ROFIN Introduces Market-Leading Stent Cutting System with Femtosecond Laser

The new StarCut Tube Femto is one of the first systems to offer cold laser cutting for medical device manufacturing.

Cold cutting removes burr, recast and distortion

Femtosecond lasers process materials faster than energy can diffuse within the atomic lattice. Therefore no heat is transferred to the surrounding material, which eliminates any recast and burr. The StarCut Tube Femto integrates a completely innovative, compact laser source with field-proven high reliability and long-term stability – properties which are essential for industrial manufacturing but have been hard to find in ultra-fast laser sources until now.

Dramatically reduced post-processing

Manufacturing of medical devices from tube stock typically relies on laser fusion cutting with pulse widths in the µs-scale. Even with an optimum setup this cutting process is not free from burrs and recast inside the tube. Thus post-processing of stainless steel and CoCr requires ultrasound polishing. The nitinol material (memory shape alloy) is prone to chemical and mechanical damage during post-processing in many cases. With femtosecond lasers, post-processing is shortened to a simple ultrasound cleaning. This improves post-processing efficiency significantly, in particular with these sensitive materials.

Suitable for bio-absorbable polymers

Bio-absorbable stents are at the heart of numerous research and development activities. But the usage of bio-absorbable polymers like polylactic acid and polyglycolic acid suffered from their low melting points, making them very difficult to machine with traditional cutting lasers. The large heat affected zone was responsible for heavy micro structural changes. In contrast, femtosecond lasers already have achieved excellent results with vascular stents showing perfect high-precision edge quality.

Optimised for handling sensitive materials

The StarCut Tube Femto mechanics were adapted to the specific requirements for handling thin-walled, mechanically fragile semi-finished products. The new system complements the StarCut Tube series. The well-established StarCut18 and StarFiber laser remain the state-of-the-art choice for stainless steel and metallic alloy cutting.

The first StarCut Femto systems are already installed at customer sites.

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