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LASER CUTTING ARTWORK

To laser cut your designs we will need vector files of your artwork compiled using drawing editing software.

 

The laser is completely different to printing as the laser identifies what to do by reading colours and lines.

 

When setting out your artwork, please bear in mind the laser needs to identify the lines to be cut. Different makes of laser uses different colours for cutting, our laser interprets cutting lines by RGB RED with a thickness of "hairline" or 0.01mm.

 

Please see the following guidelines on how to prepare your artwork and if you have any problems or questions, please get in touch and we'll do our very best to help.

ARTWORK AREA SIZE

600 x 300mm is our maximum laser cut area.

 

All layouts must have a boarder of at least 3mm all the way around the sheet of material.

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LASER CUT LINES

Draw thin, RED lines where you want the laser to cut.

  • Use colour palette RGB

  • Use RED (R255, G0, B0)

  • Line thickness of "hairline" or 0.01mm

  • Use outline pen for lines

  • Ensure paths are continuous

  • Delete ALL duplicate lines

DESIGN LAYOUT & NESTING

When creating your artwork, leave at least 2mm between elements to be cut in the layout.

 

If your artwork has a lot of elements on one sheet of material, nest them close together but ensure there's a 2mm space between each of the elements.

 

Ideally, elements should be no closer together than the thickness of the material; ie. if using 3mm thick acrylic, set each element 3mm apart.

 

All layouts must have a boarder of at least 3mm all the way around the sheet of material.

AutoCAD® FILES

If you are using AutoCAD® to draw your artwork, please ensure the file is two-dimensional.

LINE SHARING

Line sharing is when two elements are next to each other so they share a single cut line – this is very commonly used in laser cutting as it cuts down on cutting time and price.

 

When creating line sharing cut lines, it's important to delete those duplicated lines. If you have any duplicated lines on top of each other, (you may not see them by eye) but the laser will see them and will cut all the paths on the artwork and will cut the same line twice; or however many times it's been duplicated – causing the material to melt or warp and reducing the quality of the finished product.

LASER KERF

The laser kerf refers to how much of the material the laser disintegrates when cutting. The size of the kerf is dependent on the material used and the laser beam tolerance (laser beam width).

 

You may need to adjust your artwork to allow for the laser kerf if you require an element to be locked into something.

 

For example:

For an internal hole diameter of 10mm, your artwork should be slightly smaller to allow for the laser kerf, maybe 9.5mm.

For an external hole diameter of 10mm, your artwork should be slightly bigger, maybe 10.5mm.

 

These are examples and should not be used to work out your artwork.

SMALL CUT DETAILS

Laser cutting enables small details to be cut effortlessly.

 

However, as the laser disintegrates the material as it cuts, it can burn away up to 0.4mm of the material (depending the material and it's thickness).

 

It's highly recommended that small details should be no smaller than the material thickness used. For example, if using 3mm thick acrylic, the very small elements of your design should be no less than 3mm wide – anything thinner may result in the final product being warped and fragile.

 

This general rule can be relaxed a little, but it will depend on the material used as to the final result achieved. We can discuss your requirements and the best way to achieve your required outcome.

LASER CUT TEXT

Any text to be cut will need to be converted from a font to line art (outlines or curves).

 

By converting the text, it converts the font into a 'vector' and preserves the font you have originally used. This enables us to open the file our end without any font errors; as the software program will substitute the font for a different one.

CUTTING OUT LETTERS + NUMBERS

Cutting out letters and numbers means you need to create your artwork carefully. Your artwork will need to be created dependent on the desired outcome.

When laser cutting letters and numbers, the middle island in certain letters and numbers (a,o,p,0,8,9 etc.) will also be cut leaving a huge hole in the middle.

This will be the result of cutting out a letter with a middle island.

By adding tabs (or bridges) to the letter, we can break the letter or number apart to stop the middle island from falling out.

TOP TIPS
  • All dimensions must be in mm

  • Allow at least 3mm from the edge of the material

  • Use RGB colour palette only - the laser cannot read CMYK

  • Be sure that all dimensions are correct

  • Remove any duplicate and overlapping cut lines.

  • Place items horizontally across the page, close together

WE REMAIN OPEN AS USUAL DURING COVID-19 - PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO.

ASHFORD LASERS

Professional Laser Cutting, Engraving & Marking Services, Vinyl Cutting & Dye-Sublimation Printing Services in Ashford, Kent, perfectly placed for all UK deliveries.

Mon - Fri : 9:30am to 5pm

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Ashford Lasers, 10 Deyley Way, Ashford, Kent TN23 5HX UK