking of various types of alphanumeric codes, such as barcodes and QR codes, and the engraving of ornamental motifs for decoration.

Laser marking can be performed on different materials such as thermoplastic polymers, wood, fabrics, leather, metals, glass.

In the case of transparent materials it is also possible to perform the impression of three-dimensional figures inside the object.

The advantages of laser galvo heads

Laser applications get many advantages from the use of galvo heads:

  • Speed ​​- The galvanometric motors reach very high angular speeds. This means that the laser beam moves over the surface of the workpiece with speeds reaching tens of centimeters per second. Thanks to this the productivity of a laser galvo system is very high.
  • Integration – Precisely because of this characteristic, galvo laser systems are suitable for integration into larger production flows. A laser galvo system consisting of a scanning head and a laser source performs best when inserted into automated processes. Furthermore, it is compact enough to be easily added to pre-existing systems, giving it an important upgrade without major changes.
  • Quality – The laser galvo systems guarantee high quality and detailed results. In marking applications, the scanning head gives the possibility to create a wide range of effects, including the reproduction of a photograph on a surface.

One device, many tools

Scanning heads are a key tool in laser material processing applications. They transform a single beam of polarized light into an instrument with many applications.

To choose the scanning head that is most compatible with the application you need, request the help of an expert. Get in touch with us: our team at El.En. will be happy to help you find the most suitable laser scanning head for your applications.

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