Speed and price. That’s why you love sendcutsend.com for its laser cutting services. You get awesome things fast, and it doesn’t break the bank.
There’s just one catch. When you send us unreadable files, it takes us some time to sort out. The whole lightning-fast process of laser cutting and sending the finished product right back to you gets bogged down.
So, we’re here to help. We want to help you send the perfect files the first time. Here are five easy steps to follow to create flawless files for your custom cut metal.
Make Sure Your File is in Vector Format
We only accept vector files. If you send a non-vector file, we simply cannot process the project. Non-vector files are created from pixels; vector files are created from paths. Our laser cutter needs the path to process the job. To oversimplify, non-vector files are typically image files from programs like Photoshop. Vector files are from design programs like AutoCAD, Illustrator or Inkscape.
Refer to this easy list to determine whether your file is vector or not.
Typical vector file formats include:
AI, EPS, DXF, DWG
Non-vector files that we cannot accept:
JPG, PSD, BMP, PNG, GIF
Check Your Scale
Scale matters. Sending your file in the exact scale that you want your custom cut metal will assure you get the perfect product sent back to you. Don’t scale up or scale down your file — send it in the exact 1:1 scale at which you want it cut. If you want a three-foot-long metal part, send it in a three-foot-long file dimension.
If you are ordering 15 copies of the same part you only need to send us one file showing that single part. You will note the quantity in the order and our laser cutting software will handle the rest. Don’t copy the part 14 other times, nesting the parts together in one file. That only confuses things.
Delete Anything Extra
Your file should not include notes, borders or instructions. We simply need the part in vector format and nothing extra. Simple as that. Delete everything but the part before sending.
Convert Text Boxes to Shapes
Double check that any text boxes have been converted to shapes. Our laser cutting software cannot read text boxes. If you are unsure of how to make this conversion, we have a handy tutorial for you called Preparing Text for the Laser.
Bonus Tip: Fix overlapping lines and bridge small pieces
Two common issues we see are small parts of a project that will be laser cut into loose pieces and overlapping lines. To avoid loose pieces, bridge small parts of a project so that the part is cut into a single, connected shape. Floating metal pieces will be lost during laser cutting and should be re-designed to be connected to the rest of the part. Learn more about bridging in this awesome bridging guide.
Overlapping or intersecting lines confuse our laser cutters. Simply double-check the lines of your project to make sure they never touch or run across each other.