Drawing Setup for Laser Cutting

To create a laser cutting file, you need to use drawing software that allows you to save vector files such as Adobe Illustrator, AutoCAD, Corel Draw, Inkscape, or others. Basic file setup for vector files is as follows and software specific guides can be found in the sidebar.

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File Preparation:

In order to save on material costs, nest pieces and use material space economically.

Good Layout
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Bad Layout
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Getting a good price:

Removing double lines:

If two lines are on top of eachother, the laser cutter will go over the same part of the material twice. Because our laser cutting settings are calibrated to cut through the material on the first pass, this will damage the material and potentially the machine.

If you wish to nest two objects together to save material space and laser cutting time, make sure that they share the same edge, and are not 2 edges places over eachother.

Thinner material = Lower cost

The thinner the material is, the faster the laser can cut through it. This means that cutting the same design from a thinner piece of material will cost less than a thicker material. However, the thickness of material does not affect engraving time.

Curved lines vs. Straight lines

The laser travels much faster on straight lines than it does for curved lines. If the design can be adjusted to contain more straight lines, the file will cut quicker and the job will be more affordable.

File Types:

Please only submit the following file types (vector files when requesting a laser cutting project. If you are unsure how to create the file necessary for laser cutting, follow our guidelines detailed below, or learn more about our design consulting services.

  • .ai
  • .dxf
  • .dwg
  • .pdf
  • .cdr
  • .eps
  • .svg

Color Convention:

Set your lines to the following colors to indicate the proper laser marking:

  • Red Line (rgb: 255, 0, 0): Cut
  • Blue Line (rgb: 0, 0, 255): Score (Engraved Line)
  • Black Fill (rgb: 0, 0, 0): Engraved Area

Line Weight:

All line weights should be set to .001”

Laser Cutting Drawing Punch List:

Before submitting your design file, please ensure that the following items have been taken into consideration for a faster and more efficient laser cutting project. If you are unsure how to solve these issues, you can learn more through our tutorials and our design consulting services.

  • Remove any overlapping lines, clipping masks, or compound paths.
  • Scale to 1:1 size (send us a file in the size that it will actually be cut.)
  • Ungroup Everything

Drawing Templates:

If it is helpful, you can download our drawing templates and layout your artwork in it. Just download the file for the version software you have, drop your files in, and send back to us (coming soon).

Illustrator
Corel Draw
Inkscape

What is a vector file?

Begin your Laser Cutting Project