Setting up files for a laser die cutting system is similar to setting up files for a digital printing system; however, there are certain specific requirements.
1. A vector file, or layer of the die line, is required. This file can be generated using the laser die cutting system’s software or custom software can be developed to work directly with the raster image processor (RIP) software of any digital printing system. When custom software is integrated into the RIP, the print file and laser cut file can be generated at the same time in prepress, eliminating several steps. In either case, once the die line is identified, the laser die cutting system will convert it to create a “useable laser die cutting file.”
2. It’s important to make sure that the die cutting file is a single line outlining the intended cut pattern, without multiple points or lines over a given cutting area. Otherwise, the laser will spend too much time cutting these areas, and burn-through will occur.