Application - Laser Drilling

Laser drilling is the process of creating “popped holes” or “percussion drilled” holes in a material, which is achieved by pulsing a laser beam on a particular area repeatedly. This process will differ depending upon the thickness of the material, the number of holes that need to be created, and the size (width and depth) of these holes. Laser drilling is renowned for its high levels of precision, which is achieved without any direct contact with the material surface.

Uses in industry

Laser drilling is in widespread use throughout many industries, but especially in aerospace, automotive, electronics, medicine and electronics (especially in the semi-conductor industry).  Laser drilling is particularly suited to low batch manufacturing and also for use in prototype designs (where expensive tooling costs can be eliminated). Traditional drilling techniques find it hard to replicate consistently the quality required in larger quantity batches, but with laser drilling every production piece is 100% perfect every time. The process can be used with a wide variety of materials, metal drilling (e.g. stainless steel) is very popular as is the drilling of ceramics, plastics and other industrial materials.

Laser drilling solutions from SPI Lasers

Choose an SPI Laser to meet your entire laser drilling needs from the smallest to the largest of holes. Lasers make it possible to machine very small, blind, unusually shaped and precisely tapered holes. They can drill holes at steep angles and process difficult-to-machine materials. A single set-up can produce hundreds of different sizes over a 3D surface. Whether the requirement is for percussion or trepan style drilling an SPI laser can be programmed to deliver highly accurate drill holes!

SPI Lasers range of lasers offers hundreds of different possible outcomes for your laser drilling needs, from small, blind, precisely tapered holes to larger ones. A single-set up of our machinery can produce an almost limitless amount of sizes across a 3D surface. Read through our collection of application insights and postcards to gain a deeper understanding of how the process works in practice.

‘Applications Insights’ are detailed articles on specific applications.
‘Application Postcards’ are bite sized insights on specific applications, designed to be easily digested in a matter of minutes.

Laser drilling of small components

The Effectiveness of Laser Drilling on Various Materials

Application Insight
Posted on 15/02/2017

Everything that we use, from the shoes we wear to the transport that we take to the house that we live in has gone through some kind of manufacturing process. The manufacturing system is one of the largest on the planet, and it involves all kinds of... read more >

Conventional drilling

How Laser Drilling Works

Application Insight
Posted on 15/02/2017

Laser drilling is just one of a number of processes that our Fiber Laser range is designed for. Many of the laser processes bear striking similarities, and it can sometimes be difficult to easily distinguish between them. For example, laser drilling... read more >

Laser processes

Laser Drilling FAQs

Application Insight
Posted on 15/02/2017

Laser drilling is the process whereby thru-holes are created in a material by pulsing a focused laser repeatedly to break it down layer by layer. Each of the laser processes, whether it is laser marking, engraving, cutting, drilling, or another one... read more >

Semi-conductors

Laser Drilling in the Semi-Conductor Industry

Application Insight
Posted on 15/02/2017

The semi-conductor industry involves all of the different companies and processes that are involved in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of semi-conductor products and devices. Semi-conductors themselves are materials which can conduct... read more >

Laser drilling of medical devices

Laser Drilling in the Medical Sector

Application Insight
Posted on 15/02/2017

The medical sector, as with many of the other sectors that laser drilling plays a part in such as the automotive or aerospace industries, will affect us at some part of our... read more >

Laser drilling printed circuit boards

Laser Drilling in the Electronics industry

Application Insight
Posted on 15/02/2017

The electronics industry is an industry that we all play a part in every single day, whether this is by being involved in the design, development, manufacturing or marketing process itself, or through the host of electronic items that we... read more >

Aerospace industry

Laser Drilling in the Aerospace Industry

Application Insight
Posted on 15/02/2017

The aerospace industry bears many similarities to the automotive industry in that it involves a whole host of processes, with design, development, production, manufacture, marketing, sales, and consumer use of the aircrafts being... read more >

Laser drilling in manufacturing

Laser Drilling in the Automotive Industry

Application Insight
Posted on 13/02/2017

The automotive industry, which involves everything from the design, development, production and manufacture of automobiles to the marketing and selling, is a huge industry. It involves many different intricate parts and processes, all of which must... read more >

Laser drilling on metal

Laser Drilling of Metal

Application Insight
Posted on 13/02/2017

Laser drilling is a process that is capable of working with multiple materials to produce many different results. One of the materials that it is most commonly worked with are various types of metal, a material that is found in pretty much every... read more >

Laser beam

The Various Types & Techniques of Laser Drilling

Application Insight
Posted on 13/02/2017

Laser drilling was not the first kind of laser drilling process that was used and instead found itself come about as more of a development from the laser cutting process. However, this was over half a century ago, and since then laser drilling has... read more >

Laser drilling on mars

Laser Drilling Applications

Application Insight
Posted on 13/02/2017

Laser drilling has become one of the most widely used laser processes in the world, and has found uses in several different industries including the aerospace, automotive, electrical, semi-conductor and medical industries and... read more >

Laser drilling on printed circuit boards

The Advantages of Laser Drilling

Application Insight
Posted on 13/02/2017

Laser drilling was not one of the first laser processes to be invented, but once its uses were realised, it quickly became an established and effective laser process in its own... read more >

Laser drilling rock

5 Great YouTube Videos about Laser Drilling

Application Insight
Posted on 13/02/2017

We’ve explored laser drilling with a great deal of content on this website, so we thought it would be good to include some videos of the process in action as well! You can find five great YouTube videos about laser drilling below, with a small... read more >

Laser drilling for diamonds

A History of Laser Drilling

Application Insight
Posted on 13/02/2017

Laser drilling has become one of the most established and efficient manufacturing processes used today, and we see it appear in a number of different industries, especially in the automotive, aerospace, medical, semi-conductor, and... read more >

Laser drilling

Laser Drilling – a Definition and Jargon Buster

Application Insight
Posted on 13/02/2017

With many different types of laser processes available, each with their own set of unique qualities and benefits; it can sometimes be hard distinguishing between the different types and figuring out which one would be most suited to... read more >

Drilling with a Fiber Laser

Application Insight
Posted on 18/11/2015

Our range of Fiber Lasers drill metals, coated metals, some ceramics and graphite composites. These Lasers create discrete pulses of controllable energy, peak power, and temporal profile (or shape) which are well suited for laser... read more >

Drilling Stainless Steel

Drilling Stainless Steel

Application Postcard
Posted on 13/10/2015

Our redENERGY range of pulsed Lasers can be used for a wide range of precision drilling applications in thin <1mm materials.The high beam quality offered by the EP Laser means that spot sizes of <30microns can be achieved resulting in very... read more >

Drilling Ceramic – Alumina

Drilling Ceramic – Alumina

Application Postcard
Posted on 13/10/2015

Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Lasers can be used to drill 5 holes per second in 0.38mm alumina. The photo above shows the output side that is 75-80 microns in diameter. The input side is less than 100 microns in diameter.These holes have been... read more >