Leather is a premium material that has been used for centuries. Leather has been used for a multitude of purposes throughout history but also exists in modern fabrication processes. Laser cutting is one of many ways to produce leather designs. Leather has proven to be a good medium for laser cutting and engraving. This article describes a non-contact, rapid, and high-precision laser system for cutting leather.
With the progress of society and the development of science and technology, leather products are more and more widely used in various applications. Leather products play an indispensable role in daily life, such as clothing, shoes, bags, wallets, gloves, sandals, fur hats, belts, watch straps, leather cushions, car seats and steering wheel covers, etc. Leather products are creating unlimited commercial value.
Laser cutting popularity increases
In recent years, due to the wide application and popularization of lasers, leather laser cutting machine use also rose at this time. High-energy, high-power-density carbon-dioxide (CO2) laser beams can process leather rapidly, efficiently, and continuously. Laser cutting machines employ digital and automatic technology, which provides the capability of hollowing out, engraving and cutting in the leather industry.
The advantages of using CO2 laser cutting machines in the leather industry are obvious. Compared with traditional cutting methods, laser cutting has the benefits of low cost, low consumption, no mechanical pressure on the workpiece, high precision and high speed. Laser cutting also has the advantages of safe operation, simple maintenance, and continuous operation of processing.
An example of a leather pattern cut by a laser cutting machine.
How Laser Cutting works
The CO2 laser beam is focused into a small spot so that the focal point achieves a high power density, quickly converting photon energy into heat to the degree of vaporization, forming holes. As the beam on the material moves, the hole produces a narrow cutting seam continuously. This cut seam is little affected by residual heat, so there is no workpiece deformation.
The size of the leather that is laser-cut is consistent and accurate, and the cut can be of any complex shape. Using computer graphic designs for patterns enables high efficiency and low cost. As a result of this combination of laser and computer technology, the user making the design on computer can achieve laser engraving output and change engraving at any time.
The product manager of a shoe factory in Pakistan said that the company used to cut shoe molds and engrave patterns with a mold knife, and each style required a different mold. The operation was very complicated and cannot handle small and complicated pattern designs. Since the purchase of laser cutting machines from Wuhan Golden Laser Co., Ltd., laser cutting has completely replaced manual cutting. Now, the leather shoes produced by laser cutting machine are more exquisite and beautiful, and the quality and technology have also been greatly improved. At the same time, it greatly improves production efficiency, and is especially suitable for the production of small batch orders or sometimes customized products.
The leather industry is experiencing a technology change with specialized laser leather cutting machine breaking the low-speed and layout difficulty of traditional manual and electric shears, fully solving the problems of low efficiency and waste of material. By contrast, the laser cutting machine is high-speed and easy to operate, as it only involves entering the graphics and size to the computer. The laser cutter will cut the entire material into the finished product without tools and molds. The use of laser cutting to achieve non-contact processing is simple and fast.
CO2 laser cutting machines can perfectly cut leather, synthetic leather, polyurethane (PU) leather, artificial leather, rexine, suede leather, napped leather, microfiber, etc.
Laser cutting machines accomplish a wide range of applications. CO2 lasers can cut and engrave textile, leather, Plexiglas, wood, MDF and other non-metal materials. In terms of shoe materials, The precision of laser cutters makes it much easier to produce intricate designs compared to using manual cutting. Fumes are inevitably produced since the laser vaporizes and burns the material to make cuts, thus machines need to be placed in a well-ventilated area with a dedicated exhaust system.