We propose an engineering model to estimate the dimensions of ablation, taking into account on the one hand the material properties such as the ablation threshold, penetration depth and the refractive index and, on the other hand, the processing parameters namely the pulse energy and beam diameter, scanning speed, repetition rate and angle of incidence. The model considers as well the effects of incubation, changes of topography during multi-pulse irradiation, surface reflectivity and Gaussian beam diameter variation with the distance to the focal plane.
The model is able to simulate the profiles of ablation surfaces produced by normal or tilted laser beam, either for spot, line and area processing. The results obtained are validated by comparison to the ones obtained experimentally. Both the model and the experiments focus on stainless steel. The predictions of the model also allow for the optimization of the micromachining process, both energy and time wise.