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Laser cutting service

Laser cutting and engraving service. Acrylic, MDF and plywood in various thicknesses available.

Laser cutting is a precise and economical way to make parts from acrylic, MDF or plywood. Laser cutting has low set up costs and is fast, making it suitable for both one off projects and production runs.

Some applications include:

  • Enclosures and panels
  • Parts for robots
  • Parts for prototypes
  • Parts for 3D printers
  • Parts for drones, model airplanes, rockets
  • Parts for telescopes
  • Furniture
  • Displays
  • Signs
  • Boxes
  • Decorative items

How do I order?

Chose your material, the size and what we should do. Then click on Buy and go to the cart and complete checkout. Then email us the files. (The email address will be in the order confirmation email.)

Towards the end of this page, you will find a description of the files we need.

Materials

Acrylic

A laser cuts acrylic by vaporizing it. This leaves a nice, flame polished edge. There are two types of acrylic: extruded and cast. There are pro’s and con’s of each material, but generally speaking cast acrylic is preferred for most applications.

Extruded acrylic has a tighter thickness tolerance, is available in thinner sheets, is more brittle, has a slight burr on cut edges, easier to get flame polished finish on cuts.

Cast acrylic has loose tolerances on the thickness, is available in thicker sheets, is less brittle, has no burr on cut edges, cuts may not be as nicely flame polished, is available in more colors, usually lower cost, can withstand higher temperatures before softening, has better contrast when engraved.

Wood based materials

A laser cuts wood by burning it, which means that the cut edges will be darker than the rest of the material, giving laser cut wood a characteristic look. Thicker materials will have much darker edges than thinner materials.

MDF (Medium Density Fiber board) is made from wood dust and glue. Despite the name it’s a high density engineered wood, with a specific gravity of 0.75. It has several advantages over plywood: Lower cost, higher stiffness, does not warp. It also has some disadvantages compared to plywood: Higher weight, lower strength. MDF is not water proof. It requires a water proof finish if used anywhere where it may be exposed to water or high humidity. If primed correctly it takes a very smooth paint finish.

We also have a black MDF, which looks great without any finish and has the advantage of hiding the darkening of the laser cut edges.

Plywood is a strong and lightweight material. Large pieces of thin plywood will tend to warp as humidity or temperature changes. It is more resistant to water than MDF, but still requires a water proof finish if used anywhere where it may be exposed to water or high humidity.

Poplar is lighter weight and not as strong as Birch, but it’s still strong enough for many applications. The Poplar plywood we use has a smooth front surface with esthetically pleasing knot and a slightly rougher back surface. The back (but never the front surface) may also have spots with wood filler. We recommend Poplar for signs and other items where a nice looking wood is required on the front, but the back is less important.

Some considerations when designing parts for laser cutting

The laser has a kerf (width of material cut away) of 0.1 to 0.3 mm, depending on the type and thickness of material. Thicker materials usually have a wider kerf. For acrylic and wood based materials from 3 to 6mm, the kerf will be around 0.15mm. Thicker plywood will have a wider kerf. The laser will cut on the center of your lines, so if you should oversize external features and undersize internal cut outs. IE. If you want a 50.0mm circle with an 8.0mm hole in it, you should draw the circle 50.15mm and the hole 7.85mm.

File formats for cutting and simple engraving

We prefer files in SVG format. Lines to be cut should be red (#FF0000) and lines to vector engrave should be blue (#0000FF). Graphics to raster engrave should be black.

DXF files are great too. If you can, use red (#FF0000) for lines to be cut, blue (#0000FF) for lines to be vector engraved and black (#000000) for anything that should be raster engraved. If you can’t control the colors when exporting .dxf-files, put features to be cut and engraved in separate files. Make sure construction lines or other features that should not be cut or engraved are removed or a different color.

GERBER files works great. Put lines to be cut in board outline and anything to be engraved in top silk.

File formats for engraving images

Most image formats will be fine, we recommend PNG. For best result the picture should have a light background and a resolution of at least 300dpi.

Material
What to do
Size X
mm
Size Y
mm
Engraved area
%
Number of copies
Quote
Setup
Material and cutting
Engraving
Total
Shipping weight

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