Offered as an industrial micromachining alternative, the Staccato Nd:YVO4 laser from Lumera Laser GmbH of Kaiserslautern, Germany, provides the same high-quality results on metal as femtosecond lasers, but is less complex, using only a fraction of the optical components and direct-diode rather than second-harmonic-generation laser pumping. With a regenerative amplifier, the solid-state picosecond instrument produces 10 W of output and a beam quality of M2 <1.2, with repetition rates of up to 100 kHz and pulse energies of up to 300 µJ (at 30 kHz) in 12 ps, typical, at 1064 nm. This increases throughput and reduces the cost per part in micromachining applications by an order of magnitude.The efficient frequency conversion of the Staccato's picosecond pulses delivers high-energy photons for UV processes and tighter focusability. For example, patterns cut into 100-µm stainless steel foils can produce masks for production processes in the electronics industry. The laser also can structure metal surfaces with high accuracy and minimization of the heat-affected zone. Processing near the ablation threshold removes the material with minimal debris and burr formation.Other applications include structuring and cutting of silicon, glass, ceramics and Teflon.