Laser Micro Processing

High precision mashinig and micro patterning of watch components with ultrashort pulsed lasers.
© Fraunhofer IWS
High precision mashinig and micro patterning of watch components with ultrashort pulsed lasers.

Fraunhofer IWS enginieers utilize comprehensive high end equipment as well as long year experience to perform applied research projects in the field of micro patterning and precision machining with (ultra)short pulsed laser beams. Targeted applications are the miniaturization of functional elements in machines, systems, vehicles, instruments and medical devices. Examples include the fabrication of 3D structures of micro millimeter dimensions and surface texturing on polymers, metals, ceramics and quartzite and biocompatible materials. Laser based cleaning and coating removal processes are further fields of development. To the same extent as structuring, diagnostics is crucial for understanding processes and samples. Therefore, the working group has specialized in optical laser process characterization with high-speed camera technology.

In an application-oriented manner, we accompany our partners from initial feasibility studies through process development to implementation in series production. We efficiently contribute our expertise and many years of experience to projects with industrial customers and within publicly funded projects.

Our Rang of Services Includes:

Based on our profound technical expertise and extensive experience with industrial customers and publically funded projects, the Fraunhofer IWS offers the following capabilities:

  • Laser micromaterial processing by means of short and ultra-short pulsed lasers
  • Ablation, structuring, engraving, drilling, cutting of any materials such as metals, plastics, semiconductors, natural materials, ceramics, thin films and heterogeneous materials (e.g. fiber composites or multilayer materials)
  • Modification of surface topography to adapt triological, chemical, biological or physical properties as well as interface design for material joints, e.g. for fiber-reinforced plastic composites (joint pretreatment)
  • Laser cleaning and decoating for technical and restoration applications

Research Focus



With our precise use of laser systems, we enable high-precision processing of any materials and thin layers without undesirable thermal influence on the base material.


System Development

SHAPErotator for High-performance Ultrashort-pulse Processes (USP)



Ultra-short pulse laser, AI testbench, short-pulse solid-state laser, pulsed CO2 laser, cw fiber lasers, high-speed camera



News / 9.3.2021

Paper Bonding with CO Lasers

The novel process of combining laser irradiation and subsequent hot pressing allows, among other things, the production of corrugated board.



AI Testbench – Prediction models for laser precision manufacturing



Get an insight into the current publications of Fraunhofer IWS on laser micro processing.



Paper joining without foreign materials – through laser-based material modification, Timeframe: 04/2023–03/2026 (Fraunhofer)


Recyclable multi-material design for lightweight structures, Timeframe: 12/2021–12/2024 (BMWi, FKZ: 03LB3026J)


Functionalization of laser-structured fiber-reinforced plastic composites by thermal spraying, Timeframe: 05/2021–10/2023 (BMBF, FKZ: 03XP0368)


Multi-material car body construction by means of low-temperature brazing of laser-structured and metal-coated fiber-reinforced plastic composites, Timeframe: 04/2019–09/2021 (SMWA, SAB 100343527)


Laser structuring for friction reduction of engines, Timeframe: 01/2019–12/2021 (BMWi, FKZ: 03ET1609E)

Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources (CAPS)

New generation of ultrashort pulsed lasers and their application, Timeframe: 10/2021–12/2023 (Fraunhofer)

News and Media


Product sheet

Cold Laser Processing of Fiber-reinforced Plastics


Product sheet

It is not enough just to be small – the great potential of direct write precision processing


Annual report article

Light as Plastics and Strong as Metal



Fraunhofer Technologies for Heritage Protection in Times of Climate Change and Digitization