Laser Module Service in Liverpool on a RENISHAW AM 125 – Liverpool University

The visit to our customer University of Liverpool’s School of Engineering was for a service of their laser optical module within their Renishaw AM125 SLM machine. The customer reported that the unit had, had no servicing done on it as Renishaw weren’t supporting the machines anymore as they are obsolete. The laser optical modules were original supplied by Thinklaser to Renishaw over a period of several years, on their ranges of AM125, AM250 and AM400 rapid prototyping machines. This service was conducted by our service engineer ‘Phil Harris’. The laser optical module service was conducted over a few hours on site: –

RENISHAW AM125 – Optical Module

Main Machine Liverpool Uni Am125

On arrival the Renishaw AM125 machine was checked over and the optical module checked over for any signs of damage or ingress of dirt within the optical module.

Laser Module Service In Liverpool - Renishaw Am125

The alignment laser was fired into the chamber to test the optical modules functionality. The optical module on top of the AM125 machine was opened and the internal covers removed. The sub optical modules were checked for contamination and alignment. All lens and optics were clean and no contamination could be found. The optical units were checked for alignment and the unit was already aligned.

Laser Beam Profiling and Power Testing

A Spiricon beam power measurement unit was used to test the power within the build chamber, the Laser optical unit is tested at four powers, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%, as with most laser power meters, a tolerance of 5% is usually achieved, this system was within these tolerances and showing good power at the work piece.

A specially designed Beam profiling system specifically for Renishaw AM machines was put inside the build chamber and the unit positioned so that the alignment laser was central to the beam profilers aperture, for a rough guide.

Laser Module Service In Liverpool - Renishaw Am125

The software was loaded and the beam profiler re-positioned to ensure the alignment laser was in the visible area on the CCD camera and the software screen. To conduct initial testing, the build chambers vacuum protective window was removed. The main table was covered with a sacrificial plate and the Z-table lowered to increase the focal length of the laser and therefore increase the size of the spot and hence reduce damage done by the testing.

The main GUI (Graphical User Interface) on the Renishaw AM125 was setup to run a series of tests at various powers and focus offsets, to enable the laser to be focused on the camera’s CCD with the setup as indicated above. The profiles were in focus and stable throughout the 30 seconds test procedure, showing that the optics were not contaminate by anything that the human eye was unable to see.

Laser Module Service In Liverpool - Renishaw Am125. Good Beam Profile

The vacuum protective window was replaced and the setup adjusted to allow for the new focal distance. The tests were re-run, and was shown that the vacuum lens was contaminated. the lens had been cleaned after the last build had been conducted by Liverpool University Staff. It was recommended to replace the vacuum protective lens, which we do supply if necessary, as the focus was shifting by approximately 3mm, during the first 5 seconds of the tests.

Laser Module Service In Liverpool - Renishaw Am125 Beam Profile With Protective Lens In Pic1
Laser Module Service In Liverpool - Renishaw Am125 Beam Profile With Protective Lens In Pic2
Laser Module Service In Liverpool - Renishaw Am125 Beam Profile With Protective Lens In Pic3

These test were conducted with the laser in CW mode, and therefore during normal operating conditions the focal distance would be changing and not stable depending on the build parameters, therefore not potentially not producing optimum components.

If you would like further information on our Laser Servicing in Liverpool capabilities or anywhere else in the country, or any other Laser Repairing requirement or Laser Application, please request a call back or, talk to one of our service engineering specialists by going to our contact page – link below.

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