As concave and contoured handsets abound, the shaped or formed 3D piece of cover glass on top is essential for crystal-clear image quality, responsiveness and protection of the flexible AMOLED display underneath.
LG G Flex2 “Let’s Get One Thing Curved”
LG G Flex2 images sourced at http://www.lg.com/us/mobile-phones/gflex2#gflex2_design.
Headlining CES 2015 in January, the new LG G Flex2 continues to garner rave reviews for fashion, function and a proprietary Dura-guard formula that makes the cover glass 20 percent more durable.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge debuted last summer, wrapping a feature-rich, independent menu around the outside edge of the phone. Speculation surrounding Samsung’s reveal of the Galaxy S6 curved display and Galaxy S6 Edge with dual edge panels on March 1 suggest the novelty is now a design staple.
Xiaomi’s 2.5D and 3D Design Fundamentals
China’s upstart incorporates 2.5D and 3D glass on the Mi Note, while a poster leaked image suggests the company may already be developing a dual-sided display concept with the Xiaomi Arch.
Xiaomi Mi Note images sourced at http://www.xiaomiworld.com/original-xiaomi-note-mi-note-731.html. Xiaomi Arch concept sourced at http://www.phonearena.com/news/Xiaomi-Arch-tops-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-Edge-with-two-curved-edges_id64146.
Future 3D Capability and Capacity Requires All-Laser Precision
Given the brisk pace of 3D form factors and design innovation, global brand manufacturers and factories are quickly investing in highly automated, all-laser precision manufacturing solutions, like Raydiance’s R-Cut, to expedite time to market.
Manufacturers rapidly embrace the complex glass shaping, forming and bending processes required to ramp for production. Yet, the actual cutting of the cover glass stalls due to the use of computer numerical control (CNC) machining. CNC requires multiple polishing and grinding steps, adding time and cost while also subjecting material to significant risk of brittle fracture and chipping.
A variety of laser types can be used for ablation, or vaporizing, of glass including nanosecond, picosecond and femtosecond lasers—but the differences in precision and quality are significant.
Conventional longer pulse continuous wave (CW), nanosecond and picosecond lasers can still impart crack propagation due to uneven thermal expansion. Many of these conventional laser methods are also limited to cutting straight lines which can prove challenging for 3D glass.
The cutting path induced by the athermal femtosecond laser follows the exact path traversed by the laser beam. With precise control over where energy is applied, the R-Cut’s end-to-end manufacturing process delivers superior as-cut edge quality and optimized processing speed.
Raydiance’s R-Cut solution streamlines 2.5D and 3D cutting and chamfering of display cover glass into a single production step with zero post processing or damage to the material—resulting in greater accuracy and near 100% yields.
As manufacturers strive to balance new 3D glass capability with greater production capacity, the R-Cut’s system flexibility, reliability and repeatability easily transition a factory line from device to device, part to part or material to material. No re-tooling, process overhaul or future cash infusion required.