Vector Pricing Guide
One of the most common questions we are asked by clients interested in our Quote by File service for vector files is ‘How much will it cost?‘. The answer is always, ‘It depends‘. See the guides below for pricing examples.
A combination of factors will effect the price of your vector quote.
Laser Operator Fee. Includes:
- Our time and skills to check each file. If we can see any obvious issues, we’ll reach out and let the client know (but otherwise don’t offer proofing services).
- Physically picking out the material that is needed for the order and adjusting the laser settings to suit that material and file being cut.
- Removing the pieces from the laser, pushing them out of the material sheet and bagging the finished pieces.
- This cost is a flat fee of $9 (ex GST).
Time the File Will take in the Laser. Includes:
- Laser cutting time (the total time that it will take the laser head to travel around and cut each shape). More detailed shapes (such as a star) will take longer to cut out (when compared to something like a circle), as there is a longer distance for the laser to follow.
- Engraving time (the total time that it will take the laser to process any engraving). Laser engraving is a slower process and increases cost, particularly in respect to the amount of engraving and how efficiently the file is laid out.
Type of Material, and the Amount Used:
- Refers to the actual cost price of the material. For example, white solid acrylic has a lower value than chunky glitter acrylic.
- You do not need to order a whole material sheet, and will be charged only for the total width of material used (the height is always 300mm).
- The type of material used will also impact the total laser time. For example, chunky glitter acrylics are dense (when compared to something like solid acrylic), so are therefore slower to laser cut.
- We have a minimum order of $20 (ex GST), so if the total of the laser operator fee, laser time and material use is <$20, your quote will automatically be rounded up.
- Small files can be inefficient. As a very general rule of thumb, it is typically most cost effective to use at least 50mm x 300mm of material.
- Calculated on the approximate total size and weight of your order, sent to your location.
- We use tracked Australian Post for our shipping services, with the option of Standard or Express.
What we don’t charge for:
- We don’t charge any design fees (whereas when ordering via the Custom Cuts Shop, a fee is inclusive to cover our time laying out requests). You save ɃɃɃ, because you send through your file set-up and ready to laser.
- We don’t have any sort of file set-up fee, so there’s no difference from us if you re-order the same file multiple times, or order completely different files.
- We offer 10% off for for vector orders that total $500+, or 15% off for vector orders that total $1000 (totals are ex. GST, excluding shipping and before the discount is applied).
Example 1: Small Files
With small files that contain only simple shapes, it’s typically more cost effective to order enough pieces to fill a minimum of 50mm of material. In the example below, the file on the left would be brought up to the $20 minimum, so it would be more cost effective to add more simple shapes in.
- 50mm wide x 300mm height is a good minimum for material use.
- Think of what else you can order in that material type – you could add simple shapes, like circles, that you may use in the future.
Example 2: Shape/Size Changes Price
The laser takes longer to cut out intricate shapes (such as a star) when compared to simple shapes (such as a circle), as the laser head has to move along the line it has to cut out. Therefore, a straight line will be quicker than a line with many bumps in it.
- The more detailed the shape, the more time it will take the laser to cut out and the more it will cost.
- Simplify lines – jagged or detailed lines will increase laser time.
- Bigger shapes generally take less time on the laser, even if they use the same material.
This file contains fewer simple shapes, which are larger (meaning there is less total distance for the laser head to travel). It would cost $24.00 if it was laser cut in Solid Acrylic (one of the cheapest materials) or $59.00 if it was cut in Chunky Glitter Acrylic (one of the more expensive materials).
Example 3: Engraving Adds Significant Laser Time
Engraving can be a great feature, but sometimes the cost can outweigh the benefit. The first and second example shows how much the etching adds in laser time, which affects the price. The third example shows how you could reduce the amount of etching, in this case, we inversed the logo and reduced the size.
- Minimise the amount of etching on your file.
- Think of how you can achieve a similar effect with less etching.
- Analyse whether the price of etching compares to the time saved in other areas, for example, for layered brooches paint filling may be used instead of having an extra piece of acrylic to glue.
Example 4: Engraving Positioning
The laser is faster etching left to right over top to bottom, so consider this when designing and laying out your vector file. It is cheaper to have your etching positioned horizontally across the sheet, rather than vertically.
- Position etching closest to the top left hand corner.
- See if you can rotate your design to fit the etching horizontally rather than vertically.
- Move all objects with etching to the top of the sheet.
This file contains the same amount of circles and engraving as the file in the left, but the engraved has been laid out more efficiently. It would cost $32.00 if it was laser cut and engraved in Solid Acrylic (one of the cheapest materials) or $55.00 if it was in Chunky Glitter Acrylic (one of the more expensive materials).
Example 5: Efficient Material Use
We love efficiency and limiting wastage – so arrange your vector files to save on materials usage. You will save money and the environment by reducing the amount of material needed if you can. Below are some examples and tips to lay out efficiently.
- Arrange the shapes in your file to use the smallest column needed (from top to bottom, left to right).
- You only need to leave 1.058mm between cut lines, so objects can be pretty close together.
- On most materials (wood is an exception) there’s no grain or pattern direction. So you can rotate your designs to fit and save on material use.
Example 6: Efficient Material Use
Try rotating your shapes to tessellate them to fit closer together, which may save you money on material use. With the ghost layout examples below, we were able to rotate the design to fit them much closer.
- Try to rotate and re-arrange the shapes in your file to fit them closer together.
This file contains a similar amount of ghost shapes, but the shapes have been rotated to fit closer together. This file would cost $28.00 if it was laser cut in Solid Acrylic (one of the cheapest materials) or $50.00 if it was in Chunky Glitter Acrylic (one of the more expensive materials). Re-arrange the file to use less material could save up to $20 in this example.
All prices displayed are rounded approximations and ex GST. All of the layouts are presented to fit within a 300mm x 600mm sheet.