Laser Cutting Plastic Foils
and Films

Polycarbonate, polyester or polyimide membrane keyboards

cutting plastic foil electronics

Polycarbonate, polyester or polyimide membrane keyboards

The laser beam allows for controlled fusing of the foils and films and produces clear and sealed cutting edges. When laser cutting films, you can cut even the smallest radii precisely and produce simple geometries at record speed. Laser cutting films and foils does not exert pressure on the materials, meaning that the entire process is contactless and, consequently, the end product will turn out perfect. 

As opposed to working with a punch or a knife, laser cutting films and foils will not result in the chipping of paint from the end product.

A laser cutting machine has distinct advantages over traditional methods, since it is faster than a cutting plotter, provides more precision than punching dies, and is more economical for small series up to 1,000 pieces.

Film materials suitable for laser cutting

Material  Abbreviation Trade names 
Polyester  PES Thermolite® Polarguard®
Polyethylene terephthalate PET Mylar®
Polyimide PI Kapton®
Polycarbonate PC Lexan® Makrolon®

Examples



panel foil cutting

Advantages of a Trotec laser

How does laser cutting films and foils work?

The controlled fusing of the material ensures clean laser cut edges without any soiling, and a laser cutting machine offers many advantages when working with multilayer films. Several layers, such as backing, adhesive and top film, can be cut in one work step. Depending on the layer structure and the strength of the film, up to 10 layers can be cut in the composite material.

Why will I work faster with the laser than with a cutting plotter?

Precisely-matched axis drives and an innovative control system ensure precise and fast laser cutting with Trotec systems. Unlike in cutting plotters, there is no material resistance when lasers are used, meaning laser cutting is faster. As well as this, the laser beam does not need to be lifted or rotated as a knife. Trotec laser systems make optimal use of this advantage in speed and detail, in particular when working on delicate geometries.

Do I have to fixate the material on the working surface?

No, not manually. For the best laser cutting and laser marking films and foil results, we recommend the use of a vacuum table. This ensures that thin or wavy materials are positioned flat on the work table. No pressure is exerted on the material during laser cutting or laser marking films and foils, so neither clamping nor any other type of fixation is required. This saves time and money during the preparation of the material, and prevents crushing of the material. All these advantages combined make a laser cutting machine the perfect tool for cutting films and foils.

Do I require special accessories for accurate laser cutting and laser marking films and foils?

A camera system is the ideal partner when you wish to process printed products, and i-cut® allows for perfect contour cutting of printed materials. Even flexible materials, like banners and flags, are cut completely accurately. Time-consuming positioning falls away, distortions in the impression are detected, and the cutting path is adapted appropriately.

By combining the optical registration mark detection system with a Trotec laser, you can save up to 30% in process costs. There are no costs for the manufacture, maintenance and storage of the cutting dies, and completely flexible work is ensured since it is possible to respond to any changes in the design in the shortest possible time.


"The help and advice offered by Trotec was first class. Even though we never committed originally to buy with Trotec, they provided a lot of help and treated us as if we were already a valued customer."
- ​Kevin Bozman - critical engineering and process manager at Mitie -
"If you want the best watch in the world, get a Rolex - if you want the best laser, get a Trotec! We’ve tested many different laser cutters for our wood models and found the Trotec machines to be the most reliable and precise. If you want the best watch in the world, get a Rolex - if you want the best laser, get a Trotec! We’ve tested many different laser cutters for our wood models and found the Trotec machines to be the most reliable and precise."
- Tony Collins - Owner of I Say Ding Dong -
"We initially spoke to Trotec at an exhibition, and from then on out they were extremely helpful and helped us find the right machine for our business. The installation, training and subsequent technical support have all been very good."
- Malcolm Fairbairn - Managing Director of Hi-Bond Tapes -

Trotec product recommendation