In research and development, you often need to have work tools flexible enough to let you modify process parameters at will, if possible. This is precisely the situation that Université de Sherbrooke faced in the machining of piezoelectric ceramics used to fabricate the microactuators they were developing. The university wanted a completely open-configuration system where users could make modifications to both the components and the control program.
We built a micromachining system that is an experimental transportable assembly. The system includes an excimer laser, an optical beam delivery and focusing system, displacement tables, and an observation camera, all of which are computer controlled. The experimental assembly architecture makes it possible to modify all system components and eventually even add another laser to the assembly. The client has access to the control system program and can therefore modify the machining sequence as needed.