I’m beginning to receive calls from folks looking for intricate laser cutting. Anybody have any info about this? Yes, I’m aware I’m asking a bunch of old school letterpressman about something regarding lasers, but I’m just throwing it out there. I will eventually have to provide some solutions for my clients regarding this.
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AA die in Atlanta does laser die-cutting on just about any material.
There are a lot of places that do this, including certain art schools.
I’m printing up a project this weekend that will eventually be laser cut into door hangers.
I think there are two topics here. One is laser die MAKING, where the die makers cut the slots for the die knives in the plywood die, using a laser. This technique has pretty much replaced cutting the slots in the die with a band saw, I think. The other topic I will call laser die CUTTING, where the actual customers’ products which we are making, are laser cut. I would be interested in learning more about hardware and suppliers of laser die CUTTING equipment as well. The only thing I know about it is that the company I am retired from, looked into laser die cutting paperboard in a moving web, and hardware to do it was available, but it was very expensive. That was a few years ago. Perhaps now, a few years later, some kind of a small sheet-by-sheet setup might be economically feasible. It would, of course, have the advantage of being able to die cut from an electronic file without having to get a die made. If a business were making a lot of small runs with different die cuts, it would save the cost of making conventional dies. If the runs were larger, some kind of a feed and delivery system would have to be rigged up, or perhaps the die cutter could be fitted to a press, folder, etc.
Laser cutting Paper and such you want to use a CO Laser, a decent midsize one can be had for 10 k or so
The one major disadvantage I’ve noticed with laser cutting is the burned edges it leaves on paper. Anyone have any ideas on combating this?
One might look into a table-top cutter if the burned edges are a problem, like they use to make die-cutting samples before a die is made - similar to a vinyl cutter, I’d imagine. Have never operated one of these though, so I’ve no idea if it can reach the level of intricacy of shapes that a laser can.
I’ve got a little experience with companies laser cutting the board for steel rule dies, but in this case I’m looking for someone to actually laser cut the stock. I’ve found some finished examples for sale on Etsy and such, and I also think Birchcraft has added this to their arsenal, but I haven’t found a resource that offers this to the trade. Any suggestions?