By Cassandra Balentine
From camera technologies to modular tooling, some of the latest advancements in laser cutters benefit textile print environments. The September issue of Digital Output looks at the benefits of laser cutting. Here we share some of the newest products and advancements from leading laser cutting vendors.
AP Lazer’s newest innovation is the addition of a drag knife to its laser machines. Li points out that the drag knife attachment will cut regular vinyl, paper, fabric, and even a stencil that can be used for sandblasting. “The innovation is in the process of a patent application and will be released before the end of the year,” he shares.
James Stanaway, director of marketing, Epilog Laser, says an exciting development for Epilog Laser is its IRIS Camera Registration System, which provides laser operators a real-time image of the engraving table. “This gives users the opportunity to see and modify exactly where their cut lines or engraving graphics will be placed on the material. We find the camera system to be an invaluable tool as it greatly reduces material waste and job do overs.”
Matic differentiates itself from the competition with its full roll scanning capability. “The machine will scan an entire roll of fabrics finding the cut files, just like a facial recognition system and adjusting shrink/stretch factors. This is especially helpful for PSPs printing large files like displays and trade show booths. The printed file is scanned in its entirety, therefore the software knows if it has stretched or shrunk—there are no surprises when cutting the last portion of a big print,” says Christina Lefebvre, area sales manager, North America, Matic.
The latest advances in Kern Laser Systems’ laser add-ons for textiles are KVision and KDraw. “KVision is our camera registration device that allows for cutting of preprinted material by finding registration marks and adjusting the file to match the positioning of the textile on the bed of the laser. KDraw is our pneumatic pen marking tool, which is attached to the head of the laser and is typically used to mark sew lines or other markers on the textile for the next stage in the manufacturing process,” note Katlyn Dykhoff, marketing coordinator, and Adam Voigt, sales representative, Kern Laser Systems.
Mark Bibo, director, global field marketing, packaging, sign, and graphics, Lectra, says the versatility of being able to use the laser cutter and driven rotary tool on the same system is a huge advantage for Lectra customers. “Our patented dual laser belt makes this possible and enables our customers to laser or knife cut fabrics on a conveyorized table with excellent quality and throughput. Several software features further enhance textile cutting efficiencies and material yields. These include automatic common line detection and replace algorithms, automatic edge detection for roll tracking and for printed textiles, and camera-based print-to-cut registration marks to account for material stretch and/or shrinkage,” he shares.
SEI Laser continuously improves its solutions for increased efficiency and quality. “We offer complete digital workflow integration and Industry 4.0 standards with the highest level of automation including unwinders and conveyors or bundle stackers,” shares Uli Kretzschmar, VP of SEI Laser sales, Matik, Inc.
With Summa’s OptiPower technology the laser beam remains focused and constant to guarantee a consistent cutting result over the complete cutting surface. Further, Summa laser cutters are classified under Class 1 with a closed cover system and thorough fume extraction. “The highly performant Summa laser cutters can boost productivity thanks to smart features such as the intelligent vision camera system and many convenient handling option. The Summa L Series laser cutting systems come with dedicated and production-oriented in-house GoProduce Laser Edition software, developed to handle jobs easy and efficiently,” notes Daphne Mertens, marketing and communication, Summa.
Trotec Laser streamlines workflow with the help of its Ruby laser software. It allows users to manipulate their designs and run jobs directly from the same software without the need for a third-party design program. Jobs and settings can also be saved for repeat use.
For textile applications—not limited to laser cutting— Beatrice Drury, marketing manager, Zund America, Inc., says Zünd offers a variety of hardware and workflow solutions, ranging from cradle feeders that allow for adjustable/tension-free advancing of stretch fabrics, automatic edge control and cut off, to software for cut-to-print registration, pattern matching, nesting, marking, labeling, and projection-guided picking/sorting.
This just a few of the products currently out there and changing the laser cutting landscape.
Sep2022, Digital Output