A Guide to Online Laser Cutting

Date: 18/06/2020

Laser cutting makes use of laser cutter machinery to cut, mark, or engrave on different types of materials. The word laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is a highly focused beam of light energy that burns through materials in a very precise and clean manner. 

While quite powerful, not all laser cutters have the ability to cut through different materials. Different materials require different amounts of energy to cut them. Also, there are different types of lasers such as CO2 and crystal lasers. When using this machinery, you will need to match each material to the right type and power of laser to achieve the desired results.

Low power laser cutters such as those that use CO2 are often miniaturized, affordable, and accessible to hobbyists and others that work with lightweight materials like wood, leather, and plastic. However, laser cutters that can be used on metals tend to be more expensive and bigger. For those that do not have regular need for such machinery, it makes better sense to make use of online laser cutting services as it is more practical and cost-effective.

Here are the basic steps you need to follow in accomplishing your task. 

Find A Service Provider

Online laser cutting service providers are quite plentiful. You will, however, want to identify a provider with a good track record in the business, and where possible ISO certified. This is important because it confirms you are dealing with an organization that is efficient and dedicated to customer satisfaction. Depending on the size of your order, you will also want to confirm that they have the capacity to fulfil your request within the period you want.

Create A Vector File

This is the design of the part you want to be fabricated using a laser cutter. For the machine to recognize and process the design, it must be a vector file. There are many vector drawing software to choose from. The service provider will probably provide a link to tools you can use and a guide on how to set up the file so it can work with the laser. If you only have an image of the part, some providers may be able to convert it to a vector file but may charge extra for the service.

Upload and Quote

Providers have an upload page on their websites where you can add the vector file and complete an online form to request for a quote. Most will quickly get back to you with either a quote and timeline for production or ask for additional information if needed. The price will primarily be pegged on the type of material being worked on and the duration it will take to cut, mark or engrave as per your order. If the quote and terms of payment are acceptable, you simply confirm, pay, and the order is carried out. Even with the quickest fabrication process, do keep in mind that delivery will also be affected by how far the provider’s processing plant is vis-à-vis your own location.  

Yorkshire Laser are an industry-leading business based in Leeds, offering an exceptional and bespoke laser and mental fabrication service. Get in touch for a personalised quote today!