Laser Drawing Guide lines.
Laser Menu   Home 

Allowances: as the laser uses the energy of a focused light to do its cutting/etching by vaporising the surrounding material a small allowance should be compensated for in your drawings. Certain materials behave differently but as a guide the following should help. Note that lasering cannot accurately cut to a certain depth, but  will be as close as material properties and time permits.

A 10mm square hole should be drawn at 9.8mm.
If you want to slice a piece of wood down to 20mm x 10mm then your drawing should be 20.2mm x 10.2mm. 
Please indicate on your emails or drawings whether you have made the allowances.

The maximum depth achievable is 9mm in MDF.

Vector cutting: cuttings lines (all the way through) should be shown as red where possible. These are shown as 0.01mm in cad or hairline in Corel software or the minimum your software will allow. This is known as a vector cut.  Your drawing should explain what depth you want in mm.

Generally I use red to cut but if there are multiple cuts or scribing I user orange as a cut through as this is the last colour in the laser list. The laser cuts in in the following colour order ( black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan, orange). I can however over ride this. Eg I could use a red hairline to release the windows from the body and green to do matchstick boards and orange to cut the side from the material.  There is plenty of flexibility, just let me know what you want.

Vector scribing:
is simply a line that does not go all the way through your material. (i.e. scribed lines in basswood representing corrugated iron sheeting). Line colour can be almost any colour so long as the drawing states its purpose or is clearly explained in an email.

Rastering / engraving: Generally speaking this is a solid area that is engraved away from its surrounding material and solid black is usually used to represent this but takes a lot more time on the laser.  The Spirit Design logo above is a good example of a rastered logo.  If you want more than one depth of rastering / engraving it can be separated by the use of shades of black (black to grey to white). 

No Drawings Provided: In some cases you might not be able to draw what you want and will leave it up to me to produce laserable drawings.  Prototype drawings or sketches can be provided in most formats, eg Tiff, JPEG, AI, DXF, DWG, etc. or just plan paper plans. Good clean high contrast copies are desirable.  When in doubt please contact me. CD's and DVD's of large files are better.  Drawing and research costs are charged at $44 for the first hour and $11 part there of (15 minute blocks).

Special note for Corel users: Please check that you don't superimpose multiple cut lines on top of each other as the laser will cut the same line twice.  This is a common 'Gotcha' that arises from duplicating items in drawings.  

Copyrighted material: I will not use, pass onto a third-party, or misuse your plans; they are your property, and I treat them with the strictest confidentiality.

Home  Laser Menu.