Laser Drilling

Laser drilling is a non-contact process that uses focused, high energy density, light to ablate material and drill holes in a wide variety of materials.

Compared to other drilling methods, lasers offer superior speed and precision while lowering operating costs. As a result, they’re finding a home in a variety of industries, from automotive to medical device manufacturing.

They also play an important role in the pharmaceutical industry—drilling osmotic pump tablets at high speeds while maintaining extremely close tolerances.

Laser drilled thin sheet metal with tiny holes close together without heat affected zones
Laser drilled hole in thin metal wire

Laser Drilling Advantages

Laser drilling is a versatile material processing technique that offers numerous advantages. It can produce precise and accurate holes with diameters as small as a few microns and is a non-contact process that can be used to process a wide range of materials, including delicate or fragile ones. Laser drilling is also a high-speed process that can be easily automated, making it a cost-effective and efficient process for large-scale production. Additionally, laser drilling produces minimal debris and waste, making it a clean and environmentally friendly process.

Laser Drilling Capabilities

Laser Drilling Methods

The most basic laser drilling method is single pulse drilling—a simple, clean and fast process that has led to several variations, including:

  • Single Pulse Drilling: One pulse of the laser is used to drill the hole. This is a simple, clean, and fast process when it is possible.
  • Percussion drilling: This method is similar to single pulse drilling, but instead of using one large burst of energy, it uses several short, lower-energy bursts. Percussion drilling lets you create deeper, more accurate holes. Because less material vaporizes with each pulse, you can also drill holes with smaller diameters.
  • Trepanning: A pilot hole is drilled through the material first using percussion drilling. The laser focal point is then scanned in a spiral shaped pattern starting from this pilot hole and increasing is diameter until the desired diameter hole is achieved. Most molten material is expelled downward through the pilot hole.
  • Helical Drilling: Unlike trepanning, no pilot hole is drilled first. The laser is scanned in a spiral shape multiple times, removing a small amount of material with each pass, until the desired hole is completed. The focus spot can also be adjusted downward while the laser is drilling in this helical pattern to ensure the most efficient material removal at each depth through the material. In helical drilling most molten material is ejected upward out of the hole. This method is typically used to create deep holes with large diameters.

Discover our Laser Machines for Drilling

The Absolute Best Customer Service Around

Working with the entire Control Micro Systems team on our project was a pleasure. CMS was capable of meeting and exceeding our goals. They successfully designed and built a machine which increased our throughput by 550%! We are so glad we chose to move forward with CMS.

Jim B., Custom Wire Technologies, Inc.

In the three years ACR has owned the CMS laser, it has worked flawlessly. In the few instances where ACR needed support in programming, CMS was quick to respond.

Mike S., ACR Electronics, Inc.

CMS have been excellent partners in the development of new, complex equipment for our business. CMS built multiple machines for us. Each machine had a different purpose, however the CMS team worked openly & honestly with us to agree on optimal solutions for each one.

Andy, Confidential

Need Help Finding the Right Solution?

We develop solutions, solve problems, and create efficiencies.