In this section you will find indications about how to optimize your design and file for laser cutting in terms of quality of the cut and timing.
Would you like us to prepare the design for you?
If you would like us to draw on the computer for you, you could send us a sketch of your project and a description about size, amount, and wished material.
The file can be any file types that we can read, such as a text file with a written description, a scan of a hand sketch (JPG, GIF, BMP, PDF), a mock-up in Word, Paint, or Excel, etc.
To directly request a quote that includes file creation, please submit your file in the quote request form and mention that you need us to draw your parts. File creation costs are listed at our laser cutting pricing page.
Design check list
DOUBLE LINES: Check for and delete all overlapping lines in your drawing. Every line is seen by the laser cutting machine as a line to process. These means that if you have a line hidden under another one, the laser will pass twice on the same path, resulting in an overburning of the edge and the surface along the cut, and a loss of accuracy.
TEXT: All texts, text lines, multiline texts, need to be outlined.
The laser machine, will only recognize lines, paths, and polylines.
In a vector graphic sofware you can easily convert your text to path/outline. In AutoCAD, texts can only be exploded when ExpressTools is installed (TXTEXP).
VECTOR MASKS: Release all masks and clips from your drawing.
VECTOR GROUPS: Ungroup all elements in your drawing.
VECTOR OBJECTS: All vector objects and shapes have to be converted to path/outline.
WEIGHT: set stroke width to 0.01mm/hair line.
After setting the stroke width of all paths, verify the actual dimensions of the drawing.
HATCH / INFILL: Explode any hatch, infill, pattern you want to be processed and convert them in lines/paths.
CAD BLOCKS: Explode all blocks in your file.
The laser machine, will only recognize lines, paths, and polylines. Other elements such as texts, objects, shapes, masks, blocks, groups, will automatically be discarded.
CAD POLYLINES: Convert your lines in joined polylines, when you can.
This is the most convenient way to work with CAD software for laser cutting. For their continuity, using polylines optimizes the laser’s pattern, letting you save cutting time.
RASTER IMAGES: Ideal resolution is 600 dpi for infill-engraving, and a minimum of 300 dpi is required for clean results. When it comes to engraving pictures, images need to be converted in b/w and manipulated.
Through vector graphic software, raster images can be vectorized and therefore converted for cutting and line-engraving as well.
UNITS: Set your units in mm and scale 1:1
COLORS: BLUE-cut GREEN-line engraving RED-infill engraving
The color of the lines in your drawing defines how these lines will be processed: All blue elements will be cut. All GREEN elements will be line-engraved. All RED elements will be infill-engraved.
TEMPLATES: 900×600 450×600 300×450 200×300 (px)
MARGIN: at least 5mm all around the plate.
CLEARANCE NESTED PARTS: As a general rule, the distance between your nested parts should be about the thickness of the used material and, however, not less than 2 mm.
FALLING PARTS: Interrupt the cut lines to save small parts from falling.
When your design includes very small parts, and taping the plate is not an optiom to keep them together (e.g. with cardboard), you might consider to treat them as a stencil. You could do so for instance, by leaving a square path open in two opposite corners, so as to keep the shape attached to the plate and remove it later with a cutter.
Here below you will find a list of the file formats we can work with. We might be able to use other vector file formats not listed, and you are welcome to send a different file type via the quote request form (if we cannot open it, we will let you know).
If in doubt, please send a DXF file compatible with AutoCAD version 2010 or earlier.
dwg (till 2010 version)
dxf (till 2010 version)