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Precision Meso Manufacturing

Many engineers and product realization teams at Sandia National Laboratories are currently engaged in efforts to create revolutionary national security products that feature unprecedented functionality in ever-smaller, more portable configurations. In the course of development, the Sandia technology community has realized the need for manufacturing capabilities that expand upon what traditional microfabrication provides. The term “meso,” derived from the Greek mesos, meaning “intermediate” or “in the middle,” describes operations on a length scale that typically ranges from hundreds of micrometers to one centimeter. Meso Manufacturing involves a suite of innovative fabrication and metrology tools that compliment each other to make these products a reality. The Meso Manufacturing suite includes:

gear produced by µEDM  
Gear produced by µEDM has 100µm deep teeth.
  µEDM 4-bar flexure
µEDM 4-bar flexure with 50µm features.
Agiecut™ Micro Wire and Die-sinker Electro Discharge Machining System (µEDM): µEDM uses computer-controlled spark erosion to drill or mill high aspect ratio 2-D OR 3-D features in virtually any conductive material with a minimum feature size of 25-µm, and positioning system resolution of ± 1.5 µm.

Optical metrology target  
Optical metrology target in nickle plated stainless steel.
metrology target  
Diamond milled micro optic array of 600 µm diameter convex lenslets in acrylic.
Moore Nanotechnology 350 FG Diamond Turning Center: is an ultra precise machining center that provides positioning accuracy of 250 nm, form errors less than 100 nm RMS, and surface finish as low as 2 nm Ra. The 350FG can operate as a conventional diamond turning machine or utilize the vertical axis and configurable spindle (±12 arcsecond accuracy) to produce non-axisymmetric components. A high speed milling spindle and high accuracy indexing table complete the tool, giving high precision milling and drilling capability as well.

Meso component in kovar.  
Meso component in kovar.
detonation rate stick  
Micro energetic material detonation rate stick formed by femtosecond laser turning.
Spectra Physics Hurricane™ Femtosecond Laser: emits ultra short pulses (duration 120-femtoseconds) of radiation at 800 nm that create micrometer features in a variety of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers or living tissue) with little or no thermal damage. Minimum feature size is less than 10 µm. Positioning system resolution is ± 2 µm.

relay housings  
Batch fabricated meso RF relay housings.
Smart system with encapsulated electronics and Direct Write (DW) circuitry.
Sony SCS-6000 High Resolution Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA): is an additive meso manufacturing system that builds polymer package or integrated smart structural components with complex geometry in a layer-by-layer fashion. The SCS-6000 can define 50 µm vertical features and 75 µm laterally.

scanned surface  
Sample of a scanned surface with nanometer resolution.
diamond turned surface  
Profile of a diamond turned surface with nanometer roughness.
Advanced Micro Metrology Systems: include both a Taylor-Hobson CCI white light interferometer and a CLI line scanning system. The CCI system combines the surface imaging quality of a microscope with the high accuracy measuring capability of a surface profiler. The result is a 3-D surface texture, step height and micro-dimensional measurement system that yields results in seconds. The CLI system has both a confocal sensor and a laser triangulation sensor available. Its long range (~100 mm) and cross axis allow the creation of 3-D surface maps. Other metrology equipment such as Zeiss UPMC coordinate measuring machines (CMM’s) and Supermic’s are also available.

Sandia’s Meso Manufacturing and Systems Development team is advancing the state of the art and offers comprehensive meso manufacturing services and direct engineering support for your application. Recent projects include novel femtosecond laser milling and turning of energetic material microstructures, diamond turning of complex optics, and µEDM of multi-axial flexures.