View Full Version : I need some help

Dann Ernstsen
03-15-2014, 7:24 PM
I have a textile business, we two others, that makes products for police, military and outdoor persons. The products we are making are magasin pouches, GPS pouches, hydration pauches etc.

We are growing right now, and are looking at a lasercutter to help cut the fabric for us - we primary work in cordura nylon and HDPE. With a lasercutter we could also doe work in Hypalon/CSM, that would make our work easyer.

The working area has to be minimum 900x1200mm, but 1600x1200mm would be best. And as I understand it 60w power would be best.

A chines lasercutter would be the best because of the price. Two of us are aircraft technicians and the third security, as our primary job, this is our secoundary job.

Here comes the questions:
- Is 60w to low or high for the job?
- what chines manufactores have anything in the 1600x1200mm area?
- Are there any problems with hypalon/CSM - I have seen a lot of firms cutting it with laser but that is not the same as it is the right thing to doe
- what doe we need to think about with this?

Best regards

Guy Hilliard
03-15-2014, 8:35 PM
A 60w laser will cut Cordura all day long with ease (I used to cut it with a 40w ULS). A CNC ultrasonic knife can also be used to cut this material.
Sheet HDPE (LDPE, PE, and UHMW(PE)) doesn't cut worth a darn with any laser - it melts like wax. A CNC router is usually the tool of choice for automated cutting of this material. If it is HDPE fabric then I don't know
With all the Chlorowhatitz in the Hypalon it is a big NO for laser cutting as the laser will release Chlorine gas which over time will kill you and your laser (probably you first). Search for "Laser PVC" for more details. A CNC ultrasonic knife is a much better tool for this cutting this material.

michael reimer
03-15-2014, 9:31 PM
Dan what is the name of your company and where are you located?

Dann Ernstsen
03-16-2014, 3:24 AM
Guy Hillard

Thank you for the advice. The HDPE is only 1mm thick, so pricision is really importen.

The name is Verdande koncept and we are located near Karup

Bill George
03-16-2014, 8:41 AM
Guy Hillard

Thank you for the advice. The HDPE is only 1mm thick, so pricision is really importen.

The name is Verdande koncept and we are located near Karup

Are any of you electricians. electronics people or have CNC experience? I am building my own laser cutter/engraver and have enough knowledge to do the repairs. With a Chinese laser you need to be your own repair, service and setup person.

Dann Ernstsen
03-16-2014, 9:24 AM
two of us are aircraft technicians, so we doe have some experience with eletronics on aircrafts, we are more allrounded then american aircraft technicians we doe not have any specialty as everyone have to be able to doe everything. Also we have a friend that is a electrician.
CNC experience is very limited.

We know that chines machines doe have issues, but the price is very good :)

are there anyother material we can use instead of HDPE, thats cut very well with a lasercutter, that is as flexible and 1mm thick. A industrial sewingmachine need to be able to sew through it.

Michael Hunter
03-16-2014, 12:00 PM
As Guy says, HDPE is not great in the laser.

1mm thick stuff can be cut successfully, so long as you don't mind -
* Edges of the cut get a bit thicker because molten material attaches itself.
* Molten material blows across the top surface and sticks when it cools.

These problems can be eliminated by applying transfer tape to both sides of the HDPE.
Unfortunately, if the tape becomes even a little bit loose you get a **FIRE** straight away, so not really a sensible option!

This is fine for industrial gaskets, but might not be acceptable for your use.

Probably best if you try some for yourself once your laser is up and running.

David Somers
03-16-2014, 8:24 PM

You don't say where you are located. If you are in a fair to middling size city, or a location with a university or college, you are likely to find what might best be called a Maker Shop. It is a shop that you join, or pay to use by the hour, and you get access to the machines they have on hand, and any expertise available. You may find a variety of CNC machines, laser engravers, wood working equipment, electronics stuff, etc. etc. etc. The rates are usually pretty reasonable, especially if you want to experiment with a concept prior to investing in your own gear. It can also be a safe, low cost way to see what your learning curve might be.

The other thing to do is become familiar with reading an MSDS sheet. Material Safety Data Sheet. They exist for almost any material out there and will tell you what chemicals and hazards exist in the product. If a material contains Chlorine and derivatives for example it will show it and provides warnings about the conditions dangerous gases will be released, etc.

Here is a link to the MSDS sheet for Hypalon for example.

Read through it and you will see the warnings. It is a great material, but not when burned. Same with its main competitor in the white water rafting market, PVC fabric.

Hope this helps!


Guy Hilliard
03-17-2014, 3:11 PM
A 1mm thick material that has about the same flexibility as HDPE and can be easily cut on a laser is PETG (the same material that 2 litre soda bottles are made from). You should be able to source it from the same place you were planning on buying the HDPE from.