General Laser File Tips
Vector art files are needed for laser cutting but engraving can be done from almost any image type.
Please make sure your vector artwork contains no overlapping double lines because the laser will cut these areas more than once and add to the cutting time or may damage the material.
The artwork should be scaled to 100% the size you wish to cut.
Multiple art boards or layouts in the same file are great. Sending individual files for each component will slow down the quoting and cutting process.
Raster images will engrave with a similar appearance to the image resolution for printing. 300 dpi is a good balanced resolution.
Please embed fonts or convert the text to outlines to guarantee the correct type face will appear in the file on our system.
Recommended file formats include: .dwg, .dxf, .ai, .svg, .pdf, .eps
Stencil Creation Tips
Vector art is the best and the most cost effective way to create a stencil. Follow the individual program tips listed below.
Be aware that we may need to add connector bridges/line breaks to keep elements contained in the stencil. For example the center of letters like B,O,P will fall out if not connected.
You are welcome to add line breaks ahead of time in your vector files but they must close the shapes, not simply covered up shapes within the layers. The width needed varies with the size of the stencil but usually no less than 1.5mm width.
We generally add a 2"-3" margin to the stencils for strength and masking. Larger margins can usually be added if necessary.
Stencils larger then 32x18" can be made by tiling pieces of material that can be taped together. Large one piece stencils can be made on the big machines on up to 4'x8' sheets
Scale your artwork to 100% size. If multiple sizes are needed, you do not need to send the same artwork again, just mention the other sizes you want created. Please refer to the artwork length and width when describing dimensions.
Set the art board space to the laser bed size 32"x18" or 48"x96".
Multiple art boards are great. Sending individual files for each component will slow down the process.
Document should be RGB not the default CMYK. File> Document Color Mode>RGB
Vector cutting lines = color Red 255 with line width set to 0.025mm or smaller
Vector etching lines = color Blue 255 with line width set to 0.025mm or smaller
Raster graphics, text, or images = Black for full etch. All gray scale images will engrave as a halftone pattern.
Please embed fonts or convert the text to outlines to guarantee the correct type face will appear in the file on our system. Type>Create Outlines
We can accept the latest Adobe CC or earlier versions .ai, .pdf, .svg, or .eps
Scale your artwork to 100% size of the parts to be cut.
Units are ok in either inches or mm.
A reference dimension is helpful to confirm size and units.
Cutting lines = Color Red 1
Secondary Cutting lines = Cyan 4
Score lines = Color Blue 5
Secondary scoring lines = Color Green 3, Color Yellow 2
Raster Text, Graphics, or Image Layer Color Black/White 7
Non printing elements = Color Magenta 6 (print off)
Please save as a .dwg or .dxf
Rhino, SketchUp, and other 3D programs
Use similar layout and color settings as AutoCAD.
Flatten or extract 3D shapes into 2D layouts.
Make sure there are not hidden or multiple layers of the same line.
Provide a reference dimension in the file as sometimes these programs export to the wrong scale.
For SketchUp specifically check your arc setting are high to avoid faceting.
Export as 2013 or earlier .dwg, .dxf, or .svg, .ai
Raster Image Tips
Image Resolution will determine engrave quality.
300 DPI is usually an acceptable resolution
Convert color images to gray scale to reduce file size.
Most images files acceptable
Feel free to call with any questions about file types or set up.
Pagoda Arts assumes you have obtained the rights to reproduce any copyrighted or trademarked images, logos, or artwork you have provide to be reproduced, and accepts no legal responsibility for reproducing legally protected materials.