To get an instant online price, upload vector artwork ONLY
Lasers need artwork made up of vector paths rather than pixel based images.
What’s the difference between vectors and pixels? Vector artwork is made up of paths defined by mathematical coordinates. They are infinitely scalable and the laser traces along the path while cutting your design. Pixel based images (eg JPG’s) are made up of a bunch of dots, are not scalable, and the laser cannot use them as toolpaths.
Vector designs can be made using:
- CAD software like AutoCAD & Fusion360.
- Graphic software like Illustrator & Inkscape.
- You could also check out online options like Gravit & Vecteezy.
- Convert simple images to vector SVG's online with sites like Convertio.
Please find export information for some of these software's below.
General color profiles:
You can use any color. If you are making files with objects for both cutting and engraving we recommend using this combination:
Blue stroke = cutting
Red stroke = line engraving
Black fill = area engraving
Simple, small files will process best. Make sure to expand fonts to plain vectors and remove any graphic appearances that don't show up when you view your design in outline mode in graphic software's.
You'll want to export 2d line drawings of your parts only rather than 3D dxf files or technical drawings with additional notation included.
Save these file types from AutoCAD, Fusion360, Onshape, Solidworks, Illustrator, and Inkscape
AutoCAD - save as DXF
- Mac version: Text can not be converted to a path for the laser to read.
- Windows version: If you use text, fonts must be converted to paths: i) Select the text you would like to explode. ii) Select ‘Express tools > Text explodes’. (Install Express Tools from your original AutoCAD installation file (this plugin usually installs by default) or download it from the Autodesk website).
- Save files as DXF.
- Use the ‘File > Save as’ command and select the format as AutoCAD ‘2007 DXF file’.
Fusion 360 - save as DXF
- .DXF's can only be exported/saved from a Sketch within a Fusion 360 design. If one does not exist, a sketch will have to be created before the Save as DXF option appears.
- If you use text, fonts must be converted to outlines: Right click on the text > ‘Explode Text’ from the drop down menu to create lines for exporting.
- Export Sketch as a .DXF by right clicking on the desired sketch in the browser and selecting Save as DXF.
- Please note the entire content of a sketch will be exported and regardless of what direction the sketch is constructed in Fusion 360, the DXF output will always be in XY space.
Onshape - save as DXF
Right-click any face or sketch in an Onshape Part Studio and choose “Export as DXF/DWG.
Solidworks - save as DXF
Saving cut lines from a Part
- File save as > DXF
- Select faces (not views) to ensure you're exporting a 2d line drawing rather than a 3d drawing.
- Click on the face you want to export, tick and save (2010 ASCII DXF is best)
Saving cutting and engraving lines
Regarding engraving, you'll need to save out a 'drawing' and set the artwork you want engraved as a different line color to the cutting lines. Here's an article about 'color mapping' which may help you to do that:
Autodesk Inventor - save as dxf
Saving cut lines from a flat Part
- Right click on face
- Click Export face as
- Type in a file name and save as Autodesk dxf
If your part doesn't have a flat edge, you can export a profile of a 3d form as shown in this link (image credit above from this link too)
Draftsight- save as dxf
- Type ExportDXF.
- In the dialog box, specify the following:Save in: Navigate to the folder where you want to store the file.File name: Type a name for the file.Save as type: 2007 dxf
- Click Save.
Want cutting and engraving? Use a different color for the objects you want engraved:
Illustrator - save as EPS or AI
- If you use text, fonts must be converted to outlines: ‘Type > Create Outlines’ from top menu.
- Save files as EPS or AI
- Use the ‘File > Save as’ command and select the format as 'Illustrator EPS' or ‘Illustrator AI’.
Inkscape - save as SVG
- Some older versions of this program use an outdated resolution which can cause scaling issues. We recommend you use version 0.92.5 or newer. You can check what version you are using by clicking 'help > about Inkscape'
- If you use text, fonts must be converted to outlines: ‘Path > Object to Path’ from top menu.
- Save files as SVG.
- Use the ‘File > Save as’ command and select the format as 'Inkscape SVG'.
- Convert fonts to vectors (Select text. Layer menu; 'convert to curves'. You can also achieve this by right clicking the object and selecting Convert to Curves in that menu)
- Save as EPS
- Convert fonts to vectors (select all the type in your file. Go to the top menu under Arrange, select Convert to Curves. You can also achieve this by right clicking the object and selecting Convert to Curves in that menu)
- Save as EPS