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Intro

Do I need to register?

You need to register if you want to:

  • create a design/product
  • sell
  • buy !!!

You can register here.

Why do I need to use .eps, .cdr or .svg files (.jpg, .bmp, ...) ?

We chose these formats because they are widely spread and work great for laser engraving. SVG files are compatible with vector graphic applications as well as browsers you use for surfing the Internet.

BMP, TIFF and JPEG files are used only for raster engraving or photoengraving.

raster - in computer graphics, a raster image or bitmap is a structure of data, usually rectangular, that represents a matrix of pixels or points of color, visible thru a computer screen, on paper or any other means of display.

vector - or vector graphic is the use of primitive geometrical shapes, like points, lines, curves and shapes and polygons that are based on mathematical equations in order to be displayed on a computer screen.

Why should I use the templates you provide?

They will help you create your sketches because they have built in the right dimensions and the pallete of colors used by the laser.

They are not mandatory for EPS files, but are necessary for the SVG ones.

How can I lower my product's cost?

Read the "Tips & Tricks" section.

How is the product's cost determined?

The cost of the final product is determined by several factors:

  • the chosen material
  • the material thickness
  • the complexity of the design

For thicker materials the laser will cut at a slower speed, so it will take longer. Also straight lines are cut faster than curved lines.

About laser cutting

How does the laser work?

VersaLaser equipment laser beam path
Top view of the laser beam path(red) when engraving a rectangle (black).

The laser equipment used for cutting and engraving is the equivalent of an ink-jet printer, but instead of printing with ink it sends a laser beam towards the material. When it touches it either burns or vaporizes it. The laser beam can follow a line in the vector file (usually at cutting - red lines) or it can follow the entire surface, point by point (like a printer) when performing a raster engraving (black or shades of gray). Remember the material will not be cut at exactly 90 degrees, but rather conic shaped, fact that is more obvios at thick materials and in the case of 3D models that need to be joined.

What materials can I use ?

You can use a wide range of materials from our catalogue - some can be cut, but others can only be engraved.

Are there restrictions regarding the size of the materials?

Yes, a sheet can not exceed 600x300mm and 100mm thickness. For cilindrical objects, which can be surface engraved, the diameter must be between 30 and 100mm.

Designing

How do I prepare a sketch for upload?

You need to download the "starting kit", templates that will help you create your sketch. These can be downloaded from the "Design" page.

Are there any restrictions for the materials?

Yes, a sheet can not exceed 600x300mm and the height of 100mm. For cilindrical objects, which will be surface engraved, the diameter must be between 30 and 100mm.

What software can I use?

Almost any graphic software that can export files in one of the formats required for upload (Adobe Illustrator CS, Inkscape or CorelDraw). You can also use 3D modeling applications like Solidworks or AutoCAD and then a vector processing application to obtain the components of the finished product. After finishing the work with these applications, the model must be transfered to one of the templates you can download from us.

For photoengraving you can use almost any image processing software, like Adobe Photoshop, CorelPhotoPaint, etc.

Why do I need to transfer the model in one of the templates?

Because these templates will help you prepare your model for engraving or cutting, in the correct format. They are formated with the correct size and have built-in the color palette required by the laser.

With what programs are compatible the templates?

They are compatible with Adobe Illustrator CS, Inkscape and CorelDraw. You can download them from HERE.

Why aren't the templates in EPS format?

When you open an EPS file in Adobe Illustrator CS, Inkscape or CorelDraw it will be converted to a different format. Even if you modify it and save it, it will overwrite the EPS file but in a different format - this can cause errors.

How do I send the files?

Once you have the skecth and you transfered it in one of our templates you are ready to upload it on our serve. You first need to create an account and after you login with your user name and password you will be able to sent the files.

If I designed a product is there any other way to earn an income?

Yes, you can also sell your model/sketches to other persons that want to create this product.

Tips & Tricks

These apply when you draw your design by hand and then you take a picture or you scan it.

What kind of shapes work?

Always draw closed shapes/curves because the laser will ignore unclosed lines. The best way to do this is to first draw them with a thin pencil and then go over them with a thick blask marker.

What thickness do the lines need to be?

It doesn't matter, as long as they are contignuous, without gaps. You can use a black marker to make them more visible.

What kind of paper should I use for my sketches?

It's recommended to use white paper, without any other lines and without flaws (stains, folds). Also it should be thick enough to not absorb the marker ink..

What size can the sketch have?

Because different sizes can be obtained (at scanning/photography/editing) it would be best to resize it before you send it or to let us know the dimensions of the finished product.

Drawing & Photoengraving

What are the steps that need to be followed?

After you drew a sketch and took a photo/scanned it to you computer you enter the site and upload it on our server, you choose the material you would like to make the order. We do the engraving and will send the package by a courier company.

Do I need to process the image in a graphics application?

It is not always necessary, if it's a sketch for which the material needs to be cut, and if there are no mistakes. If it's a picture it can be improved, cropped parts of it, you can add a frame or further process it in a graphics program before you send it. It's important that the file be saved in one of the formats recognized by us (jpg, png, bmp, tif)

What is the degree of accuracy for a photo or scanned image?

If the picture was made to cut the material "cut-off sketch" (by hand, graphics tablet ...), it will be converted to vector shape, and will be "rounded" to remove some imperfections, but only the smaller ones.

If it's a photo for photoengraving it will be processed with a special software, which will optimize it for the chosen material, but will not "fix" the image defects (cracks, scratches, dirt), nor can it alter images with photography defects (over/under-exposed, bad focus, etc.). Remember the images need to be at least 300 dpi, color and cut to the size that you want to have for the final product.

Upload/send images

What kind of files can I send ?

You can upload JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF files for hand drawn sketches and photoengraving and CDR or EPS for vector graphics.

How do I export EPS from Corel Draw ?

export eps from Corel

  1. Transfer the sketch to one of our templates. Select File -> Export and choose "Save as type: EPS - Encapsulated Postscript"
  2. You can change the name of the file and then click "Export". Make sure there are no special characters in the name of the file, like #$&*?!/;: and that the file extension is .eps
  3. Check that the export window is similar to the one below then click OK.

export eps from Corel

Now you can upload it to our server.

How do I export EPS files from Adobe Illustrator CS ?

  1. Transfer the sketch to one of our templates. Select File -> "Save as" and choose "Illustrator EPS".
  2. You can change the name of the file and then click "Export". Make sure there are no special characters in the name of the file, like #$&*?!/;: and that the file extension is .eps
  3. Select the format to be "Illustrator 8 EPS"
  4. Check that the export window is similar to the one below then click OK

export eps from Adobe Illustrator

Now you can upload it to our server.

How do I export EPS files from Inkscape?

  1. Transfer the sketch to one of our templates. Select File -> Save as and choose "Encapsulated Postscript (*.eps)" export eps from Inkscape
  2. You can change the name of the file and then click "Export". Make sure there are no special characters in the name of the file, like #$&*?!/;: and that the file extension is .eps
  3. When the window appears make sure "Convert text to paths" is checked then click OK.

export eps from Inkscape

Now you can upload it to our server.

Using SVG images

What is a SVG file ?

It's a vector format filetype that contains images described using the "Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)" standard. This graphic format uses XML tags to display images, meaning they can be displayed in an accesible format.

What's the difference between EPS and SVG?

SVG files are designed to display vector images in web browsers and EPS files are designed for printing environments. Generaly SVG files are better for small and simle designs (jewelry or small robot components) and EPS files for larger and more complex drawings(furniture pieces) because these files will be smaller.

How can I export SVG files from Adobe Illustrator CS ?

export svg from Illustrator

Can problems appear when using SVG files ?

Yes. Not always the dimensions specified in Inkscape have been transmited correctly to Abobe Illustrator. This means that small differences in size and cost can appear. Use the templates we provide so this kind of problems don't appear - the templates specify the width and length in "points" identical to both programs.

Materials

What kind of materials can I use?

You can use a wide range of wood , plexiglass (acrylic), MDF/HDF, special laserable materials - all of them can be found in our Materials catalogue.

Can I use my own materials?

Only if you contact us by phone and we approve. Best way would be to bring them or send them to us if you do not know their characteristics.

Can burn marks appear on the products?

Yes, especialy on wood products and can be removed using sandpaper.

How do I choose the materials if I have joining parts?

In this case the thickness of the material needs to be exact. In reality this rarelly happens, always a small tolerance needing to be considered (.5 mm or more). For example a sheet of plexiglass 5 mm thick can actualy be 4.8 or 5.2 mm thick.

It could also happen, depending on the material thikness (at thicker materials the laser beam will move slower), to appear burn or melting marks on the cutting line. At 6 mm plexiglass there could be a loss between 0.10 and 0.3mm on the cutting line.

Metal engraving

For now we don't have the posibility to cut metals, but we can mark them using a special chemical solution and the laser.

For this the matal is covered with a special spray and then it's engraved with special settings (full power, low speed). After that the exces spray is washed of. A black marking will remain on the metal where the laser beam hit it, half of the substance entering the metal and half sticking out.

Fabrication process

The products are created at out workshop in Iasi, Romania. From here they will be sent by courier and will reach their destination in 3 to 10 days from the confirmed order, according to complexity, number of orders and distance.