Q1. INSTALLATION

Q2. EASE-OF-USE

Q3. TYPE OF LASER

Q4. MATERIALS

Q5. APPLICATIONS

Q6. COMPARISON


Q1.  What is required for the laser cutter INSTALLATION?

A1.  In general, you will need 1) floor space, 2) electrical, 3) cooling water, 4) cutting gas and 5) exhaust.

1.1  FLOOR SPACE:  After deciding what type of laser cutter will suit your needs, we will supply figures for the 'footprint' required by the machine and give you an idea of space required for the loading and unloading areas.  For example, the MLC 4x4 model requires a total of 12' x 14'.  Also, it is important to consider how our pre-built laser cutter will be moved into your facilities (e.g. is there a loading dock available?).

1.2  ELECTRICAL: Of course, the actual electrical load will depend on how much laser power you require for your cutting application.  However, in general we require 208V, 3-phase power with a neutral and ground, and provide a fused switch on the laser cutter.  If you have a different voltage, we are able to customize our system to suit.

1.3  COOLING WATER:  The quantity of cooling water depends on the laser power requirement.  For example, if you need a 100W laser, a minimum of 2 gallons/minute is usually required.  Optionally, a 'chiller' system could be installed which conserves water instead of sending it to the drain.

1.4  CUTTING GAS:  Compressed gas is required to disperse the vapours from the cutting point and also to cool the focusing lens.  Typically, compressed air is all that is required, although for some applications it is useful to cut with nitrogen.

1.5  EXHAUST:  The exhaust serves to draw the cutting vapours away from both above and below the cutting plane, limiting the vapours that reach the machine exterior.  The exhaust is also useful if you are cutting a light fabric, as it holds the material to the cutting plane.  Our requirements are for 1500 cubic feet / minute vented to the outside.

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Q2.  Are your laser cutters EASY TO USE?

A2.  Yes, very.  Actual machine operation is simplified by our standard control software, and we can boast that an operator can be comfortable using the machine in only 1 day.  In fact, most of the skills required to operate the laser cutter have to do with a knowledge of optimum cutting speed vs. laser power for each material, information that we can provide.  Also, it is presumed that you will have a working knowledge of AutoCAD or some other design software capable of generating Gerber or DXF formatted files.

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Q3.  What TYPE OF LASER do you use?

A3.  The preferred laser OEM in our standard products is Synrad for their CO2 lasers.  However, we are able to easily customize to re-use your existing laser or a laser from another manufacturer.

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Q4.  What MATERIALS can be cut with your laser cutter?

A4.  Please refer to our Material List for a list of materials that we have had experience with.  However, the type of material is not the only consideration.  The answer to this question will also vary according to the material thickness, cutting speed, available laser power, and the type of cutting gas used.  The BEST ANSWER is to contact us and we will be happy to run a test-cut for you or advise what the best course of action will be.

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Q5.  What APPLICATIONS can use your laser cutter?

A5.  Please refer to our Applications List for a list of applications for your laser cutter. If you have any further questions contact us.

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Q6.  How does CLC laser cutting compare to knife cutting?

Comparison for Fabric, Cloth, Textiles Cutting.

AUTOMATED MULTI-PLY KNIFE CUTTER vs.
AUTOMATED LASER CUTTING SYSTEM

  LASER CUTTER KNIFE CUTTER
1) Very high accuracy. Low accuracy.
2) Edges are sealed for synthetic materials, no post-cut processing required. No edge sealing, requires post-cut processing.
3) Great for cutting complex and intricate patterns of arbitrary shapes. Not appropriate for intricate pattern cutting and needs extra tools to make holes.
4) Non-contact cutting does not push or distort material being cut, no retooling and no consumables. Knife has to be re-sharpened or replaced.
5) Perfect for any type of fabric. Not all materials can be knife cut.
6) Environmental friendly, no lint, quiet, and consumes less energy as no vacuum system is needed to compress cloth. Produces lint, is noisy and consumes large amounts of energy due to high power vacuum system used to compress cloth.
7) Converyorized transport system with automatic material feeder gives constant flow of material. Material spreading is very labour intensive and takes up a large portion of manufacturing space, automated spreading table costs up to $250,000 US.
8) Very flexible, fast turn around and perfect for just-in-time manufacturing. Not suitable for automated manufacturing.  Long preparation process and unloading is not automated.
9) Simple system, very low maintenance cost. Complicated mechanical parts, software dependent, therefore difficult to improve.
10) Better material utilization, waste is only at the end of the roll. More material waste.
11) Low operating cost. High operating cost.
12) Can cut limited number of layers, depending on type of material. Can usually cut more layers at a time.

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