Glass cutting can be accomplished in many ways. CO2 Laser, Direct ablative and Filamentation. BOLD™ Laser Automation, entered the filamentation market with a 2.1 m x 1.9 M cutting tool, the GS9000 is 2018. In 2019 the LGC3626 was introduced, offering a working area of 3.6 M x 2.6 M and a price tag well within standard NC glass tools. Filamentation is unique, in that it utilizes a specific form of internal glass modification, which utilizes the very high-power densities achieved with focused, ultrafast lasers. In this case, the high laser intensity produces self-focusing of the beam due to the utilizing nonlinear Kerr optical effect. This self-focusing further increases power density, until, at a certain threshold, a low-density plasma is created in the glass substrate.
This plasma lowers the material refractive index in the center of the beam path and causes the beam to defocus. If the beam focusing optics are properly configured, this focusing/defocusing effect can be balanced to repeat periodically and form a stable filament which extends over several millimeters in length within optically transparent glass. The typical filament diameter is in the range of 0.5 µm to 1 μm.
Filamentation is a precision process which offers unique properties for the glass for products used in architectural, automotive and display markets, delivering speed, higher edge and cut qualities, and higher yields.