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Laser vs Rotary Die Cutting

Laser vs Rotary Die Cutting: Which Method Is Best?

When it comes to creating precise die cuts, two of the most popular methods are laser vs rotary die cutting. How do you know which option is best for your unique needs? Each type of die cutting method will have its own distinct benefits based on material, costs, and production size.

Fortunately, Frank Lowe is one of the most successful die cutting companies — offering nearly seven decades of die cutting experience. We'll listen to your needs and guide you to the best solution — whether it's laser die cutting vs rotary.

Instead of you wondering which method is  most suitable for your product run, you can focus on more important things — like growing and managing your business. Continue reading to learn a few factors we consider when choosing between laser vs rotary die cutting.

What Is Rotary Die Cutting & How Does Rotary Die Cutting Work?

Rotary die cutting involves the use of a machined, customized part (the die) cutting through the nonmetallic elastomer or substrate. With rotary die cutting, sheets of the elastomer are fed between two rolling cylinders at exceptionally high speeds. Each shape is meticulously cut on the rolling die with a high degree of accuracy and tolerance. Rotary die cutting can produce:

What Is Laser Die Cutting & How Does Laser Die Cutting Work?

Laser die cutting utilizes a high-speed laser to cut through the elastomer and create the desired shape, component, or industrial gasket. Unlike other types of die cutting, laser cutting doesn’t use a physical die and doesn’t require any physical contact with the material.  Instead the laser is controlled by a computer under the instruction of a CAD generated design.

Laser die cutting can be used to create a vast range of different types of cuts, including:

  • Perforation
  • Ablation
  • Slug removal and through cuts
  • Drilling
  • Scoring
  • And more

Laser vs Rotary Die Cutting — Which Option Is Best?

In addition to the material, there are many different considerations we make and attributes we explore to determine whether laser vs rotary die cutting is best. Regardless, we always approach each custom manufacturing run on a case-by-case basis — examining your project based on its individual merits. Let’s take a closer look at some of these key considerations we make when choosing laser vs rotary die cutting.

What Are the Advantages of Laser Die Cutting?

  • Create tricky and intricate patterns. Laser die cutting can produce more intricate and tricky patterns that may be more troublesome on a traditional rotary die cutting machine.
  • Do you need design assistance? If you need design assistance, it will usually be more cost effective to use laser die cutting. Your Frank Lowe expert can help you by creating CAD designs and producing prototypes. With rotary die cutting, each prototype would require creating a die, which would drive up the costs.
  • Master tighter tolerances. Components that require tight tolerances may be more suitable for laser die cutting.
  • What about speed to market? If you need a component quickly, we can easily upload your drawing to the laser machine and start cutting. We can then save your different designs and have them easily ready to be recalled whenever you need them.

What Are the Benefits of Rotary Die Cutting?

  • Producing high volume orders? If so, rotary die cutting may be the most ideal and cost effective solution.
  • Cut through difficult materials. While lasers are suitable for a larger number of elastomers, they often struggle die cutting more difficult material. However, the rotary die will slice through virtually any suitable elastomer at the same speed.
  • Speed. The die cutting speed of the laser will be highly dependent on the cut pattern as well as other factors. In contrast, the rotary machine, the die shape is already there and only need to be repeated over and over again.

Contact Frank Lowe to Learn If Laser vs Rotary Die Cutting is Best

When you partner with Frank Lowe, we will guide you through the entire process. Whether it’s your first time or 500th time, we’ll get to know your project goals, costs, and time constraints to guide you to the most effective and affordable method of die cutting. Most importantly, we'll use our nearly 7 decades of experience to help you:

  1. Explore – We’ll make sure you understand all of your die cutting options, including laser vs rotary die cutting.
  2. Pursue – We’ll carefully consider all of the key parameters including material selection, cost, speed, repeatability, and everything else to make sure we pursue all avenues to excellence.
  3. Create – Here we simply create the best component, part, or gasket from the most suitable material with the best method of die cutting.

Read to learn more? Contact Frank Lowe today to Explore, Pursue, and Create.

About the Author Randy Cohen

Since 2002, Randy Cohen has served as the Senior Vice President of Frank Lowe — leading Sales and Marketing as well as a variety of Administrative operations. Randy has 25 years of experience with a background in sales & marketing, production and business management, serving both government agencies and private industry. He holds a B.A from Syracuse University and a Masters and Professional Diploma from Fordham University. Randy uses his unique set of experiences to help businesses and entities across all sectors explore, pursue, and create better solutions.

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