At NEDC we provide Laser Cutting Services. We commonly use laser-cutting machines to cut high-performance tapes, frozen epoxy films, kraft papers, and other products. Laser cutting services are a huge part of NEDCs core capabilities. The machines are just one component of the equation. The materials are our main focus. These materials include plastic shim stock, certain elastomeric products, frozen epoxy preforms, tapes, and kraft papers. We do this, because oftentimes a laser cutter can be more exact in what its producing. In addition, while die cutting has its place, tooling can be a concern with die cutting machines. There are a few unique benefits to using a laser cutting machine:
Benefits of Laser Cutting Services:
-No tooling cost
With conventional die cutting, unique shapes can be expensive in tooling cost. With laser cutting no tooling cost is required, because there is no tool, except the laser itself!
-Simple DXF allows for easy cutting
Laser Cutting requires only an electronic file such as a DXF to function. These files give the machine instructions of how to cut, when to cut, and where to cut.
-Highly precise tolerancing
With conventional die cutting, meeting certain tolerance expectations on highly complex parts can be a challenge. However, tolerancing has never been tighter on laser cutting machines. Our machines can provide some dimensions as tight as +/- .002” depending on the material.
-High material utilization
Part of offering laser cutting services is also to attempt to give the customer the best price possible. We can nest parts in different directions, and orientations to make the best possible use of the material we have. Some materials can be expensive, so material utilization becomes very important.
-Lots of room for adjustments because of no tooling
One of the downsides of using conventional die cutting is that once the tool is made it can be difficult to adjust. For example, if a diameter is the wrong size, we may be able to fix it but sometimes we cannot. With laser cutting you can easily adjust things to make them smaller, bigger, longer, or wider. Nothing is set in stone with laser cutting software. This can be a huge benefit when cutting prototypes.
-Low quantity runs
We would not say laser cutting machines do not move fast. However, laser cutting oftentimes hits it stride at lower quantity runs. With lower quantities, the mix of no tooling cost, room for adjustment, and high material utilization produces a large value proposition.
Products & Materials:
At NEDC, we are an authorized converter for the 3M Company. We have access to procure many tapes such as VHB Tapes, Transfer Tapes, Double Sided Tapes, and other unique tape configurations. We utilize our laser cutting services to cut these tapes for our customers. Oftentimes, we use our laser cutting machines to be able to kiss-cut parts. We cut parts to liners to make them easy for our customers to remove off during assembly.
Some common 3M tapes we cut on our laser include:
-VHB 3M 5952, 4941, 5909, 5907 and others
-Transfer Tapes 3M 9472, 467MP, 9469PC, 9485PC, 9471LE, 9472LE and others
-Double Sided Tapes 3M 7945MP, 415, and others
Epoxy Film Adhesives
One of the materials that utilizes our laser cutting services fairly often is Ablefilm®. Ablefilm® and other frozen epoxy film adhesives can be laser cut with these machines. Laser Cutting is one of the only to cut these film adhesives. To produce the small diameters, and interesting, dynamic curves that some circuit boards provide, laser cutting may be necessary. These adhesive films are normally on the thinner side- going as low as .002”. Laser Cutting enables a wide amount of latitude on what is possible to be cut. These can include:
These Ablefilm® products may include 5025E, ECF561E, CF3350, 5020K, and 550K.
Paper products traditionally do very well during the laser cutting process. Kraft Paper is also a great candidate for our laser cutting machine. We can cut Kraft Paper, Fishpaper, and Vulcanized Fiber. These materials come in different densities, weights, and specifications.
Plastic Shim Stock
We use laser cutting services to cut many thin plastic like materials. One of the more popular materials is thin polyester(PET, or PETG). These materials are usually color coded to designate thickness. In addition, some other materials besides polyester can be used as shim stock. Not all plastics can be cut on our laser cutting machine but many can be.
NEDC owns and operates several laser cutting machines. As part of our laser cutting services, NEDC is use to demanding requirements placed on parts. As a result, these lasers operate with very precise accuracy, carrying the ability to hold some parts within a +/- .002” tolerance. It is good to keep in mind that laser machines are limited to a certain thickness of all materials. The ability to cut thick materials on a CO2 laser is also a function of the amount of the power the laser is able to produce.
However, it is good to keep in mind that while laser cutting can be a solution of a lot of challenges, there are some materials our laser has trouble with. These materials include metals, thicker plastics, and other materials. For more information on laser cutting or you believe you have a part could be potentially laser cut, please contact email@example.com.