Laser Cutting

 

Your Files

  • Units — exclusively millimetres

  • Scale — always 1:1

These are our favourite file-types:

  • .3dm — used by Rhino

  • .dxf — Drawing eXchange Format used by AutoCAD, and various other software

  • .ai — Adobe Illustrator

We can import most formats, so give us a try and we'll let you know if there's a problem. Most importantly your design should be stored as vectors rather than pixels, if that doesn't make sense, just ask us.

 

Layers & Types of Cut

We use layers to describe each separate operation the machine will carry out. Laser cutters can carry out three main types of functions and so should be arranged onto layers accordingly:

Laser Cutting

Laser cutting means cutting through the material.  The laser beam will follow the path of vector strokes (i.e. on the line).  The width of the cut, also called the kerf of the laser, is approximately 0.25 mm wide.

Vector Engrave

Vector engraving/scoring is a method of marking or scoring a material surface.  Like the laser cutting process the beam will follow the path of vector lines but without cutting all the way through the material.  The width of the engraving, also called the kerf of the laser, is approximately 0.25 mm wide.

Raster Engrave

Raster engraving/etching is a method of taking some of your material away to mark the surface.  The laser head moves back and forth horizontally and etches the material in within the vector lines. This technique can also be used with black & white raster (bitmap) images.

 

Materials

We can cut & engrave:

  • Plastics — acrylic (perspex, plexiglass, etc.), rubber…

  • Wood — laser grade plywood, MDF…

  • Stationery — paper, card…

  • Haberdashery — leather, fabric…

We cannot cut: 

  • Metal, glass & stone.

  • PVC & anything that creates toxic fumes when burnt