We have been using leather for years. This material is famous for its ability to retain shape and design in every product. We can easily cut and shape the material because it is light and strong. This makes it a versatile material and products of leather like shoes, gloves, hats, bags, etc. have immense value in the market. Technology has made it possible to use leather not just for clothing but also for other articles like automobile seats, book bindings, fashion accessories, and furniture.
Earlier traditional technologies like stone knives, bone needles, die press techniques and manual cutting were famous for cutting leather. The value of the product with manual cutting was not determined by its usage but by its design features. The major disadvantage was that these technologies would operate at a slow speed, require manpower and the result was of average quality. Over the years, laser cutting has become a popular technology used to enhance leather’s scope of functionality.
What is Laser-cutting?
Laser cutting is a process that uses a laser to cut different materials from metallic to non-metallic elements. The use of the laser is for both industrial and artistic applications. Laser cutting uses a high-power laser which directs through optics and computer numerical control (CNC) to direct the beam or material. The gas vaporizes the beam which burns and leaves behind a high-quality surface finished edge.
Role of laser-cutting in Leather industry:
The reason why laser technology is popular in the leather industry is because it provides high quality cutting in a short period of time.
Laser-cutting in leather works with the help of two things- laser beam and computer technology. With high-energy, high-power-density carbon-dioxide laser beams you can cut leather speedily and efficiently. Plus, the digital and automatic technologies of the machine enhance the cutting capabilities.
To cut a leather piece, a CO2 laser beam focuses on a small spot. By doing so, the focal point achieves high power density which converts photon energy into heat thus creating holes on the material. Despite the residual heat, the material is not prone to deformation because of the cut seam that hole produces. Moreover, the size of the lather also remains consistent. Computer graphic designs are generally in use to increase efficiency.
On the other end, C02 laser cutting is popular to engrave leather materials in shoes, bags, and other industries. The cutting speed generally reaches 5-30 mm per second while the engraving speed may reach 600 mm per second.
There are other two important processes of laser-cutting in leather:
Nesting: It is a process of positioning parts that are to be cut in such a way that there is minimum waste. The disadvantage of this process is that it does not assure complete utilization of the material. This process can also be challenging in case of large-scale production. To overcome this challenge, today, the usage of nesting software has increased.
Cutting sequence: the aim of this process is to complete the cutting procedure by finding the shortest path.
Laser parts from manufacturers like Amada Laser Parts and Bystronic Spare Parts provide quality parts of the machine that increases the machine’s ability to engrave the leather.
Following are the leather types suitable for laser cutting:
- Natural leather- it is unfinished leather used for producing dyed leathers
- Suede leather- a type of leather with a napped finish, commonly used for jackets, shoes, shirts, purses, furniture, and other items.
- Synthetic leather- also known as artificial leather, substitute for leather in upholstery, clothing, footwear, and other uses
- Alcantara leather- a common synthetic material used in automotive applications
Advantages of laser-cutting:
- Laser beams allow manufacturers to have clean and sealed edged cuts that reduce chafing of the leather.
- It requires less power for cutting.
- Have higher production speed. This helps you finish more products in less time.
- Production of standard quality products.
- CIM system laser helps you manufacture identical designs.
- Laser cutters are precise enough to produce intricate designs as compared to manual cutting.
- It is contact-free. You will not require manpower for this.
To avail the best benefits, it is necessary to choose a machine that fulfills your requirements. You can do this by online research. Manufacturers like Amada Laser Parts and Bystronic Spare Parts provide quality, long-lasting and efficient products.
Disadvantages of laser-cutting:
- The natural quality of leather is variant. Due to this laser-cutting needs experimentation to operate the machine successfully.
- As the laser vaporizes and burns down the material, flames occur. But you can solve this issue by placing the machine in a ventilated area.
The wide range of features and advantages of laser cutter makes it an attractive tool for designers in the leather industry. If you are looking for laser machines for your enterprise, we recommend looking for reputed brands like Amada Laser Parts and Bystronic Spare Parts.