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

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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"

MDF 1/4" (0.250") up to 48"x96"

MDF 1/2" (0.500") up to 48"x96"

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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

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Acrylic/Plexiglas cast 0.118" (3mm)

Black gloss, Black matte, White gloss.

Other colors and thicknesses available,

ask for more information

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Acrylic/Plexiglas cast 0.118" (3mm)

Silver Mirror, Gold Mirror.

Other colors available,

ask for more information

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ABS 0.040" up to 48" x 96"

ABS 0.060" up to 48" x 96"

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Mylar 0.005" 24" wide from roll

Mylar 0.007" 17" x 12" sheet

 

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Oil Board 0.0175" up to 24"x 36"

Chip Board 0.03" up to 32" x 40"

Corrugated Cardboard 0.150" up to 36" x 36"

 

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 1/8"
  • 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") interior grade only
  • 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)
  • Exterior/Marine Plywood (reflective glues/excess charring)
  • Formica (toxic gases)
  • Natural wool felt (messy and smelly)
  • Magnetic Sheets (leaves magnetic dust in the machine)

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.

Illustrator Tips

  • 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

AutoCAD Tips

  • Create a non printing layer with a box drawn to the laser size or material size for reference.
  • Scale your artwork to 100% size
  • Units are ok in either inches or mm.
  • Cutting lines = Color Red 1
  • Secondary Cutting lines = Cyan 4
  • Score lines = Color Blue 5
  • Secondary scoring lines = Color Green 3
  • Raster Text, Graphics, or Image Layer Color Black/White 7
  • Non printing elements = Color Magenta 6 (print off)
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 do not cut metal.
  • Can you engrave metal? Only anodized aluminum with surface depth.
  • 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 and depth of engraving, material type, and material thickness.
  • What is the general turnaround time?  Obviously it depends on the size of the project, but you can expect about 3 days turnaround on average for medium size projects. Smaller jobs are sometimes faster depending on the current schedule. 
  • Is there anyway to get my quote faster?  We work hard to get you a quote as fast as possible. If your file is set up to our guidelines it can greatly speed up the process.
  • Can I pay a rush fee to get my project finished faster?  No, 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 won't be able to give you a quote right away.
  • Can I wait there while you cut something?  99% chance the answer is No.
  • What are your hours?  In case you missed it, 10am - 6pm on weekdays. 
  • 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" (12mm) maximum. On the large format machine it is about 3/4" (19mm). Check the Materials list for details for specific materials.
  • Can you assemble or paint project my project?  We do not offer those services.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Is there a way to laser cut the material without burning the top or bottom?  Yes many materials can be cut with a masking tape applied to protect the surfaces.
  • 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.