Guide to Laser Cutting

As you may have figured out by now we are able to do a lot here. We offer our laser cutting, laser engraving, laser marking and UV printing services to both small and large businesses, individuals, students and designers, because of this there are a couple of ways you can order with us. Please read the information below, if you still have questions or need help, no worries, just contact us by giving us an email or call.

What services does Concept Laser Co provide?

We provide laser cutting, laser engraving, laser marking, UV printing and design services. You can either send us your premade designs to cut and send back to you, or you can talk to our designers in the studio who have backgrounds in industrial design and graphic design to help you create practically anything you would like!

Who can use Concept Laser Co’s services?

The short answer is anyone and everyone that wants to! The long answer is both small and large businesses, individuals, students, designers and commercial industries. This could be restaurants, medical device companies, hospitals, sporting clubs, schools, department stores, automotive industries, aerospace industries, machinery manufacturers, wineries, jewellers, gift shops, promotional and corporate gift suppliers, interior designers, industrial designers…we could go on forever really!

What if I already have a file made up?

If you already have a file made and just need us to cut/engrave it, head over to our contact us page and upload your file with any comments regarding quantity, material, size of document (mm), what program you used to make the file, if there is a deadline you are working towards and any other comments. Please make sure the file you upload follows our ‘How do I set up my file’ guide that is below. If your file is not set up correctly we will ask you to fix any errors before we will be able to organise a quote for you. If you need help fixing or setting up your file, no worries! We will gladly help fix up your file, but this will incur extra set up fees.

How do I set up my file?

  • First things first! Your file needs to be a vector file. Vector files can be created in software such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, Inkscape and autocad.
  • When setting up your file, the colour mode must be set to RGB as this is what our laser machine software reads.
  • Even though our laser machine has a bed size of 1000 x 600mm, your document’s sheet size should be set to the same size as the material you are wanting to use. Example - if you are wanting to laser cut or engrave into a solid wood material such as cherry or maple, your document sheet size must be set to 600 x 300mm as that is the size of the material. Please check our materials page for available materials, colours and sizes. If you would like to cut from a different material get in contact with us to enquire!

CUTTING

RGB Red (255, 0, 0) - 0.01pt

For the laser to cut your design it follows the red lines in your file. The line colour needs to be Red (RGB 255, 0, 0) and the thickness needs to be 0.01pt for software like Adobe Illustrator or hairline for Corel Draw.

To minimise the cut time, all cutting lines should be joined and have as minimal vertices in any lines or curves, as broken lines can increase the cutting time. Double check your file for any overlapped or hidden lines. The laser software will pick up every cut line in the document and will cut it, if you do not want the area cut, do not have a red cut line there. Make sure to delete any lines that aren’t needed, if there are red lines stacked on top of one another in your file the laser machine will see the paths and cut along the line twice, possibly resulting in warping, burning or melting of the material and increased cutting time.

RASTER ENGRAVING

RGB Black (0, 0, 0) - Fills or 0.75pt Strokes

For the laser machine to know what you would like to be raster engraved they need to be colour filled. The colour of the shapes or strokes need to be Black (RGB 0, 0, 0) and do not need an outline.

Raster engraving is a primarily decorative method to create filled in sections within your design and is best used for large applications, like filled in shapes, numbers and letters, images and stamps. The depth of the cavity does depend on the material, but is usually around 0.5mm deep. This can be made deeper by doing multiple passes over the same area. To get the best results when raster engraving, shapes and strokes should be no thinner than 0.5mm thick. For thinner lines and detail it is best to vector engrave (see below).

When the laser machine is raster engraving the laser head moves horizontally across the material and removes a portion of the surface of the material creating a cavity showing the design. To minimise cut time with files that have multiple parts to raster engrave it is best to position them in the same area and in horizontal rows if possible as the laser head will be able to engrave faster this way.

Vector Engraving

RGB Blue (0, 0, 255) - 0.01pt

For the laser to vector engrave your design it follows the blue lines in your file. The line colour needs to be Blue (RGB 0, 0, 255) and the thickness needs to be 0.01pt for software like Adobe Illustrator or hairline for Corel Draw.

Vector engraving is another primarily decorative method but unlike raster engraving, it is made of lines and curves and is sometimes referred to as scoring. Vector engraving is best used for engraving, shallow, thin lines and is quicker than raster engraving as the laser head only follows blue lines that are specified in the file.

Same as with cutting lines, to minimise the engraving time, all blue lines should be joined and have as minimal vertices in any lines or curves as broken lines can increase the engraving time. Double check your file for any overlapped or hidden lines. The laser software will pick up every line in the document and will engrave it. Make sure to delete any lines that aren’t needed, if there are blue lines stacked on top of one another in your file the laser machine will see the paths and engrave the line twice, this could score the material too deeply and make it fragile.

Cutting, Raster Engraving and Vector Engraving

We can laser cut, raster engrave and vector engrave all in one job or a mixture of any of the three processes. Depending on what your design is you can use a combination of red lines, blue lines and black fills to create your file, you do not need to split the cutting and engraving among different files.

  • If you are using text or various fonts in your design, you will need to convert the font into line art before sending it through to us. If you do not do this and we do not have the font you are wanting to use on file it will change to a default font. This can be done in illustrator by selecting the font-right click-create outlines.
  • Please make sure your file is saved as one of these files: AI, EPS, SVG, DXF, DWG, PDF, CDR and when saving your file, remember to name it something distinctive such as ‘yourfullname_materialtype_ thickness’. Eg. ‘ConceptLaserCo_WhiteAcrylic_3mm’
  • When you have your page laid out and saved, head over to our contact us page and upload your file with any comments regarding quantity, material, size of document (mm), what program you used to make the file, if there is a deadline you are working towards and any other comments.
  • Once your file has been sent to us we will try to get back to you within a few hours with a quote or any questions we have regarding your file. If you do not receive a message back from us within 24 hours please give us an email or call to double check something hasn’t gone wrong.

How to lay out your file

There are two ways you can lay out you file.

Option One:
You can send us your design in a vector file and let us know how many quantities you are needing and we will lay the file out for you.
Option Two:
If you are wanting to cut multiple designs from the same sheet, you can position the designs and fill up the area with as many designs as you can fit.

There are some things to keep in mind when laying out your sheet:

  • Do not position your design right on the edge of the sheet. It is best to leave a 2.5mm gap between the edge of the sheet and your design.
  • When laying out multiple designs leave a small gap between each design - at least 1-2mm.

Can you help me to set up my file?

Of course! If you have an idea or a drawing of an idea, but don’t know how to use or can’t get a hold of software to create a vector file we can help you.

If you have a drawing of something you would like to laser cut, we can trace this and create a vector file from it. There are a couple of things we will need from you to help us out:

  • Please draw your design with a dark pen or marker such as black or blue onto white smooth paper (printer paper is usually the easiest option).
  • Try to make your lines in your drawing clean with no sketchy or doubled up lines.
  • On your drawing add any descriptions in writing such as what lines are cut lines, if there is any engraving, overall measurements and specific dimensions (with the unit of measurement used) and the quantity you are wanting.
  • Scanned drawings at 300 dpi is the best way to convert your drawing to a file to send to us, sometimes photos are okay, but most of the time they are not clear enough for us to create the file for you.
  • You can send through ZIP, JPEG, PDF, PNG, DOC, DOCX, TIF and PSD. If we have not mentioned a file type you would like to send through, contact us to check if we can open it.

What materials can you cut?

We can cut an array of materials such as wood, plastics, acrylic and textiles. We can engrave and mark materials such as wood, plastics, acrylic, textiles, metal, glass, stone and even food. For more information on our standard materials, check out our materials page.

Can I use my own material?

Yes and no. This is a tricky one to answer easily, if you have a material you would like to cut or engrave that is not listed on our materials page, contact us through email or phone to have a chat. We might be able to give a definite answer or may need samples of the material in order to do tests.

Can you cut metal?

Sorry, but we can’t! We can laser engrave and laser mark metals such as stainless steel and anodised aluminium but we can’t cut metals.

Can you cut glass?

Sorry, but we can’t! We can laser engrave glass, even rounded glass such as wine glasses and bottles, but we can’t cut glass.

03 9780 8790