Laser Machines

At Pagoda Arts we use high quality US made machines to insure precision and constancy with all cuts and engravings.

Standard laser size 32"x18" (812mm x 457mm)

Large format laser size 100"x 52" (2.54M x 1.32M)

 

Pricing

Pricing is based on the machine run time. The complexity, detail, and material type and thickness all determine the cutting and engraving time.  Email your files for a free estimate, or more general information.

Materials we stock

Maple plywood 1/8" (+-0.150") up to 48"x96"

Maple plywood 1/4" (+-0.210") up to 48"x96"

Maple plywood 1/2" (+-0.490") up to 48"x96"

Baltic Birch 1/8" (+-0.125) up to 48"x60"

Baltic Birch 1/4" (+-0.250) up to 48"x60"

Baltic Birch 1/2" (+-0.480) up to 48"x60"

Plywood

Acrylic/Plexiglas cast 0.060" (1.5mm) clear

Acrylic/Plexiglas cast 0.118" (3mm) clear

Acrylic/Plexiglas cast 0.177" (4.5mm) clear

Acrylic/Plexiglas cast 0.237" (6mm) clear

All sheets up to 48"x96" size

plexi-clear

Acrylic/Plexiglas cast 0.118" (3mm) silver mirror, gold mirror.

Acrylic/Plexiglas cast 0.118" (3mm) black gloss, matte black, white.

Other colors and thicknesses available, ask for more information.

IMG_0966.JPG

  • ABS 0.040"
  • ABS 0.060"
  • Mylar 0.005"
  • Chip Board 0.03"
  • Corrugated Cardboard 0.150"

Feel free to bring in your own materials

Materials Suitable for Cutting and Engraving

Thickness for Standard Lasers, Large format Laser in (parenthesis)

  • Acrylic/Plexiglas up to 3/8", (1/2")
  • Polycarbonate/Lexan up to 1/8"
  • ABS up to 1/4"
  • Delrin/Acetal up to 1/8", (1/4")
  • Polyester Film/Mylar
  • Kapton, polyimide film
  • Other plastics- check first
  • Paper/Card stock
  • Cardboard
  • Mat board/Chipboard
  • Acetate
  • Hardwood up to 1/2", (3/4")
  • Plywood up to 1/2", (3/4")
  • Veneer wood
  • MDF up to 1/4", (3/4")
  • Fabric
  • Leather (veg tanned only)
  • Silicone
  • Rubber up to 1/8"
  • Latex

Materials Suitable for Surface Engraving Only

  • Glass
  • Mirrors
  • Marble
  • Slate (smooth)
  • Some other smooth stone
  • Some tiles
  • Anodized Aluminum

Unsuitable Materials

  • PVC & Vinyl based plastics (toxic gases)
  • Teflon PFA, FEP (toxic gases)
  • Halar, ECTFE (toxic gases)
  • Foam Core (melts and ignites)
  • Chrome Tanned Leather (toxic gases)
  • Formica (toxic gases)
  • Natural wool felt (messy and smelly)
  • Magnetic Sheets (leaves magnetic dust in the machine)

General Laser File Tips

  • It is helpful to draw a box or art board to match the 32" x 18" or 52 x 100" laser bed size or the material perimeter. This will help you visualize the space available and position the parts closer together to maximize the material use.
  • Please make sure you artwork contains no overlapping double lines because the laser will cut these areas more than once and add to the cutting time.
  • It is best if your artwork is scaled to 100% the size you wish to cut.
  • Vector art files are needed for laser cutting but engraving can be done from almost any image type.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.

Illustrator Tips

  • Set the paper space to either the laser bed size or the material size you are using.
  • Document should be RGB not the default CMYK. File> Document Color Mode>RGB
  • Vector cutting lines = Red 255 with line width set to 0.025mm or smaller
  • Vector etching lines = 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
  • Please save as CS6 or earlier .ai, .pdf, .svg, or .eps

AutoCAD Tips

  • Create a non printing layer with a box drawn to the laser size or material size for reference.
  • Cutting lines = Color Red 1
  • Engraving/score lines = Color Blue 5
  • Raster Text, Graphics, or Image Layer Color B/W 7
  • Additional basic colors can be used for other content.
  • Please save as 2013 or earlier .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.
  • Provide a reference dimension in the file as sometimes these programs export to the wrong scale.
  • 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.

Legal

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.

FAQ

  • Can you cut metal?  We can not currently cut metal.
  • Can you engrave metal? We only work with anodized aluminum right now.
  • What is the cost of laser cutting my project?  We need to see a file to give you an accurate quote. The machine run time is determined by the number of cutting lines in the file, area of engraving, material type, and material thickness.
  • What is the general turn around time?  Obviously it depends on the size of the project, but you can expect about 2-3 days turn around on average for medium size projects. Smaller jobs are usually faster 1-2 days.
  • Can I pay a rush fee to get my project finished faster?  We treat every job in our cutting lineup equally so paying more won't get you to the front of the line.
  • Can I bring my own materials?  Yes, we encourage you to bring your own materials. Check the Materials section to see if they will work.
  • Can I ship my materials directly to your location?  Yes, please notify us before sending any material.
  • Can you ship my finished project to my location?  Yes, shipping is no problem.
  • Can I reserve time on your lasers and operate the machines myself?  No.
  • Can I visit your location without an appointment? Stopping by during regular hours is no problem, although we wont be able to give you a quote right away.
  • Do you assemble or paint project?  We do not offer those services.
  • Can you cut stacks of material to save time?  Generally this does not work because the lasers have a vacuum system to hold the parts in place. Something like paper will lift up while cutting. Also gasses produced during the cutting get trapped between the layers and stain the surfaces.
  • Is there a way to laser cut the material without burning the edge?  CO2 laser cutting technology uses a thin beam of light to burn through the material to cut it, so materials like wood or paper will inevitably have darker edges.
  • What is the thickest material you can cut?  The lasers have a specific focal range where they cut well. On the smaller machines it is about 1/2" maximum. On the large format machine it is about 3/4". Check the Materials list for details for specific materials.
  • Do you offer ink printing services?  No, but if you bring in your printed sheets and have a file to match we can laser cut the pieces out for you.