Laser Die Cutting
Laser die cutting applies a fully-focused laser beam instead of a die in
order to convert material into custom shapes and sizes. Performed on
three-axis laser cutting machines that are typically
computer-controlled, laser die cutting is used to cut materials that
would not be possible to cut through conventional steel rule die
Able to cut to extremely tight tolerances, laser die cutters easily handle the most intricate of designs. Since laser die cutting is a high-speed process, laser die cutting companies are able to offer quick turnaround times. Also, since there is no die, and laser die cutting requires fewer workers, the process ends up being cost-effective as well as producing an improved product. Laser die cutting is available for almost any material including abrasives, elastics, rubber, adhesives, marble, glass, stone, wood, plexiglass, plastics, polymer films, styrene, acrylics and fabrics. From these materials, laser die cutters are able to produce labels, sleeves, cartons, architectural model cutting, stencils and custom display signage as well as a multitude of other applications. Common industries that utilize laser die cutting include automotive, paper, packaging, medical, electronic, textile, nameplate and construction.
The focused beam of laser die cutters makes it best suited for the energy transfer necessary to cut metals by melting or burning the material along a cut line. Assist gas such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide are used in conjunction with laser cutting to prepare newly cut surfaces for painting or corrosion resistance. There are three different types of lasers used in laser die cutting: C02 lasers, Nd:YAG lasers and Nd lasers. The most common type used by laser die cutters is a CO2 laser, which are one of the highest power continuous wave lasers. Much less commonly used are Nd lasers, which have low-repetition speed but are high energy lasers, and Nd-YAG lasers, which are very high energy lasers. As laser die cutting is usually computer-controlled, laser die cutting machines follow a pre-set design generated from a CAD program that is connected through a stepper into a CNC machine. The CNC automation enables the production of a large volume of uniformly converted materials. In addition, laser die cutting machines are available in two different configurations: flat laser die cutters and rotary laser die cutters. Flat laser die cutters are used to cut flat materials, such as sheet metal, while rotary die cutters are used to cut rolled stock materials, such as rubber rolls.