File Prep

To maintain our low pricing where competitors typically charge twice our rates we require a prepared file for cutting (or very close to it).

Below you can find the basics about creating a cut ready file for laser cutting, etching or engraving. There are many resources available online as well as tutorials on you tube should you care to learn more. An older HTML text guide may also be found at the bottom of this page.


(Right-click to view in new tab and then click on image to enlarge)

Need Help?

Try a graphic design savvy friend or relative!
For very simple troubleshooting or easy fixes we should be able to take care of you.

Ultimately its relatively easy to learn the basics. You can teach yourself everything you need to know with Adobe’s “Classroom in a book” for Illustrator and be sending cut ready files in as short as a week with some dedication.

Finally – if you want to hire a freelance graphic designer we have several local contacts which we can provide upon request.

Cost?

Here’s a few examples to help gauge how much laser cut parts might cost.
Bear in mind that design for efficiency plays a large factor in overall cost.
(price estimate shown using standard rates before any volume discounts)



A SHORT INSTRUCTION ON SETTING UP A FILE WITH ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

Make sure your file is in RGB Color mode and that your colors are pure. For cut/etch lines your stroke must be the thinnest possible lineweight (0.01 in .AI).

Text needs to be expanded or converted to outlines because we probably won’t have the specific font you used on our system!

Orient the page in landscape and register artwork to the top left hand corner.

A 1/8″ empty space is required around the edge of the file to allow for panel size variation and to prevent registration variation.

Typically a ~1/16″ spacing between parts for layout is sufficient. In acrylic with an incredible amount of tiny parts more spacing is required.

Make sure your artwork is free from overlapping lines – it can potentially damage your pieces and our machine if the same areas are re-cut.