Laser Cutting - Preparing Your File

If you've got basic experience with Adobe Illustrator or other similar vector drawing programs, read on to find out how to get your files ready for laser cutting.  If you don't know where to start, email us!  We can offer design services to help bring your ideas to life.

File Set-up

  • When setting up your file, it's often easiest to make your artboard the same size as the material you're using - our maximum job size is 29 x 17" (726 x 432mm).

  • Ensure that you are working in RGB mode (File -> Document Color Mode -> RGB)

  • Check that all your measurements are in millimeters (mm) so that everything is produced to precise scale.

Cutting

  • Any lines which are to be cut through the material should be drawn in RGB Red (R:255, G:0, B:0) with a thickness of 0.01 pt in Adobe Illustrator

Engraving / Etching

  • Engraving and etching is produced in the same way as a cut line, but just marks the surface rather than going all the way through the material.

  • Engraving lines should be drawn in Black. 

Text

  • In order to cut or engrave text, it needs to be converted to outlines. To do this in Adobe Illustrator, select the text then go to Text -> Create Outlines

  • Once converted to outlines, select no fill color, and select the relevant RGB outline color for cutting or engraving/etching.

  • Don't forget that cutting out text may cause the middle of letters to fall out!

Layout and Saving

  • Ensure that you place the number of pieces required on the sheet - if you need 5 circles cut, place 5 circles on the sheet.

  • Make sure you leave at least 2mm of space between each item to be cut.

  • Make sure you don't have any duplicated lines - these can cause the line to be cut twice which can burn the material, or it can cause the line to disappear altogether.

  • Ungroup all items on the sheet.

  • Remove any clipping masks

  • Please save your finished file as .ai or .dxf.

 
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