Laser cutting of plastics is an incredibly fast alternative to CNC Machining, routing or Die Cutting. Unlike die cutting which requires time and money for tooling a laser cutter can work directly from a CAD file such as a .DXF and very quickly and precisely cut out profiles with an accuracy of +/- .002“ even for most intricate and complex geometries. Furthermore because the beam diameter is only .008’ square corners with virtually no radii are easy to achieve. Most significantly parts can be auto arrayed to maximize material yield. In fact the typical laser cut part will have a 20% better yield per sheet than traditional die cutting, and a 10-15% improvement on yield in comparison to routing.
Materials that are ideal for laser cutting are Acrylic(Plexiglass), ABS, Delrin, Nylon, Nylatron, most rubbers, Formex, and Mylar. Of all of these materials lasers have revolutionized the cutting of Acrylic which can not only be rapidly cut without fear if chipping, but also come off the machine with a flame polished finish.
Unfortunately not all materials can be laser cut, and materials such as PTFE, Lexan (polycarbonate), Nomex, Kapton, and most laminates will come off the machine with burn marks. For these materials standard die cutting or machining is typically the best production option.