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Laser Cutting Information

The easiest way to get pricing for your job is to submit your project for a quote. For those who would like to learn more about how we determine pricing for laser cutting projects read on below.

We price laser cutting services on an individual basis as most projects are custom and require unique considerations. In general the total cost of a project is some combination of materials, labor and machine time. Below is a breakdown of factors we consider when quoting your project.

File Preparation

In general we’re looking for clean vector files (VECTOR files are made up of lines, as opposed to pixels.) that are sized correctly, with linework separated into layers for each laser operation (cutting, scoring, engraving).

Machine Setup

Jobs cut on our stock sheet material are generally the least expensive to setup. Jobs that require special alignment on existing products are generally a bit more expensive as additional labor is required to create jigs and correctly align your artwork.

Cutting

For cutting operations we use special software to estimate the amount of machine time needed for your project. For most jobs this is the bulk of the cost. In general thick or dense materials take longer to cut and are therefore more expensive to work with than thinner, light-weight materials.

Engraving

Engraving operations tend to be more expensive than cutting operations. This is because the laser must make many passes over your artwork moving a fraction of a millimeter each time in order to cover the entire surface area of your artwork. The cost is mainly determined by how much surface area needs to be engraved. Unlike cutting, the engraving price is generally not affected by the material selection. Images made in the BITMAP format can be used for Engraving. These images can be photographs, patterns or any grey scale image. You can also work in vector format, setting all raster areas to black.

Scoring

Scoring provides a lower-cost alternative to engraving your artwork. Scoring works by tracing a surface mark around the perimeter of the artwork only. This means that text and other shapes get outlined, this takes a tiny fraction of the time and so the cost is reduced proportionately.

Labor

Labor applies to jobs that require special handling (ie. extremely delicate materials like fine papers), or jobs that require special finishing operations or complex file setup. Most projects setup using our templates and flat sheet material do not require any additional labor.

Materials

Materials are priced by the square foot, and generally increase in cost with quality and thickness. Detailed information about laser cutting materials can be found on our materials page.

Turnaround

Our standard turn around time can be viewed here. Rush service is available if you’re in a hurry and is more expensive as it requires us to change our production schedule to fit your project in ahead of other customers.

File Set-Up

Getting your files set up in the correct formats is the first step to laser cuttings. 
We make it easy for you by accepting several common file types.

Line Weight

Vector lines for cutting should be set to 0.125pt thickness or Hairline.

Expand Text

If there is any text included in the file, convert it into outlines.

Mask Layers

Please do not use Mask Layers or Flatten your files.

Artboard

5′ x 10′

Scale

If you are working within illustrator all files are printed at 1 to 1. Please include a 1″ x 1″ reference square.

File Types

Cut and Etch
.ai / .eps / .svg / .dxf

Etch
.pdf / .jpg / .png / .ai / .eps / .svg

Colour Space

Be sure that you have set the document colour mode to RGB instead of CMYK, which is default in illustrator.

Material Selection

Our laser can cut materials as thin as paper and up to 1″ thick

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