Lasergist is made to be easy and fast. So in essence, all you have to do is design your item and upload it. Laser cutting is a quite complex and difficult process, but we do the hard work, not you. All you have to know are some basic rules to make your design perfect.
So, first things first: Close your Paths. Never, ever leave a path open. The laser won’t figure out how to close the path and cut accordingly.
Now that we’ve got this one covered, let’s move on to the core philosophy of laser cutting. When designing you should always have in mind that your design is a three dimensional piece of hard metal that is going to be processed by an industrial-level machine at really high temperatures.
Despite the coolness of this, this translates to one basic limitation. Too thin equals distortion, deformation or inability to cut through. This applies to both too thin pieces of metal or too thin openings. We’ll elaborate on this in a while.
You can now start designing. Once you are done, it’s time for the checklist.
Is everything one “object”?
After you combine/merge all your paths, a quick way to check if everything is fine is to fill your path with color (hatch in AutoCAD). If it looks one piece, it probably is.
Are there any open paths?
You can either manually search for open paths or use this script(free) for Adobe Illustrator that will quickly check and close any open paths.
Take a note of the following dimensions – you will need these when ordering:
What is the maximum height and maximum width of your item? A quick way to do this is to draw a rectangular around your object.
Total Path Length
What is the total length of all your paths? In Adobe Illustrator, you can go to Window > Document Info. On the pane that pops up, click on the small drop down (top-right) and choose Objects Now select your object and take a note of the path length in mm. If it shows up in different units, you can change this from Preferences > Units > General. Feel free to contact us if you need any help measuring the path length of your file.
This applies only to Illustrator users: Always remember to do a check in outline view Win: Ctrl+Y | Mac: Cmd+Y. Stroke thickness is not considered an object, so always outline strokes and text.
To outline strokes select your path and then go to Object > Path > Outline Strokes For text, Right Click on your text and select Create Outlines.
That was it. You can now save your file and upload it.
We prefer PDF more than anything else. But you can also upload your file in .AI or .DWG format without issues.
It’s just better if you use mm in everything. Even if you use inches though, we will be able to process it based on the Bounding Box dimensions you supply in mm.
Regarding limitations in dimensions, we can process parts up to 300mm x 300mm through the automated upload service. If you need larger parts, just contact us.
Minimum hole sizes depending on stock thickness
Try to avoid designing too small holes as it might be impossible for the laser to cut through. Keep a note of the following:
Min. hole diameter for 1.0mm thickness: 2.5mm
Min. hole diameter for 1.5mm thickness: 3.0mm
Min. hole diameter for 2.0mm thickness: 4.0mm
Min. hole diameter for 3.0mm thickness: 6.5mm
Laser Kerf varies slightly depending on the thickness and grade of Stainless Steel. It is partially automatically adapted by our lasers but you can safely account for 0.15mm if you want to be super-precise.
Laser Kerf is the portion of material burnt away when the laser cuts through.
Typically, laser cut pieces have one good side – the top one. If you need the back side to be polished as well, make sure that you select “Backside Brushing” during ordering.
New: You can now also choose sandblasting (Glass-bead blasting actually) for a fabulous, iPhone-like finishing.
If your design is made of lots of too thin lines minor deformation might occur due to the laser’s heat. Putting a couple of books over it will fix it.
How on earth can this be that cheap? Where’s the catch?
Huh! There is no catch. Our lasers are working all day, every day producing tons of stainless steel parts. We manage to keep costs low through efficient placement of designs on the stainless steel sheets, the automated upload service and online pricing (& payment) and a few things we prefer not to share. We do not outsource anything or buy cheap raw stainless steel. In fact we always buy the best quality from Germany or Sweden. Your design will most probably be placed inside someone else’s design. This way we don’t throw out that otherwise “useless” remaining piece of stock.
Can I just send you a hand-drawn design?
Unfortunately we cannot turn your hand-drawn design into digital format.
Do you accept returns?
As you would expect, since your design is made only for you we cannot accept a return unless the item is obviously wrong when it arrives. Just send us a photo and we’ll do everything possible to solve it quickly.
Do you care for the environment?
Yes. A lot. We recycle every single bit of unused Stainless Steel and we always use eco-friendly recyclable packaging. We love its looks too.
If you want laser engraving, all you need to do is upload an additional file that includes your laser-cut design and the object you need engraved with another color. Laser engraving is irrelevant of the color you use in your file – we only need this to distinguish it quicker and position it correctly. Also don’t forget that the max. engraving diameter is 160mm.
Depending on your design, the engraving position will have a tolerance of +- 3mm.