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New Laser Technology Cuts Textiles More Accurately

Printed textiles are becoming increasingly popular, but cutting those large format prints hasn’t been as clean as companies would like. To solve that problem, Austrian printer Fahnen-Gärtner developed a eurolaser 3XL-series laser cutting system with a processing area of 12 square yards.

The printer pioneered the technology in order to provide the simple handling, automation and high-quality results its customers seek, and to offer flexibility in a market where customer requirements are increasingly individualized.

With the eurolaser system, contours and fine details can be cut, marked and engraved. And because the laser never comes in contact with the fabric, added steps like retooling and material clamping become unnecessary and cuts come out clean, according to Yarns and Fibers. Cutting blades don’t have to be changed out due to wear either.

A video camera on the machine recognizes marks where the fabric is to be cut and can cut it exactly along the printed edges. Software in the system can even account for undesired distortions in the material and compensate for those.

Then a CO2 laser beam is focused above the textiles to be cut, and hits the material surface with 100-600 watts of power in a 0.02 millimeter squared beam, creating fused cut edges and eliminating time-consuming reworking. Material transport, recognition, positioning and material cutting are all done almost automatically.

Fahnen-Gärtner also introduced a process gas to the equation to ensure clean-cut edges instead of leaving fabric vulnerable to being vaporized by the high concentration of energy. The cut is clean enough that no frayed material, lint or threads remain on the textile and no further processing is needed, according to the company. Cutting emissions in smoke form are filtered and discharged to the facility’s exterior.