Laser cutting is one of those manufacturing capabilities that’s as awesome as it sounds.
What’s not to love about slicing through materials with a highly concentrated beam of energy?
When it comes to wielding this technology to cut fabrics, there’s an added list of benefits that come with the exciting procedure, allowing product designs to be more flexible and opening up the possibilities of what can be accomplished both aesthetically and functionally.
Originally an advanced manufacturing technique that was developed for the aerospace industry in the 1960s, laser cutting quickly became popular with haute couture fashion. Cutting garments with lasers allowed for pinpoint precision, immaculate cuts, and sealed fabric edges that didn’t fray. It soon became commonplace to see laser-cut silk and leather available in ready to wear runway collections, drastically reducing the price-point of clothing with intricately cut designs.
From aerospace to fashion, it didn’t take long for lasers to find their way into a vast array of different manufacturing industries, offering a consistency of quality and reliability that didn’t exist before.
In the cut and sew industry of industrial contract sewing, laser cutting, when used correctly, provides an extensive list of benefits:
Lasers can cut through stronger materials than traditional cutting methods. Dyneema and a specialized list of durable fabrics allow products to be made with less, making them lighter, while at the same time allowing them to be stronger because of the material strength. Cutting such items with lasers eliminates the need to sew wave loops (aka molly) along the edges, further reducing the product’s weight.
The beauty about lasers is that while they can cut the world’s strongest materials, they’re great for cutting delicate materials, too. This is because lasers cut with a beam of light, which doesn’t require anything other than the laser to touch the garment. This process leaves no unintended marks and is ideal for handling silk or lace. Likewise lasers can be calibrated to cut through a variety of materials such as neoprene, polyester, cotton, silicone rubber, suede and just about anything else that your product might require.
Sometimes the companies we white label products for want something a little more permanent than a tag for their logo. That’s where laser engravings come in. The process produces a textured surface similar to an embossing and is a unique method of placing a brand on a product.
Lasers, by definition, are incredibly accurate. Thanks to this precision, material waste during the cutting process is minimal when the right layouts are programed. Cuts can be made millimeters apart from each other, an efficiency and accuracy that is hard to beat.
One of the most overlooked benefits of laser cutting is that you can create and cut proprietary patterns in materials. The unique designs make it difficult for foreign competition to create an identical pattern without the correct files, which helps ensure your IP remains yours.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
LASER CUTTING IS
Medical Applications: Implants and various medical devices
Interior Design: Decorative panels, curtains, and backdrops
Military Clothing: Hypalon vests, clothing elements, and other uniform details
Automotive: Airbags, seat belts, interior upholstery, and coverings
Large Objects: Parachutes, tents, and sound insulation blankets
Industrial Applications: Conductive fabric sensors and spacers
ASK A MANUFACTURING MASTER
Knowing what to cut with lasers and when to cut it is half the battle. What most clients that come to us usually need help with is sourcing the correct materials to use. When it comes to finding a high-tech fabric that has a crazy weight to strength ratio there are only a handful to choose from that are specifically made to be cut with lasers and require specialized capabilities to handle. To find out if your product will benefit from laser cutting and what sort of textiles are available to enhance it, give us a ring to make an appointment to tour our facilities and speak with one of our manufacturing masters.