Beam Profiler FAQ’s



It is recommended that you supply clean, dry, filtered air or nitrogen to the BeamWatch. Also allowing the unit to purge for a time and adjusting the pressure with the inlet valve will help to eliminate most, if not all of the comets and streaks in the image. For more information please consult the manual under section 2.4. It is important to keep the dust covers over the openings of the BeamWatch in place until the purge air is flowing in order to prevent dust particle contamination prior to operation.


The measurement accuracy has been improved in recent versions of the software. It was discovered that a gain floor needed to be established to prevent early saturation of the camera. This gain floor was implimented in BeamWatch version 2.2.0. Please check your software version. The newest verions of the software from this link. If you are still having problems, please send a data file to our Service Group for analysis at with an explanation of your problem.


A beam dump is not included in the purchase of the BeamWatch. We recommend using a beam dump or equivalent product to protect people and equipment. When using a beam dump or a power sensor, it is not recommended to have the beam dump or power sensor too close to the exit aperture of the unit. Doing so will elevate the background which can impact the accuracy of the results.


A few options for beam dumps can be found here.


If you are interested in obtaining power meter readings at the same time, we would recommend some of our high power sensors that can be found here.


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.