Author Topic: Co2 lasers for cutting textiles  (Read 10822 times)

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gearmaker.org

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Re: Co2 lasers for cutting textiles
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2015, 12:55:32 PM »
What are guys finding to be the easiest 2D CAD software to use.  I was this close to paying a licence for Rhino3D knowing I would never make anything in 3D as all my models are done to scale with foam or card.

This is the next step.  I'm educating myself on open source CAD options to recommend.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

mogensbeck

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Re: Co2 lasers for cutting textiles
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2015, 01:29:02 PM »
We use Google Sketchup. Very easy to use. only minus is that it is not very good if you need to make huge perfect circles. It is not a problem you see when you are making holes for grommets and markers. But if the circle is 15cm the you see that it does not make perfect circels.





One of the other guys in the company is very skilled in using it, if anyone would like to try it he can propperly help you with a crash cource

mogensbeck

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Re: Co2 lasers for cutting textiles
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2015, 01:50:06 PM »
Another question (may be the wrong thread): some people laminate 2 layers of Cordura back to back before laser cutting, some sew reinforcing lines between PALS cutouts, some don't. This looks like a cheap way to have camouflaged laser cut fabric (and lowers the need for 1" webbing as well). Outer Hypalon like WTF does it is very limited colorwise for a front side use (doesn't matter on the back of things of course).

Did you guys look into that? Is the Hypalon+Cordura laminate really better (since it costs and weights more)? What glue to use? What about the edge fraying of Cordura?

We have been looking into it, its a very long story and perhaps in a year it will be able to buy it at our level and not blueforce/crye level companies.
We have cheated a little bit and made some tests where we just sew lasercut fabric on top on 8oz lasercut hypalon.







We have a 90Watts laser and our biggest problem right now is how to write with the laser so it only cuts in the first layer of hypalon. Even with low procentage it cuts to deep and if we turn the speed higher the text starts to get whobbely.
We just bought new focus 3" and 4" and hope distance will help or else we will try and buy a 60watt lasertube and try again.

Alex

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Re: Co2 lasers for cutting textiles
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2015, 02:06:44 PM »
Gents,

I'm a bit alarmed at the way a lot of us in this and other groups I have talked with do not use respirators, the correct clothing and/or fume scrubbers on their lasers when cutting HANK materials (AKA Trelleborg Hypalon).

Someone is going to get brain cancer or worse, get a family member, friend or employee very sick.

Hank has some nasty stuff in it. I've attached the Materials Safety Data Sheet for everyone to look at.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gwizgq2rj9jf6hu/AAAoMJHuIq4pOyXR5cVq_FAHa?dl=0


When you laser cut HANK fabrics, it lets out dangerous Hydrogen Chloride (HCL) which at room temperature, it is a colorless gas, which forms white fumes of hydrochloric acid upon contact with atmospheric humidity.

When you cut HANK or similar materials first look at the materials safety sheet and see what the dangers are. You may need to get a different filter for your respirator based on the chemicals that will be expelled when cut on the laser. This could also affect the kind of fume scrubber you'll need to install unless you want to drive your neighbors crazy from the smell and invite some nasty legal repercussions from breaking every environmental pollution law in your area.

You should be good to go with the following equipment if you are cutting Trelleborg Hank fabrics.

3m Respirator full face mask is best, but small works if you are on a budget.

3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6900, Respiratory Protection
http://www.amazon.com/3M-Respirator-6900-Respiratory-Protection/dp/B007JZ1M10/ref=pd_sbs_indust_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=11B1ZEJRE41JSFP9CDT4

3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300/07026(AAD), Respiratory Protection
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JZ1MK6/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Respirator filters (with protection from hydrochloric acid)
3M Multi Gas/Vapor Cartridge/Filter 60926, P100 Respiratory Protection
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009POHLRC/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Tyvex body suits or full chem protection suit
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=a9_asc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3ATyvex+suit&keywords=Tyvex+suit&ie=UTF8&qid=1422563767

Latex or latex free gloves for handling dirty cut HANK fabric pieces
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KE233Q2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Also, please do not wash the clothes you wear when you laser cut HANK fabrics in the same machines that you wash your family or personal clothes. You could contaminate your home laundry with some nasty stuff and get other people sick or they could break out in rashes. It's best to use Tyvek body suits that you can trough away or a full chem suit. If you do need to wash clothes, buy a separate washer and dryer or have a set of clothes that you only wear when cutting that you can toss after a few uses.

If you have a great fume scrubber and a 100% sealed laser cutter with an awesome exhaust system then you can probably tone down the amount of safety gear that you should wear at certain stages of you cutting, but I would still highly recommend protective gear when you open the laser after cutting and handle recently cut HANK fabric pieces. After you have washed the HANK cut pieces and they've had a few days to degas (when they stop smelling like a chemical bath) they should be good to handle without protection.

It's best to let the cut HANK pieces degas for 24-72 hours before you start sewing them but this is more for the sanity and comfort of the sewers due to the smell.

Also, I've had one sewer have an allergic reaction to the rubber in the HANK fabric. She was still able to sew the material, but she had to wear a tyvek upper with non-latex gloves. She had a latex allergy and that may have made her sensitive to HANK rubber that is a generic form of neoprene.

Hope this helps, and stay safe!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 08:49:31 AM by Alex »

WhiskeyTwoFour

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Re: Co2 lasers for cutting textiles
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2015, 03:34:37 PM »
Two layer cutting.  No problem.  Same speed, juice the power a little.

The two larges holes in the middle of the fabric mark the centers of the mag cells and covered in 5038 once the pouch in finished.  The small hole below locates the front of the pouch on the rear where the stitch is terminated with a bartack.  The semi circle on the edge is another center locator.  A zig zag on the edge of the fabric in second pic denotes a hem.



« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 03:46:27 PM by WhiskeyTwoFour »

SunriseTacticalGear

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Re: Co2 lasers for cutting textiles
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2015, 04:07:37 PM »
I sent some samples off last week and just got the word on how things went.
I sent off 1,000 d, pack cloth, mesh, hapalon, as well as Velcro.
The machine I'm currently am looking at is from Rabbit laser, it is a Chinese machine with a 3'x 4' cutting bed and has an 80 watt tube.
I asked for the samples to be cut on a 60 watt machine and the 80 watt machine so I could compare cut quality.
Carole said that the fabric was cut on the 60 watt machine at around 20 watts and thought that the 80 watt machine was too powerful. Chinese laser tubes don't do so well when you try to turn them down to very low power output, she said it would just melt the material. Going faster isn't the answer either, because you will lose cut quality.
They don't stock the large bed machine with a 60 watt tube so I will have to pay extra to convert it.

Do you guys mind sharing what cutting speeds and power your running at?

I'll post some pictures of the samples when I get them in hand.
Scott

WhiskeyTwoFour

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Re: Co2 lasers for cutting textiles
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2015, 03:02:25 PM »
Gents,

I'm a bit alarmed at the way a lot of us in this and other groups I have talked with do not use respirators, the correct clothing and/or fume scrubbers on their lasers when cutting HANK materials (AKA Trelleborg Hypalon).

<snip>

Hope this helps, and stay safe!

Great point.

So many times capital equipment is purchased with no understanding of the ancillary equipment necessary for a professional operation.

Since the old fume extractor finally died, we're doing a write up on how things have changed in this class of machine.  Specifically, we'll be discussing a shiny, new BOFA AD 500 iQ. 

Spec sheet if you're interested.





« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 03:09:20 PM by WhiskeyTwoFour »