National Aperture Inc., Salem, NH
A manufacturer of precision parts and surgical components offers a set of manufacturing tools with laser cutting, marking, and welding capabilities. One of them, the StarCut 18 laser, provides high accuracy, repeatability, and cut quality. Most metal alloys can be processed while producing minimum dross and heat-affected zone. Low kerf widths of 13 µm can be achieved for tight geometry tolerances.
Peridot Corp., Pleasanton, CA
Microminiature ceramic technology
Ceramic injection molding (CIM) technology produces microminiature components with features as small as 18 µm. MicroCIM parts weighing as little as 0.0004 g can serve in a variety of applications where high temperatures and caustic environments preclude the use of most metals and engineered thermoplastics. The technology is a repeatable manufacturing process suited to either high- or low-volume components that are difficult, costly, or impractical to produce via traditional forming methods, according to the company.
Small Precision Tools, Petaluma, CA
A small, high-resolution incremental encoder is suitable for micromedical applications. The SCH09 has a diameter of 9 mm and offers line counts up to 1000 pulses per revolution. It can be used in handheld or desktop instruments, as well as in standard medical equipment. The encoder uses true lines on disk rather than interpolation between lower line counts to provide accuracy. The unit is supplied with a TTL output, can operate at 12,000 rpm, and has an operating temperature range of –20° to 70° C. It comes in either stand-alone or modular versions.
Scancon, Allerod, Denmark
EDM milling technology
Complete 3-D cavities can be achieved down to a scale of 10 µm, with accurate tolerances to 0.3 µm within high surface finishing of Ra 0.05 mm. The 3-D micro-EDM milling technology uses microinjection molding of microcomponents for fine details and tight tolerances. Medical applications range from development and prototyping up to serial production of systems and devices.
Sarix, Losone, Switzerland
A microwelder with precision function allows the user to perform controlled repairs on very small mold areas. The Weldmax increases mold life and reduces repair costs by up to 85%, according to the company. The unit features electronic controls that help produce strong, homogeneous weld patterns. The welder emits virtually no heat, preventing metal stress, distortion, and shrinkage. It is suitable for building up parting lines, mold seams, three-point corners, and edges; filling pores and pinholes; eliminating holes, sags, or pores following the argon welding process; repairing slides, ejectors, core pins, flat cores, and mold edges; eliminating machining defects caused by milling, countersinking, and wire EDM; and modifying the design of inserts, cores, and prototype molds.
Paul H. Gesswein & Company, Inc., Bridgeport, CT