Has anyone laser cut fabric and if so
What setting to avoid. The burnt lines and smell
And also what fabrics not to cut
Has anyone laser cut fabric and if so
That would all depend on the fabric you are trying to use. If you search the forum there is a ton of information out there on a lot of different materials.
Do not cut anything that has the potential to release hydrogen chloride (HCl) as a combustion byproduct. So for example PVC (polyvinyl chloride) should never be cut or engraved in your laser as it can cause damage in only one use.
Most fabrics do not contain PVC or any chlorine source but you should check to be sure.
If you are looking for settings on where to start, I cut some Cotton Cloth for Quilting the other day. It is quite thin. This might be a place to start, but you will need to do some test cuts to make sure you have the right settings for the particular cloth type and thickness you have
Cut – 400/45, 1pass with the auto focus set first.
I did a score line (for a stitch edge position at 500/10, though I think I could have gone a little lighter.
If you do a search on the forum there are other cloth settings too… it really will depend on the type and thickness of the material.
One big advantage of cutting with a laser is that if there is any plastic in the blend it will melt and seal the cut better than a baby lock machine. If pure cotton or other natural fiber a burn that keeps growing is more of a problem. In any case the cut should be fast and light enough to keep you full attention for the couple of minutes at most.
Using a Seklema mat or board with spray adhesive will be needed to keep little bits from flying about and blocking fans or worse burst into flames as it gets pulled past the laser beam again.
I cut fabric all the time. I have never had a problem. GF is my favorite method. I get clean crisp lines and if you adjust you setting just right, the edges become sealed & don’t fray (have you ever used a litter to burn off a stray thread? Same idea). My favorite thing about it though is that I can “score” a light guideline for my 8 year old daughter to know where to sew & now she has perfect seam allowances.
I’ve cut everything from lightweight cotton, heavy outdoor canvas for boats, cotton batting for blankets, interface. tool etc. The setting depend on the fabric. Theres no one size fits all. Test on a small area of scrap. I find if I do get the burnt smell, a quick wash takes it out no problem (hand or machine).
As Cynd said you need to be cautious of the PVC and YES there is fabrics with PVC in it, more than you’d think so make sure you check that. But as a general rule any fabric with PVC will look like “club wear” or costume-ish.
@Pepper do you mind share your settings? I’m looking to cut cotton or a cotton blend.
ON MY BASIC
100% cotton - to cut, use around 500 speed & 50 power. (its going to depend on the weight & thickness of the fabric).
If its thicker/heavier I drop the speed to 400 or 300 & leave the power around 50.
All of my fabric cut setting are between 300-500 & around 40-60.
My fabric scoring is 200-300 & 10-20 (I score sew lines for my 8 year old daughter to follow).
If you’re cutting WITH a seam allowance then you have more room to play with as no one will see it if its a smidge charred on the edges. Otherwise I sometimes will use a much lower setting &run 2 or even 3 passes to avoid any char.
Here the negative of a cut from yesterday. 100% cotton, lightweight, woven. On the top (the pyramid) I used 300 & 55. It left a bit of char but since its on a seam allowance I didn’t care, I’d rather have all the frayed edges “burnt” off, it makes it easier for my daughter to handle. On the right side I used 300 & 40. Less char but begin to fray as she was handling the actual cut piece.
Cotton blends are around the same setting, again depending on the blend & thickness and not all blends are equal (even if the are the same percentage).
In my personal experience, settings will fluctuate if the fabric is woven or knitted.
I find woven material needs a bump up compared to knit of the same weight.
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