Die cutting is one of the major alternatives to laser cutting. Die cutting is still widely practiced today. However, nowadays it's the method of choice only for cutting jobs involving very simple shapes.
The following are just five of the many advantages laser cutting (such as is offered by J&E Metal Fabricators) offers over die cutting in manufacturing processes:
More intricate designs are possible with laser cutting.
Die cutting simply can't handle the design complexity that is necessary to create intricate items like doilies.
With laser cutting, intricate shapes can be cut thanks to the precision of LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) technology. Laser cutting can handle narrow kerf widths, fine materials, irregular shapes, and many more design challenges.
Laser cutting does not require a die to be created.
With die cutting, a die needs to be created for every shape that needs to be cut. A die is something like a mold that is mounted on to a press to do the cutting.
Creating a die consumes time and resources. With laser cutting, no die is necessary and cutting can begin with only a design.
Laser cutting doesn't require resharpening of tools.
Unlike traditional tools, a laser never needs to be resharpened. Over time, the equipment used in die cutting can become dull, and this will cause the cutting to become blunt and less accurate.
Sharpening die cutting tools is time consuming and detracts from productivity. With laser cutting, the need to sharpen tools does not create downtime. In fact, laser cutting equipment requires very little maintenance.
Laser cutting allows multiple jobs to be tackled simultaneously.
With laser cutting, it's easier for equipment to switch between cutting out different shapes quickly. It's not necessary to change the die to switch over to a different shape. This means that laser cutting allows different shapes to be cut at the same time.
With die cutting, only one shape can be handled at a time until the die is changed. This means that careful planning is required to keep die cutting productive. Also, die cutting is less flexible for adapting to unexpected changes in the demands of a cutting job.
Laser cutting can handle many different materials and material thicknesses.
Laser cutting can be used on a wide range of materials including paper, plastics, metals, foam, fabric, and more. The intensity of a laser cutter can be adjusted so that it can cut through thicker or denser materials. This makes laser cutting more convenient and effective in manufacturing applications.