Laser cutting is a process usually limited to metal manufacturing. At Wilke, we’ve extended the process to plastic manufacturing as well. Polyethylene, polypropylene, acrylics and PTFE coated fiberglass are all materials that we can laser cut Over the years, we have tried many different approaches and experiments to find a way to make laser cutting of nonmetals possible. And we were successful! Our increased capabilities however, come down to more than just experimentation.
There’s also a willingness on our part to do it. Laser cutting plastics is a different skill than laser cutting metals, one that takes time to learn and perfect.
We felt it was worthwhile to invest time and energy into developing this skill because of the benefits it provides to our clients. Many times plastic parts are molded. By laser cutting them instead, our customers can avoid tooling costs entirely. This makes it affordable to manufacture smaller product runs, from few to thousands, because the need to justify expensive molding costs goes away. Laser cutting is also a faster process. In less than the time it takes to draw up the tooling needed for molding, our customers can have finished, laser cut plastic parts in their hands.