In the following tutorial, we show you how to laser cut and engrave (imitation) leather. Below, we've prepared different design templates and suitable laser parameters for you.
- masking tape
- imitation leather
- snap fastener
- snap fastener pliers
- waxed cord
Used Trotec Laser:
- Speedy 300
- 80 watts
- 1.5 inch lens
- cutting table
The design file provided below is already prepared for the laser process. You can also use your own photo if you like. To achieve the desired effect, the image must be converted into a line-art graphic. In CorelDraw®, you can convert your graphic to line art by going to the following: Bitmap -> Mode -> Black and White. A dialog box pops up. Select the conversion "Method Line" and click OK. Get further information on photo engraving here.
To achieve the best result, use a honeycomb cutting table. Take a piece of imitation leather, put it in the laser and smooth it down. The material may shift or distort easily during the laser process, so you should fix it with masking tape.
Used laser parameters
Cutting: Power: 20% - Speed: 2% - Frequency: 1000Hz - Air Assist: ON
Engraving: Power: 23% - Speed: 30% - Frequency: 500 ppi - Air Assist: ON - High Quality: ON
In the download section at the bottom of this page, you can get the parameters file and import them directly to JobControl. There is a how-to for importing parameters.
Once you have laser-processed the imitation leather, clean it with water. There are little marks on the ends of the strap, these will help you to position the snap fasteners.
Open our template in CorelDraw or another vector program. Of course, you can also create your own design. Let yourself be inspired by geometric patterns or floral decoration.
Take a piece of genuine leather and place it into the laser. As with the faux leather, you should fix the genuine leather with masking tape and use a honeycomb cutting table.
Laser Parameters used
We worked with a Speedy 300 (80 watts) and a 1.5 inch lens and used the following parameters.
Cutting (arrowheads): Power: 7.5% - Speed: 0.5% - Frequency: 1000 Hz - Air Assist: ON
Cutting (outline): Power: 8.5% - Speed: 0.8% - Frequency: 1000 Hz - Air Assist: ON
Engraving: Power: 25% - Speed: 28% - Frequency: 500 ppi - Air Assist: ON - High Quality: ON
You may get JobControl-files at the bottom of this page and save yourself retyping the parameters. More information on importing files in JobControl can be found here.
Remove any residue with a soft dry cloth. Since it is a natural material, we can not recommend any cleaner. Aggressive cleaning agents may dry out the area or form spots on the leather. If you want to use a cleanser, please test on an inconspicuous area or, even better, on a test strip.
Thread the waxed cord through the ends of the strap and close the bracelet with a knot.
You will find many tips and tricks for laser engraving and cutting leather here.