Glass Micromachining and the Growing Market Demand for its Application

Did you know that the average width of a single human hair ranges from 10-200µm (micrometers)? That is a TINY diameter. Now imagine a technology that can make precision cuts, holes, and components between 1-500µm. That technology and process is known as micromachining. This post will examine the basics of glass micromachining and look at how the market for glass micromachined parts is growing.

How Glass Micromachining Works

In laser processing, building a system that encompasses a laser and laser scanning solution fit to deliver high-precision and stability for micro-sized jobs is critical. One of the most common challenges in this application is the complexity that comes with working with systems this size. That’s why precision and ultra-fine levels of accuracy are so important to system integrators.

There are different types of processes used in micromachining to achieve the desired effect. One of those processes is drilling. Micromachining drilling refers to the process of drilling a hole into glass as small as 10micrometers achieving smooth edges. Other glass micromachining processes are laser machining and micro milling. Both of these refer to the removal of material to a specified depth, creating features such as grooves, slots, and profiles…all done without cutting clean through the glass material.

Types of Lasers Used in Glass Micromachining

The most commonly used lasers in glass micromachining are pulsed lasers. These lasers deposit very small, measurable amounts of energy into the glass which results in the precise removal of material. This process is repeatable, which allows for glass micromachining to be conducted at scale.

What Challenges does Glass Micromachining Solve?

Glass micromachining is a key player in solving specific application challenges such as manufacturing micro components that range from biomedical applications to chemical microreactors and sensors. Glass micromachining plays a significant role in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), which refers to the technology that allows mechanical structures to be miniaturized and integrated in an electrical structure, forming a single system.

As the market demand for smaller and even more compact devices is on the rise, product miniaturization has become an increasing trend. Thanks to continued technology advances in this field, mass production of micro-sized components designed for micro systems has been possible.

Market Growth for Glass Micromachining

Increasing market demands for the miniaturization of products and systems have sparked significant growth in this niche industry in recent years. This increase in demand has sparked forecasts of strong market growth. It is predicted that between 2020 and 2025, the market will increase more than 7%. This number could very well change as advances in glass micromachining technology and processes improve and expand.

Citrogene: Glass Micromachining Engineers

Thanks to glass micromachining’s advanced technology, manufacturing micro-small systems has allowed Citrogene to help companies adapt to the emerging landscape and drive innovation in the smallest of spaces. Contact Citrogene today to learn more how we can utilize our expertise in glass micromachining to help meet your specific needs.