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Laser File Formatting for
Adobe Illustrator

  • We accept files up through Illustrator CS2. However for our purposes it is preferable that Illustrator files for cut vinyl, laser and CNC routing production be saved back as Version 6 before being sent to us.

  • All drawings must be expressed in inches.

  • In Document Setup, set Artboard width to 32" and height to 18". All parts to be cut or scored must be within this area to avoid bleed problems.

  • Lines and parts to be cut through material must be expressed as vectors. Stroke weight must be set to zero and fill must be the default white. (Do not set stroke to "none". Open Window/Show Stroke, then select line or object, click on the "Weight" pull-down arrow in the Stroke dialog box, type in "0", then press "Enter".)

  • Lines and parts to be scored/engraved must be expressed in raster mode. Stroke weight should be set to anything except zero or none. Fill can be set to any color except white.

  • Parts to be cut must be placed on different layers from parts to be scored. Name layers "cut" and "score" respectively.

  • Erase all stray lines.

  • Remove all overlapping and duplicate lines. The laser will re-cut overlapping lines with very negative results.

  • The laser kerf is approximately .006" centered on the line. This will cause the cut parts to be slightly smaller than drawn. This is normally insignificant. However, if it is critical to your work, please make a note of it.

  • Group parts to be cut from the same material in the same drawing. The rule of thumb for spacing between parts is to allow half the thickness of the material or more between relatively parallel cuts, particularly on acrylics.

  • It is best to draw everything in Illustrator. Files from other programs imported or pasted into Illustrator can cause problems that have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.