Aeronaut Automation

Automated Cutting Systems & Software

Laser Cutters

Aeronaut manufactures three ranges of laser cutters to suit almost all requirements when laser cutting industrial and technical textiles.

  • Elektron Laser Z. Lightweight 30 watt air or water cooled laser. Fast but low-cost.
  • Elektron Laser ZT & ZP.. Higher power lasers on a fast lightweight chassis. Air or water cooled. Production laser cutters for the widest range of materials.
  • Elektron Laser ZX.. Heavier, higher powered lasers on a rugged dual gantry chassis where the most cutting power is required for thick and dense materials.

Why so many types? Well, a low powered laser will generally cut the same materials as a high power laser… it's just slower. However, as a rough rule of thumb, if you double the power of a laser tube,  the cut speed doubles but so does the weight of the laser and also the price. For that reason, Aeronaut offers a range of lasers to fit almost all budgets and production needs.

For work where speed is not the highest priority or for prototyping or lab work, a lightweight, low power laser cutter may be a good choice. For production work on a wide range of material weights, a higher powered laser is better. For heavy materials, where a good cut speed is required, a high powered and therefore heavier weight laser is necesssary.

Elektron Laser ZP100

Aeronaut's Neo Lasers

Aeronaut’s Neo laser cutters have been re-engineered to carry the latest and best lasers. All Aeronaut lasers with the Neo tag have been already redesigned and any other model laser will be updated and delivered as a Neo design.

Aeronaut lasers come in power levels and prices to suit almost any technical textiles application and budget from 30 watts to more than 400 watts. Currently, all lasers below 150 watts are Neo designs.

The most exciting development in laser cutting in recent years is pulse lasers. Instead of a continuous beam of laser energy (CW), pulse lasers emit a series of short but very high power pulses. In fact at lower pulse rates, the power rating can be as much as 400% of the continuous power output.

This, coupled with other design and engineering changes, means that Aeronaut’s new pulse laser cutters have a lot of advantages over earlier CW designs which in many cases are much more useful than just higher cut speeds.

Higher cutting speeds. Watt for watt, the Neo lasers, especially the pulse versions, cut faster and on light materials, much much faster.

The cut zone is much smaller and cleaner with a pulse laser. This is a direct result of the pulse but also the finer beam focus point at the cut zone. Materials which might be discoloured by fumes around the cut edge with a CW laser are now very much cleaner or there is no visible mark at all.

Linear bearings are now used on the gantry of all Aeronaut lasers which enhances the fine detail work that lasers are capable of.

Laser power control through software has been greatly improved. On most fabrics, you can now reliably mark the fabric without through-cutting. Perforation with dots or segmented lines is more reliable and regular.

Maintenance is lower. Most lasers now feature purge ports and the positive pressurisation of beam path components has been expanded to include the entire beam path. This means cleaner optics and less maintenance on mirrors and lenses.

Fume extraction is better. The fume shroud is larger and better vented. An axial fan can be optionally mounted on the laser to improve extraction flow.

Greater compatibility. Now, almost all lasers have a 48 volt power supplies, making maintenance and upgrades easier. 

Pulse lasers are fractionally more expensive to buy than their CW equivalents so Aeronaut will continue to offer CW versions. In many cases, the laser tube geometry allows easier upgrades so a lower power laser can be upgraded with a new, higher power version.

Laser Cutting

In the world of industrial and technical textiles, laser cutters are often the only choice for high production speeds on difficult materials.

There are two main advanatages to laser cutters over blade cutters.

  1. Laser cutter do not touch the fabric. This means that many types of difficult material can be easily cut without problems which could lead to waste or ruined fabric.
  2. Laser cutters can edge seal fabric while it is being cut. The edge seal will stop fraying and can eliminate a hemming or separate edge-sealing operation.

Aeronaut manufactures three ranges of innovative gantry-mounted laser cutters with either a lightweight chassis or a heavier dual gantry chassis for carrying larger, heavier lasers.

Elektron Laser ZT

The Elektron Laser Z Neo and Elektron Laser ZT and ZP Neo are single gantry cutters able to carry lasers up to 150 watts output. Below 100 watts, lasers are available in air or water cooled versions. Aeronaut's Laser Z cutters are light-weight machines and therefore move fast and smoothly, giving clean, accurate cuts.

This class of light machines is especially suited to cutting light fabrics such as parachute and spinnaker Nylon or smaller details such as are found in paraglider foils where a heavier high power laser either can't accelerate fast enough to be productive or has more power than required for light fabric. Of course these cutters can be run at lower speeds for cutting multiple layers and thicker material.

Elektron Laser ZX Duo

The Elektron Laser ZX is a heavier dual gantry chassis and can carry heavyweight lasers from 100 watts power and upwards. The dual gantry is fitted with precision linear bearings for a long, accurate life. While the maximum speed of the Elektron Laser ZX is similar to that of Aeronaut's lightweight lasers, it does not accelerate as rapidly and is not as suitable for work on light fabrics or small patterns.

The Elektron Laser ZX is perfect where high power cutting is needed on materials like sailcloth, insulation materials, non-wovens and other synthetics.

If you are already using a laser cutter, be very careful about comparing old lasers with new lasers because modern laser cutters are normally more powerful and often much more powerful that older designs. We've seen old 200 watt lasers which cut almost as fast as a modern 30 watt laser.

All machines are fitted with modern so-called "all metal" CO2 lasers. The all-metal tag means that the only non-metal part of the laser is the output window where the laser beam exits. This type of laser is very rugged, very reliable and offers a long service life.

The service life of a laser is normally taken as being when the output power of the laser falls by 10% below its rated power. This is normally caused by the laser gas leaking from the tube. Typically this service life rating is greater than 45,000 hours. Of course the laser can still be used, with cut speeds a little slower. Bt normally the laser tube is simply re-gassed, which is a fairly low-cost operation, and power goes back up to 100%.

The Elektron Laser ZX is available in a Duo version which incorporates a blade cutting head integral with the laser head. The cutter takes Cam-lock tools and can carry any tool in the Aeronaut range of Cam-lock quick change tools.