2017 - Surface Laser Printing for Aesthetic Purposes

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2017 - Surface Laser Printing for Aesthetic Purposes

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Lasers are commonly used in the jewelry field for welding, laser engraving, laser marking and, more recently, laser freeform fabrication of components. A less common application is laser surface printing. In this case, if a laser source is mounted on a 3D motion system and a filler material is added, different patterns can be drawn on the surface of a piece, thus resulting in different aesthetic effects. This approach can be used on metal surfaces (Au, Ag, other alloys) with metal fillers (Au, Ag, other alloys), on ceramic surfaces (ZrO2, Al2O3) with metal fillers, or even on metal surfaces with ceramic fillers (ZrO2, Al2O3).

This paper will introduce the most important variables of laser surface printing as well as some characterization of the print patterns regarding wear resistance, polishing, etc. Required variables to laser power and speed, as well as the protective environment and surface preparation needed for the material being worked, will be covered. The paper will also discuss how to deal with the challenges of laser printing dissimilar materials (metals on ceramics or ceramics on metals). Examples of components thus produced will be shown. Some considerations on design of jewelry components that contain these laser-printed patterns will also be presented.  

Author: Dr. Bruno Henriques–Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil and Dr. Filipe S. Silva

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