Here at 3D NYC Lab, we offer a wide range of laser cutting services across all kinds of materials. Your imagination is basically the only limiting factor in what we can help you create.
Laser cutting is an integral tool in the arsenal of the design build space. Having a deep knowledge of laser cutting allows us to customize any material you would like (we also have many options for material sourcing in case you’d like us to find materials for you). We can cut, etch and engrave just about anything to put the finishing touches on a truly custom design/build project.
About Laser Cutting
Laser cutting is the process by which we use a concentrated CO2 laser to cut through a number of materials either by burning, melting or vaporizing the selected material. We use industry leading machines with unmatched precision. When it comes to realizing your designs, this can make all the difference.
Laser cutting can precisely fabricate designs that are too complex or too time consuming to create by hand. Laser cutting technology has applications in every creative industry including: architecture, industrial design, fashion design, jewelry design, robotics, and almost anywhere else that requires customization.
Some of the materials we can cut: wood, acrylic, plexiglass, plastics, paper & card, foam packaging, and fabric.
Every project starts with a digital file of the artwork which our laser cutter reads in order to cut or engrave. This type of file is referred to as a “vector” file which will usually come from Adobe Illustrator, AutoCAD, CorelDraw, or something similar. The file types that we accept are .ai, .dxf, .dwg, .cdr, or svg.
If you do not have a vector file of your artwork, you can send us whatever you have as we offer design services as well. Send us your artwork. We will double check the file for any issues then send you a price and turnaround estimate.
There are three basic types of laser operation:
What are Cut Lines?
Cut lines cut the full way through your material, all the way to the opposite side. Any closed shape created with cut lines will fall away from the material. Cut lines should be set to red in your design file.
We are limited to certain thicknesses on cuts for any given material. Cutting through thicker materials can cause flare ups and may damage the material. To learn more about the materials we cut most commonly you can view our materials page or reach out to us directly if you want something that you do not see there.
The Design File
What are Score Lines?
Score lines are the method by which a laser cutter burns away a very thin portion of material from a selected object. The effect, also know as etching, produces a visible difference in coloration in the material as well as a grove that you can feel with your fingers.
Score lines can be made shallower or deeper into a given material by passing the laser across the surface multiple times. Score lines are designated in blue in your design file.
The Design File
What are Engravings?
An engraving is similar to a score line consisting of two dimensional designs rather than just lines. An engraving will burn away a thin layer of material to produce a visible discoloration in the shape of your design. Engraving works well for shapes and with images.
A laser cutter takes a different and more time effective approach with engravings moving line by line from the top to the bottom rather than follow a linear path. For this reason, it is important to use black fills for engravings in your design files.
The Design File
Calibrate Laser Settings
Materials reacts differently to our laser cutters. We calibrate our laser settings for each material and thickness so that we can cut as quickly, precisely, and cleanly as possible. Some materials may be too thick to cut through.
Approved outside materials are welcome as well.
We have our laser cutting machine trace the cut lines and work its magic. Then we package and deliver the final product. In-store pick ups are also welcome.