Advanced guidelines for using Laser technology
Laser machines operate in two main ways:
Cutting / Engraving along lines according to a vector file.
In this case, a vector file must be prepared in one of the following formats: DXF, AI, CDR, PDF, DWG, EPS.
Vectors are actually mathematically defined lines (start and / or end points, line length, arc radius, direction, etc.). Their advantage is that the graphics do not change with a change in resolution. In addition, vector files are relatively small in volume.
The laser beam follows the path shown in the diagram. Each line that appears in the drawing will be used as a route to the laser beam, even if it is measurements, or explanatory text. Therefore, the files should be sent without unnecessary additions to avoid mistakes and to save valuable work time. By using a number of line colors, you can instruct the machine to change the beam intensity and cutting speed, for example, to burn at different intensities and cut at the same job.
Engraving graphics in a motion similar to a printer
This mode allows you to engrave images on a variety of materials according to each graphic file, both vector (one of the above files) and image files, such as JPG, BMP, PDF, TIFF and more.
In some cases, when it comes to graphics we want to cut in thin material, such as paper, for example, we can use this technique to cut the material completely, an action that requires more power than is needed for engraving.
You can download template files with color and stroke settings in the following links:
Since the laser beam will move wherever there is a line, places where there are duplicate lines will be cut twice - unnecessary cutting that causes damage to the cut finish and long cutting time = more expensive. Furthermore, because these are flammable materials, there is a danger of material flare-up as a result of concentration of energy in a small area.
Different types of materials react differently to the laser. Polypropylene creates a relatively wide cross-section (the material recedes slightly on the cutting line). In Plexiglas the cutting line is relatively thin and the surface gets a smooth and precise finish. Natural fabrics tend to darken slightly on the cutting line, while synthetic fabrics are less. In addition, synthetic fabrics are usually melt and prevent a split open fibers as a result of the heat of the laser. The thicker the material, the thicker the cut line will be.
Distance between lines
The distance to be saved between drawing lines varies according to the type and thickness of the raw material. As a general rule, it can be said that the greater the thickness of the material, the greater the distance between the cutting lines. This is because when the laser beam is raised, the width of the incision increases.
At the same time, different materials react differently: in 80 g paper for example, the distance between cutting lines can be less than 1 mm. In contrast, in 0.4 mm polypropylene, a distance of at least 2 mm should be left between lines (less than that, the material burns and loses shape).
Materials in which the cutting line is relatively thin:
- Fine fabrics
- Paper and cardboard
- Wood, plywood and MDF
Materials in which the cutting line is relatively wide:
- Thick fabrics like felt
- Polyethylene Foam (Sol / Palzive)
The plot area and position of the parts in the drawing
We have several laser machines with working beds of different sizes up to the size of 250cm over 130cm.
To maintain a scale, create a rectangle in the size of the raw material and draw the parts you want to cut and / or engrave. It is possible to save raw material by reducing the distances between the parts that are cut from the rectangle which will be used only to maintain the correct scale and prevent errors that are sometimes created in the transition between computers. We will remove the rectangle from the drawing before cutting to avoid unnecessary cutting.
Please keep a distance of about 3 mm from the border of the rectangle.
In cases where the position of the parts is relevant to themselves and to the margins of the raw material, please state this explicitly.
Cutting and engraving options
Our laser machines can perform various processing operations in one run:
- Marking lines
- Engraving of space to different depths
- Creating folding lines at different intensities
- cutting lines
This can be done by using several colors in the drawing. Depending on your request, we can customize the desired action for each color.
Recommended order of action, in cases where the work involves more than one action:
- Surface marking / engraving
- Deep marking lines in the material
- Folding lines
- Cutting lines
In conclusion, many advantages can be found in this method: the accuracy of the marking (the material does not move), saving time (no material loading, no preperation for next cut, etc.) and control of the order of cuts (according to color). In the same way, it is possible to engrave surfaces in a layer structure, with each layer receiving a different color and processed with a different color.
Control the cutting order
Working with different line colors in the drawing file allows you to set the cut order color after color. This allows you to cut parts that fall off (pieces that break off the board and lose their exact position) before parts that contain them. If, for example, we want to cut a number of rings or other closed shapes located within each other, the cut order will be the most internal out.
rectangle. In this way we will control the cut order and get precise parts.
Processing on both sides of the raw material
The precision of our laser machine allows engraving and cutting on both sides of the raw material. By designing the work file properly, you can place different cutouts in parts that have been engraved or cut on the opposite side, by creating separate graphics for each side processed (possible in the same file). The artwork must be enclosed in a rectangle that defines the size of the processed part.