Guides for Quote by File (Vector File)

  • Your file must be an editable vector file (such as it was created with a vector program like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw).
  • Your document must be 600mm wide, 300mm tall. For solid timber, make your document only 150mm tall.
  • Stay 2-3mm within each edge (so the total usable area of a material is approx. 595mm x 295mm). Arrange your shapes in columns (295mm tall, or 145mm for solid wood). Leave 1-2mm between shapes.
  • We recommend a minimum material use of 50mm wide, 295mm tall. You do not need to use a whole material sheet, and will only be charged for the total material used.
  • One file per material. Name your file in the material that you would like it cut.
  • Your file will be quoted and cut exactly as it is received (so lay out any multiple quantities such as 20 x circles, 10 x triangles, etc).
  • Cut lines must be RGB Red (255,0,0), with a 0.1pt stroke. Any other colour, variation of red, or stroke thickness won’t be read by the laser.
  • Areas to etch must be RGB Black (0,0,0), and be at least 0.2mm thick (recommend 0.5mm). Any other colour or lines thinner than 0.2mm won’t etch properly.
  • Fine line vector engraving lines must be RGB Blue (0,0,255). Any other colour, variation of blue, or stroke thickness won’t be read by the laser.
  • You will not receive a proof as we will etch and laser cut your artwork exactly as we receive it. It is completely your responsibility to make sure that your file is ready for us to process and does not contain any design errors.
  • If your file is laser ready, we can usually complete your job within 2-3 business days. We typically do not do rush orders. This turn around time does not include shipping time OR time for processing your quote (the turn around is from approval of the quote and receipt of payment).

Sample Vector Order Process

Vector Sample
Step 1: Sample vector design by a client. The desired shapes are finalised. The minimum thickness is 2mm. Minimum line width is .2mm (or .5mm if inverted).

Robot Sample
Step 2: Design is set-up by the client for laser cutting and etching. Any lines to cut are RED (255, 0, 0) with a 0.1pt stroke Any areas to etch are BLACK (0, 0, 0) FILL. Any thin lines to engrave are BLUE (0, 0, 255) with a 0.1pt stroke.

Robot Sample
Step 3: Client decides material types/colours and quantities for each shape.

Vector Sample
Step 4: Client lays out vector sheets for each material.

Robot Sample
Step 5: Client submits final files for a quote. The files and material choices are quoted, and an invoice is sent. Invoice is paid, and the job is processed in our queue asap.

Robot Sample
Step 6: Final laser cut pieces are posted, or collected.

Requirements, Hints and Tips

Cut Lines

  • For any lines that you want to be cut, give them a RED (255, 0, 0) 0.1pt stroke.
  • You must leave at least 1mm between each object to cut and stay within 2-3mm from the edges.
  • Completely remove any lines in your file that are not required, including any duplicate lines (the laser will cut every red line in your file, even if they are hidden by a shape or clipping mask). Duplicate cut lines may cause burning and scorching from excessive cutting.
  • You may ‘share’ cut lines between shapes.
  • We recommend a minimum size of 2mm.
  • We recommend cutting duplicates of small pieces (<8mm) so that you will have spares.
  • For more information about cutting, read our guide to About Laser Cutting, Etching and Printing.
Cut Lines

Etching

  • For any areas that you want etched, give them a BLACK (0, 0, 0) FILL.
  • Etching can be done from any type of digital image file (e.g. .jpg, .psd, .png, .tiff, .pdf, .ai.).
  • The laser cutter will etch any areas that are black. The laser cuter will lightly etch any areas that are in grey and/or grey scale. Any areas that are white will be left unmarked.
  • It’s OK if your areas to etch (black lines) go outside of the shape that you are cutting (red lines).
  • For more information about etching, read our guide to About Laser Cutting, Etching and Printing.
Etching

Line Engraving

  • For any thin lines that you want done with line engraving, give them a BLUE (0, 0, 255) 0.1pt stroke.
  • For more information about line engraving, read our guide to About Laser Cutting, Etching and Printing.
Line Engraving

Document Format

  • Set your document size to the size of the material that you would like to use. Material sheet sizes can be found via the materials page. Generally, most of our materials are 600mm x 300mm (if you do not know what material you are going to use make your document 600mm x 300mm).
  • You must leave 2-3mm in from each edge, and about 1mm between shapes. For example, a 600mm x 300mm maximum use-able area would be 595mm x 295mm.
  • You can use as little or as much of a material sheet as you would like – you do not need to order a whole sheet.
  • Create your file in RGB colour mode.
  • Save your file as a .ai or PDF. Ensure that you preserve the illustrator editing capabilities and include any linked files.
Document Format

Artwork Tips

  • To get an idea of how your file is going to look, it’s a good idea to print it out on paper at home. Sometimes seeing things at their actual size in real life can help to identify any issues.
  • The laser cutter is able to engrave very fine details, but it’s important to make sure that parts of the design aren’t too thin; thin areas may not etch well. We recommend a minimum line width of 0.2mm or 0.5mm if inverted. We are not responsible for ensuring that your design does not include details that are too fine; if you are unsure about whether or not your design will work well, we recommend ordering a sample cut of your design.
  • Make sure that parts within the file aren’t too thin; thin shapes may break when handled. We recommend a minimum width of 2mm. We are not responsible for ensuring that your design does not contain parts that are too thin; if you are unsure about whether or not your design will work well, we recommend ordering a sample cut of your design.
Artwork

Material Use Tips

  • Your materials price will be based on the maximum column of material that you use.
  • Lay your file out in ‘columns’ (from top-to-bottom, and from left-to-right) based on the material height (specified on the materials page).
  • You must leave at least 1mm between each object to cut and stay within 2-3mm from the edges.
  • You do not need to order a whole material sheet.
  • If it’s desirable, it can be a good idea to fill in gaps with smaller designs (but this will increase laser time).

The sample layouts use grey shading to indicate areas charged for material usage; you can see in the poor example that because the designs are not arranged in a column. Excess material is being used and poor/unusable off-cuts being created.

Material Use

Engraving Tips

  • For any areas that need to be raster etched, group them from left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
  • The laser will work from left-to-right, top-to-bottom for etching (the same as how Westerners read), so you will be charged for etching the spaces in between, even if you are etching just on the edges.
  • Etching is priced by the total surface area that the laser head moves over; there is no difference in price for the amount of etching that you do in this space (e.g. solid black is OK).

The sample layouts use grey shading to indicate areas charged for etching; you can see in the poor example that because the areas to be etched are spread out the laser is having to move over excess areas.

Etching
Sample Sheet

Example of a good layout on a full 600mm x 300mm sheet.

Need Help?

If any of the guides or instructions here aren't accessible to you, you may consider hiring a graphic designer to help you finalise (or create) the design for your project.

We list a number of designers and resources via our Designers and Resources page.