Creating Vector Files

Click here to download our vector file template.

Suitable for use with Adobe Illustrator (what we use and recommend).
This document is 600mm x 300mm, and in RGB colour mode.

What is a Vector File?

A vector file is a type of digital file that is made with mathematical formulas (rather than pixels).

Vector is the only ‘language’ that the laser machine can follow in order to cut, as the laser head is guided by the vector ‘points’ (also commonly called ‘nodes’) in the digital file.

Vector file formats could include AI, EPS, SVG, DXF, DWG, and PDF (if the PDF was created in a vector program).


What do I need to Make a Vector File?

  • A desktop PC or Mac and a vector graphics program like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Ink Scape.
  • Ink Scape is a free program that is very similar to Adobe Illustrator – it’s also commonly used enough that there are many tutorials online for how to use it.

How Does it Work?

The laser software will look at the shapes in your file and be guided by it’s content to laser cut and engrave how you have set it up.

  • The laser cutter knows to cut any vector lines that have a 0.1pt RGB red (255, 0, 0) stroke.
  • The laser cutter knows to engrave any areas that are RGB black (0, 0, 0).

For more information see How the Laser Machine Works or follow our Set-Up Guides for Quote by File (Vector File).


How to Tell if Your File is Vector

There is a huge variety of programs that will allow you to create vector shapes, but they don’t always allow you to also EXPORT vector graphics.

  • Programs like Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint (Manga Studio), Adobe Illustrator Draw will allow you to create a ‘vector’ layer within the program, but you will NOT be able to EXPORT vectors from these pixel based programs – they will rasterise/flatten/pixelise your vectors when exported, meaning they are no longer vectors graphics and aren’t suitable for use to order as a vector file.

The easiest way to tell if your file is a very is to zoom in as far as you possibly can. If you zoom in and the design is made with pixels (such as it becomes blurred or has un-smooth edges), then your design is not a vector. If you zoom in all the way on a vector artwork, your computer will continue to re-calculate the vector lines so it will never be pixelated.

Non-vector file formats include JPG, PNG, PDF (if saved from a drawing program like Adobe Illustrator Draw), PSD, BMP.

Need Help?

If setting up a laser ready vector file isn't accessible to you - or if you need help with a design - we recommend graphic designers that specialise in designing for laser cutting here. View our full list of resources.