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Medical Device Applications

medical stent

Demonstrates a bio-filter with 100 micron openings.

The new era in medicine with non-invasive surgical procedures, powerful diagnostic methods and outpatient care requires high volume fabrication of complicated and inexpensive components, such as stents, catheters, and implantable parts. Usually, these items are small metal or polymer devices of flat or tubular shape with intricate cutout patterns. Their purpose is to hold or fix human tissues, conduct diagnostic procedures, deliver a substance, or carry other devices. Accordingly, materials include thin sheets or hypotubing made of stainless steel, nitinol, gold; wires and rods of elgiloy, diamond-like coated metals, certain polymers, piezo ceramics, graphite and composites.

Traditional methods of machining these items include mechanical machining, EDM, chemical etching combined with lithography, electroforming and ion milling or reactive ion etching. Over the past few years, however, laser cutting using carbon dioxide and Nd-YAG lasers have been introduced into the production of high precision parts where there were relatively large features with little concern for edge quality. Extensive "cleaning," such as electropolishing or micro sandblasting, are required to overcome edge problems associated with these technologies.

The need for smaller features, better edge quality, small heat-affected zones and lower cost has driven further technology developments in laser microcutting.

We have developed a new method utilizing High Resolution Laser Micromachining. Kerfs as small as .0004" allow us to produce features below .002" in size with no heat-affected zones, high-edge quality, and no dross/recast formation for most materials. It is the perfect solution for those in need of precision medical micromachining services.


The following pictures describe some applications for our method:       

medical micromachining example

.004" hole in stainless steel of a flow regulator. High accuracy flow orifices with +/- 5 microns diameter variation are available using Brass or Polymers (polyimide).

.010" hole in a .035" diameter IA Needle made from TiAl alloy.

A small Implant. The gear-like part made of .005" thick Stainless Steel has an OD of .060".

Bio-filter with 100 micron openings micromachined from Inconel.

Unquestionably, the laser micromachining method is suitable for any material: ceramics, polymers, semiconductors, or multilayered materials used in a variety of industries.