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Rofin has introduced a stent cutting system that integrates a compact laser source, offering high reliability and long-term stability for manufacturing medical devices from tube stock.

The mechanics of the new Starcut Tube Femto have been adapted to the specific requirements for handling thin-walled, mechanically fragile semi-finished products.

The new system complements the Starcut Tube series.

The established Starcut18 and Starfiber lasers are said to be a suitable choice for stainless-steel and metallic-alloy cutting.

According to the company, manufacturing medical devices from tube stock typically relies on laser fusion cutting with pulse widths in the us-scale.

Even with an optimum setup, this cutting process is not completely free from burrs and recast inside the tube, requiring post-processing by ultrasound polishing on stainless steel and CoCr.

The shape memory alloy nitinol can, in certain instances, be prone to chemical and mechanical damage during post processing.

With femtosecond lasers, however, the only post-processing required is simple ultrasonic cleaning.

This is said to improve post-processing efficiency, particularly with such sensitive materials.

Bio-absorbable stents are at the heart of a number of research and development activities.

However, the use of bio-absorbable polymers such as polylactic acid and polyglycolic acid has suffered because of their low melting points, according to Rofin.

This makes them very difficult to machine with traditional cutting lasers, with the resultant heat-affected zone having an unacceptable cut quality.

In contrast, femtosecond lasers already have achieved excellent results with vascular stents showing high-precision edge quality.

Femtosecond lasers process materials faster than energy can diffuse within the atomic lattice; therefore, no heat is transferred to the surrounding material, which, in turn, eliminates any recast and burr.

Rofin-Baasel UK Ltd is the UK sales and support subsidiary of Rofin Sinar Technologies Inc, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial lasers and is quoted on the USA NASDAQ stock exchange. Rofin makes lasers and laser systems for marking, welding, cutting, drilling and perforating and offers sources and solutions across all the main industrial laser technologies CO2, solid state and fibre lasers. Our lasers are employed in most manufacturing markets to give customers unprecedented results in terms of quality and throughput. We have over 30,000 installations in industries such as medical device, electronics, automotive, jewellery, tool and mould, aerospace and solar power. Examples demonstrating the range of capabilities of Rofin lasers include: * In-line packaging material manufacturers use our lasers to create ‘easy open’ perforated lines in packaging. * High street jewellers buy our microwelding workstations to make and repair jewellery. * Surgical tool and implant manufacturers produce clean and permanent identification marks on their products with Rofin markers. * Photovoltaic customers rely on laser operations from scribing to drilling to make solar panels and wafers. Rofin-Baasel welcomes the opportunity to show customers what lasers can do for them.

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