6-D Laser, LLC (a member of ALIO Industries’ motion control and micromachining family of companies) has developed an integrated ultrafast laser micromachining system that combines high-speed galvo scanning with the novel positioning capabilities of ALIO’s Hybrid Hexapod®.

ALIO’s Hybrid Hexapod® takes a different approach to traditional 6 Degree of Freedom (6-DOF) positioning devices, and exhibits much higher performance at extremely competitive prices.  Rather than 6 independent legs (and 12 connection joints) ALIO’s approach combines a precision XY monolithic stage, tripod, and continuous rotation theta-Z axis to provide superior overall performance.

The combination of serial and parallel kinematics at the heart of ALIO’s 6-D Nano Precision® is characterized by orders-of-magnitude improvements (when compared to traditional hexapods) in precision, path performance, speed, and stiffness The Hybrid Hexapod® also has a larger work envelope than traditional hexapods with virtually unlimited XY travel and fully programmable tool center point locations. The Hybrid Hexapod® has less than 100 nm Point Precision® repeatability, in 3-dimensional space.

Introducing an integrated ultrafast laser micromachining system that combines the positioning capabilities of the Hybrid Hexapod®, with high-speed optical scanning leads to a system that can process hard, transparent materials with wide-range taper angle control for the creation of high aspect ratio features in thick substrates, without limitations on the feature or field size.

Ultrafast laser ablative processes, which remove material in a layer-by-layer process,  result in machined features that have a significant side wall taper. For example, a desired cylindrical hole will have a conical profile.  Taper formation is difficult to avoid in laser micromachining processes that are creating deep features (> 100 microns).  Precision scanheads can create features with near-zero angle side walls, however, they are limited to small angles of incidence (AOI) and small field sizes by the optics in the beamline. 6-D Laser’s micromachining system controls the AOI and resulting wall taper angle through the Hybrid Hexapod® motion system, and the programmable tool center point allows for the control of  the AOI over the entire galvo scan field, enabling the processing of large features.

ALIO Industries is synonymous with accuracy and innovation in ultra-precision motion control solutions. The company is driven by a peerless team of exceptional engineers that have an obsessive focus on nanometer-level motion control, customer success, and pushing the boundaries of what is perceived as possible.

It is all about heritage and focus. ALIO has an 18-year history working at the vanguard of nano precision motion control, something that no other motion control supplier can claim.

Back in 2001, ALIO began by creating “a better way” (ALIO is Latin for “a better way”) to meet demand from U.S. based technology providers and manufacturers for nano-precision robotics. The company started life building the piezo hexapod, a product with unrivalled precision that the industry said was impossible to build. From that day to this ALIO has consistently pushed the boundaries in the achievement of precision in motion control.

Nanometer-Level Precision

The company offers a high-end boutique-like service, offering bespoke motion control solutions rather than off the shelf products, with a strong emphasis on responsiveness to its customers. As a company, ALIO has always been focussed on nano precision, and as such the company has a reputation, a knowledge base, and a level of stability that cannot be matched when ultra precise and reliable motion control is demanded.

From 2001 onwards, ALIO has developed an expansive product line, including Hexapod robotic systems, air bearing systems, linear and rotary nano-precision systems (with both mechanical and air bearings guides), and systems bespoke for atmospheric, clean room, and ultra-high vacuum environments. All ALIO’s motion control products are characterized by TRUE NANO Positioning®.

Today, the evolution of the company has led to the launch of the patented Hybrid Hexapod®, which is a game changer for 5 and 6 axis motion performance. The Hybrid Hexapod® is orders of magnitude more precise than traditional hexapods. It is 100 times stiffer, 30 times faster, has unrivalled path precision, and exhibits 10 times the usable work envelope for the same XYZ travels of a hexapod.  There are absolutely no performance, precision, or quality advantages of choosing a traditional hexapod versus a Hybrid Hexapod®, and it is therefore the cost-competitive solution for ANY 6-D motion and precision needs.

Another key product that ALIO has developed after years of evolution of its True Nano® single axis stages, is the monolithic XY stage product family with extreme 6-D Nano Precision®.  The ALIO monolithic XY stages, (with enclosed center and open center), outperform all alternative XY motion solutions, with Point Precision® motion performance and unrivalled stiffness.

ALIO’s linear stages, patented Nano Z® lift, mechanical Z lift, and rotary stage lines were designed to excel at nanometer precision motion performance. The company’s superior accuracy and quality is backed by the motion control industry’s ONLY 3-year warranty.

When Microns Matter

ALIO also offers its newly introduced  µII (micro II) product line, to compete in the lower cost, lower precision micron (µm) world. Demands for low cost, mid-precision, reliable long travel stages influenced ALIO’s decision to introduce the µII  product line. As with all ALIO products, this line was designed using ALIO’s uncompromising standards of “quality first” thus providing the customer with long term reliable operation.

The easily configurable µII product line stages can be used as a single axis, stacked in XY orientations, or complete gantry operation. ALIO’s control platforms are easily set up to handle the complex motion requirements for rigid gantry motion.

The µII recirculating ball rail bearing stage line comes standard in sizes of 100mm up to 1 meter thus providing the end user a solution suitable for many applications.

ALIO sees best-in-class precision motion control solutions as enabling technologies, used by its customers to make products previously deemed impossible. By working with ALIO, customers are able to manufacture innovative, bleeding-edge products that ensure leadership positions in their respective industries.


To get a clear view of what can be achieved through the use of ultra-precise motion control solutions, contact ALIO today.