Most manufacturers will agree that the best thing about laser cutting systems is their speed. Regardless of the complexity of the design, laser cutting allows for fast and accurate production. However, that does not mean that you have to settle for what standard laser cutting systems have to offer. There is always room to improve efficiency. This article highlights essential tips for enhancing the efficiency of laser cutting.
Lowering Design Resolution -- Many people don't realise that the design they feed to a laser cutting machine determines the throughput. Pattern designs have varying resolutions. For instance, clear images have a higher resolution, and less detailed images have a lower resolution. The main advantage of sending a higher resolution image file to a laser cutter is the clean cut. However, the cutting process might take longer than expected. The approach is to lower the resolution. Doing so reduces the laser cutting time significantly. You can offset the lower resolution by feeding different dithering patterns into a laser cutting machine's design drivers. Doing so helps to randomise a pattern and send the design with the best low resolution to a laser cutter.
Colour Mapping -- Laser cutting systems view designs as one image regardless of the complexity and white space. Therefore, a laser cutter will travel over blank spaces haphazardly as it cuts through the design. However, this can eat into production time if you have to cut several pieces. Colour mapping eliminates this issue since it allows you to group different images in batches. It allows a laser cutter to skip the white spaces in a design and only travel through the coloured sections of an entire batch. The cutter will travel through the white space only when moving to the next column of design. For example, if you are cutting name tags, you could arrange the names in three columns and assign each column a different colour. A laser cutter will go through the designs in the first column and only travel through the white space when moving to the next column of names.
Pre-Cutting Items -- Customisation has become a popular area in laser cutting since clients want items that match their personality. However, laser cutting single items is highly inefficient, particularly for popular items. Rather than wait for an order to start laser cutting an item, you can pre-cut a batch of items with a similar design. This way, when you receive an order from a client, you can put the pre-cut item on a laser-cutting machine and add the customised details. This reduces the time required to process popular items significantly.