Laser die cutting is used to cut various materials that would be more difficult to cut through with the traditional steel rule die cutting. A laser beam that is usually computer controlled is programed to cut custom shapes and sizes using this method. The benefits of using a laser die would be because they are able to cut very tight and precisely, creating intricate designs, and they are high speed processes. Companies that use laser die cutting may have an advantage over most since they are able to create quick turnaround times for their customers. This is a cost-effective option as well since it is computer operated and requires no die. The materials that can be used are abrasives, elastics, rubber, adhesives, marble, glass, stone, wood plexiglass, plastics, polymer films, styrene, acrylics, and fabrics. These materials are able to be die cut to produce labels, cartons, model cutting, stencils, display signage, as well as many other applications. The automotive industry, packaging, medical, electric, and construction are some of the common industries that utilize laser die cutting.
The laser for die cutting is best suitable for cutting metals because it is a harder surface to penetrate. Gasses like nitrogen or carbon dioxide are also used in addition to laser cutting to prepare cut surfaces for painting or corrosion resistance. There are several different types of lasers for die cutting- C02, Nd lasers, and Nd-YAG lasers. C02 lasers are the common, and they have the highest power continuous wave lasers. Nd lasers is still a high-speed laser but has a lower reputation while Nd- YAG laser are very high energy lasers.
Lasers are usually computer controlled through a CAD program which requires a pre-set design and is connected to a CNC machine. The CNC enables the production of large volume orders to be uniformed and efficient.