What is an optical scanning system (galvos, scanners and servo amplifiers)?
The optical scanning system is one of the most important components of a laser system. It consists of typically two electronically controlled motors arranged inside a bracket on an X and Y axis.
On each of the motors, a mirror is mounted to reflect and direct laser light. On the opposite side of the motor from the mirror, a position sensor is mounted to tell the control unit the current axis angle. These motors are driven by a fast powerful servo amplifier.
When the scanners receive the signal from your control system, they move
at very fast speeds back and forth, reflecting the laser light and finally projecting lines, contours, and images onto the workpiece.
A galvo is another name for an optical scanner. Galvo is the scientific term when speaking of proportional rotations to a given current.
A system of galvos including their drivers is usually called scanner, as it allows the laser beam to scan over at least one dimension.
The term servo amplifier (or amplifier for short) stands for the part that generates the large currents required for quickly accelerating and decelerating the galvo motors. When talking about (servo) amplifiers for galvos, this typically also includes the position controller.