A low power electron beam system can be utilized for micro welding, brazing, or heating a workpiece and as an imaging system for precise positioning of a micro electron beam with regard to a workpiece. A filament system produces a micro electron beam, which is then focused onto the workpiece. In the welding mode, the micro electron beam is used to melt the workpiece and produce a weld. When switched to the imaging mode, the backscattered or secondary electrons produced by the interaction between the micro electron beam and the work piece are captured and converted into an image of the workpiece. The resulting image formed from these captured electrons is used as an aid in the precise positioning of the micro electron beam and inspection of the workpiece.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.