The relative accuracy (accuracy/overall dimension) of meso/micro parts (e.g. dies/molds) generally is far worse than that of macro parts fabricated by conventional manufacturing processes. Meso/micro parts have unique tribology issues, and surface roughness strongly impacts their relative accuracy and performance. There is a high demand for effective polishing of complex shapes in meso/micro engineering. A laser micro polishing method based on rapid surface micro melting is described in this paper. Fundamental understanding of pulse laser micro melting is achieved through a combination of studies of analytical modeling, numerical simulation and experimentation. It is found that a power limit window exists for laser polishing. In the experimental study, a Nd:YAG laser with a wavelength of 355 nm and a pulse of 10 ns is used to polish patterned electroplated nickel surfaces. The experiments show an improvement of surface roughness with repetitive rapid micro melting. These preliminary results show improved surface roughness can be achieved and that laser micro polishing is a viable methodology for automated polishing of 3-D meso/micro complex surfaces of metallic parts.

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