BeamWatch® AM
BeamWatch® AM

BeamWatch® AM


BeamWatch AM is an integrated laser measurement system designed to measure critical laser beam parameters for laser-based additive manufacturing systems.
BeamWatch AM provides simultaneous measurements of multiple profiles along the beam caustic in the camera field-of-view (FOV). Real-time measurements are performed at video rates. They include:

  • waist (focus spot) width and location
  • focal shift
  • centroid
  • M2 or K
  • divergence
  • Beam Parameter Product
  • Rayleigh length
  • absolute power
  • ֺ Tilt angle

Real-time performance also allows for measurement of dynamic focal shift during laser startup. BeamWatch AM measurement technique is based on Rayleigh scattering of laser light by oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the air as the beam propagates through the medium. Measurement of this scattered light provides an equivalent slit-scan of the laser beam in the direction of the observed view. The scattered light is measured using a conventional camera and image capture systems. BeamWatch AM includes a camera for spatial measurements and a NIST-traceable power sensor that will provide a complete analysis of the laser power density profile
The camera is simultaneously, and real-time, viewing the beam caustic including the near/focus/and far field of the beam. This measurement technique includes Propagation and M2 measurements adhering to the ISO 11146 standards. In addition, and because all measurements are made in real-time, any focal shift occurring during the critical start up seconds is measured and reported.


  • 1060-1080nm
  • 50µm
  • 50-1000 Watts
  • 1.5MW/CM²
  • ISO 11146 Measurements
  • NIST traceable calibration ±3%
  • CE, UKCA, China RoHS
Need help finding the right beam profiler? Try our Beam Profiler Finder


  • BW-NIR-2-50-AM


    Beam profiling system for Additive Manufacturing Systems

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  • BeamWatch
    BeamWatch is our full-function software with an extensive set of ISO quantitative propagation measurements, NIST calibrated power measurements, graphical representations of the beam caustic. Requires user supplied PC.


Why is beam profiling of the lasers in Additive Manufacturing laser systems necessary and required to be conducted at different power levels?

When medical, aerospace, or other complex devices are produced in an Additive Manufacturing, powder-bed laser system, the product design requires the use of a variety of power levels. These different setting are a function of the structural integrity of the device under build, but also the efficiency of the design to avoid the use of excess materials, powders, and processing time. In a typical 1kw Additive Manufacturing laser, power levels during the build can range from 400W to 1000W, for either short or long durations. Therefore, profiling the laser beam at these different power levels is required. In a recent application test, a 1kW laser was provided at a variety of power settings from 400W to 1kW, in increments of 200Ws. The result of this diagnostic test demonstrated that as the power was increased, the ellipiticity (roundness) of the beam deteriorated. The change was not significant but demonstrated that in any build requiring a 360 degree range of the laser, the focal spot would be slightly larger in one direction and slightly smaller in a different direction, resulting in a major defect of the build. And since some of these builds can take 10’s of hours, finding out after the build that the laser is not round to specification is a costly result. These beam profiling diagnostics alerted the client to a potential problem BEFORE they went to build product, avoiding costly mistakes.

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Introducing BeamWatch AM Introducing BeamWatch AM
BeamWatch AM Engineers Explain BeamWatch AM Engineers Explain BeamWatch AM Engineers Explain

Ophir has been honored with a 2018 Laser Focus World Platinum Innovators Award for BeamWatch AM®, the first non-contact laser beam monitoring system for additive manufacturing. In this video, Ophir engineers explain why the system is so revolutionary, how it works, and why it will help additive manufacturers.

BeamWatch AM BeamWatch AM BeamWatch AM

BeamWatch AM is an integrated laser measurement system designed to measure critical laser beam parameters for laser-based additive manufacturing systems.

BeamWatch AM is an integrated laser measurement system designed to measure critical laser beam parameters for laser-based additive manufacturing systems.


Tutorials and Articles

Achieving Standardized Measurements with BeamWatch AM

Industry-Focused Design

White Paper – ISO compliance of non-contact, real-time beam analysis

Here we show that non-contact beam profiling based on Rayleigh scattering fully complies with the ISO11146 standard Read more...

White Paper - The challenge of battery production

Optimizing and Controlling Laser Processes Right from The Start Read more...

White Paper – Keeping Your Additive Manufacturing Laser in Spec

There is little debate about how Additive Manufacturing is adding benefits and changing the face of manufacturing in our modern age. Additive Manufacturing allows for the manufacturing of more customized parts, using more specialized materials, and will eventually create a more localized, rapid, and agile distribution network than what have been used to. Read more...

Laser Measurements in Materials Processing: How and When They Absolutely, Positively Must Be Made

19th century British physicist and engineer William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, was the first to say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” When applying this principle to improving laser-based processes, there are a variety of parameters that must be measured. Given the continuously rising power of laser systems in material processing, the requirements for measurement systems are more challenging than ever. Which technologies are available to measure high-power lasers? How often should they be measured? What measurements should be tracked? When this data is collected, what should be done with it? Read more...

The Challenge of Focus Shift in High Power Laser Material Processing

High-power industrial lasers are valuable tools in material processing. Maintaining them at peak performance and optimizing the processes for which they are used will maximize throughput and minimize downtime. Periodic measurement and longterm monitoring of key laser variables, including laser output power, focused spot size, and focus spot temporal location provide the data you need to increase accuracy and optimize your process... Read more...

Case Study: The Ophir Beamwatch System Optimizes Laser Process Development

The laser seam welding of sheets of zinc-coated steel – a combination of metals with disparate melting and evaporation properties – used to be a major challenge for the automotive industry. But Volkswagen AG is pursuing a promising approach with multi-focal laser welding: A newly developed process enables significantly higher welding speeds than is otherwise possible with conventional mono-focal laser beam welding systems. Read more...