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Digital cutting: CNC or laser? What are the differences?


Plastic material fabrication has endless possibilities. If you add cutting pieces to any shape you would like, we have again multiplied the possibilities. As much as digital cutting and laser cutting both allow to cutting patterns, letters and various shapes, these two types of cuts hold various differences. In this article, we will go through the differences between these two types of cutting by comparing their tools, finishes as well as their precision.


Here at Plastica, this cutting method is key in hand. In developing your project, our team makes sure to advise the right method that applies to your needs.


CNC digital cutting

The CNC machine, or the computer numerical control, allows the machining of any type of plastic up to considerable thicknesses. Cutting is done using a drill bit that turns on itself with a steering arm that moves above the table. The material is cut and the chips are sucked by a vacuum cleaner above the machine. The bit follows a very precise path previously programmed on the computer.


The CNC can cut and machine plastic. It manufactures a large number of parts in a short time. It leaves a matte and smooth finish. This is the perfect machine for mass production!


Laser cutting

Laser cutting is done using a very powerful and precise light beam which has the effect of removing material. We can cut acrylic (plexiglass), gravoply and a few other plastics. Everything is programmed in advance on the computer. The surgical precision of laser cutting allows the manufacture of very small parts.

Unlike the CNC, the laser polishes the plexiglass during cutting. The edge of the plexiglass is therefore glossy and transparent. The laser can also engrave plastic, which is great for trophies!


In comparison


In conclusion, your cutting projects can be done both with laser and CNC ! Digital cutting gives added value to your projects by offering you the shapes and details you want! We can add any editing, digital printing and finishing to your project!

The files most frequently used for cutting are Illustrator (.ai), Solidwork (.slsdprt or .sldasm), and Autocad (.dwg) files.

For more information, you can consult our CNC digital cutting or laser cutting sections on our website. You can also call us anytime to speak to one of our team members who would be happy to answer all your questions!

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