GUIDELINES FOR FILE SUBMISSION
You want a top quality part and we want to make it for you!
To ensure the best quality parts, follow our guidelines below.
TERMS worth defining so we are all on the same page (our definitions, not Webster's)
File Type: This refers to the extension that follows the file name you create. This extension will change depending on what type of software you are working with. In many cases, you can choose what type of file will be saved by navigating the box below the file name box (commonly called the 'Save As' type). Not all software programs will allow you to save in the necessary file types we need to work with.
Geometry: We are talking about all the lines and arcs necessary to create your part.
Design Details: These are the critical parts of your design that need to be met for the part to come out as desired. For example, the material type, the thickness of a part, the diameter of a hole, or the radius of a corner.
Scale: This refers to the size of your part.
Cut Quality: We associate this with how well the edge of the part looks when it comes off the laser. In general, ⅜” or thinner parts will exhibit a clean top and bottom edge. ½” thick parts can have some dross on the bottom edge. This dross will be easy to remove.
Tolerance: This describes the variation to be expected in the desired size and actual cut size.
Preferred file types: .dxf, .sldprt
Files submitted in a DXF or SLDPRT format can be directly imported into our softwares and will save us time to set up your job. When we save time YOU SAVE MONEY! 😉
Files we can work with: .jpeg, .png
We know and understand that not everyone has the ability to submit a preferred file type. Fear not, this does not mean we can’t work with you to meet your needs. If you submit files to us as a JPEG, PNG, or GIF we can work with them in most cases. This will however require our designers to do some extra leg work, which will most likely result in extra charges for the design time.
You need to consider the size of interior dimensions in relation to the desired material thickness. In general, the rule is holes in your part should not have a diameter smaller than the thickness of the material. (i.e. if your part is 0.125” thick, your holes should be at least 0.125” in diameter). It is an even safer bet to keep your holes at 1.5X the thickness of the material. This will ensure your parts come off the table with the cleanest cut quality possible.
Part files containing holes less than the thickness of the material can be cut in some cases, but they may result in less desirable cut quality/tolerance and may require a secondary processing operation to clean up.
For us to make your parts as economically as possible your DXF or SLDPRT file should be scaled correctly when submitted. An often overlooked part of rescaling by customers is scaled dimension change. Let's look at an example. Say for instance that you send us a 10” x 10” file with ½” interior holes and tell us to make it 5” x 5”. We can do that, but the interior holes will end up being ¼” instead of ½”. We can fix that in most cases, but it will result in extra design charges.
WHAT TO INCLUDE AND WHAT TO OMIT
Your file should be exactly that, your file, nothing else. Every line in your file will be seen as cut geometry. If you have design details that you would like to point out please provide a supplementary detailed drawing for us to look at.
Additional things to remember when creating your files:
Bridge your geometry so everything connects. Non-connected geometry will fall apart.
Your font will need to be stencilized in most cases to ensure you keep all aspects of the design.
UNDERSTANDING OUR PRICING
We do everything we can to offer parts to you at a reasonable price.
One-off parts will cost more per part than if we cut you a large quantity of that same part. This is due to set up time to get your part out to the machine, loading and unloading material, and such.
Parts with a large amount of geometry per square inch will cost more for us to produce than parts with less geometry per square inch.