Design Guide for Flat Laser-Cut Parts

Useful information about supported vector formats, how to properly prepare your files for laser cutting, and capabilities of our laser cutting process.

Content

Laser Cutting Process

Format and Software

Preparing Your File

Click on the topics to access them.

Laser Cutting Process

At LaserBoost, we perform sheet metal laser cutting using the latest cutting-edge technology from Trumpf™. Our expert team combines different types of gases and specific machine configurations for each material to ensure a quality cut.

We have the experience and machinery necessary to ensure manufacturing that aligns with your designs and delivers a superior quality finish.

> Laser cutting process capabilities

Our precision and maximum dimensions at a glance:

2D Online Laser Cutting

±0.15 mm*

Cutting Tolerance

2D Online Laser Cutting

3000 x 1500 mm

Size of our cutting formats

Cutting thickness

0.3 mm ~ 8 mm

Cutting Thickness Ranges

* Check here for manufacturing tolerances

or get more information about our laser cutting service.

> Appearance and finishes

Micro-joints

The micro-joint is a small connection that is placed on the part during the cutting process. It connects the part and its remnants with the original sheet by means of a minimal geometry. The micro-joint ensures that the parts and remnants do not move during the cutting process and prevents the part from falling into the pit. To guarantee the quality and safety of the process, we add at least one micro-joint.

Micro-joints are practically imperceptible and do not affect the application of the part. Their size can range from 0.05mm to 0.6mm for sheet thicknesses of 0.5mm to 8mm, respectively.

Cutting Density and Temperature Deformation

Laser cutting is a precise technique for manufacturing parts, but if the design has a high cutting density, elevated temperatures can be generated in the process. These temperatures can lead to deformations in the part, compromising its quality and functionality. Therefore, it’s important to consider the distribution of cuts and adjust the design to avoid excessive heat concentrations.

At LaserBoost, we employ different cutting strategies to mitigate this effect; however, in the most extreme cases, the effect can still be noticeable. One way to reduce this effect, often seen in grid patterns, is to space out the holes. Additionally, this can lead to cost savings for your part.

Design with High Cutting Density

Design with Moderate Cutting Density

If this were to happen, in most cases it can be resolved through a simple manual adjustment.

Surface finishes

At LaserBoost, we offer various surface finishes for your flat parts. In the following table, you can find a brief description of each one.

Finish

Brief description

Natural or Undetermined

The material is supplied as is and may contain scratches, marks, burrs, and a non-uniform visual appearance. This applies to both sides of the part.

SandBlasting

We carefully sandblast the parts with glass microbeads, resulting in a clean and uniform surface. This applies to both sides of the part.

Vibrating

We apply an orbital vibratory finish to the part, providing a uniform finish and removing burrs. This applies to both sides of the part.

Brushed + PVC

Factory brushed finish, the part is delivered protected with a PVC protective plastic, which can be removed manually. This applies only to the front face of the part.

Premium brushed finish

Hand-brushed finish, the part is brushed in our facilities after being cut, providing a superesthetic finish. Applies only to the front face of the part.

Shiny + PVC

Factory glossy finish, the part is delivered protected with PVC protective plastic, which can be removed manually. Applies only to the front face of the part.

Premium glossy

Manually polished glossy finish, the part is polished in our facilities after being cut, providing an almost mirror-like finish. Applies only to the front face of the part.

For more detailed information about the features of each finish and to see availability based on material, please refer to the specific page of the respective material. You can access the main page of our materials here.

Formats and Software

> Supported formats

We support a wide range of vector formats. For these formats, our software can detect all the necessary parameters to provide you with an instant price. You can download an example file for each format below:

For SVG files, it’s important to review the measurements detected by our tool. These measurements can be edited within the configurator itself. The scale of the format can be altered depending on the file version or program used to create it.

For Adobe Illustrator (.ai) and PDF files, the parts within the file must be fully contained within the canvas during the export process. For example, in most designs, an initial A4 size background is set. If the part is larger than the predefined paper format set by the program, you’ll need to adjust the size of the background canvas to a larger format.

Do you have any questions about creating your files? Contact us.

> Recommended software for creating files for laser cutting – 2D

All CAD software in the market can save and export files in the formats supported in our configurator. Here’s a list with our recommendations.

Software

Formats supported by LaserBoost

Adobe Illustrator™

.dxf | .dwg | .ai | .svg | .pdf | .eps

Autodesk Autocad™

.dxf | .dwg

SolidWorks™

.dxf | .dwg

Inkscape™ (free)

.dxf | .svg | .pdf | .eps

QCad™ (free)

.dxf | .dwg | .svg

Autodesk Fusion360™ (free)

.dxf | .dwg

Adobe Illustrator™ and Inkscape™ are the most versatile options, designed for both technical and artistic parts, offering a wide range of export formats and user-friendly interfaces. Autodesk Autocad™ and QCad™ are industry standards for 2D CAD drawing. Solidworks™ and Autodesk Fusion360™ are 3D drawing software tailored for engineering and mechanical design.

Remember that it’s necessary to upload dimension-free parts, without title blocks, drawing templates, and in a 1:1 real scale in millimeters.

Preparing Your File

The 4 basic points to have your parts ready for our configurator:

> Scale

Your part should be at the exact size you want it to be cut (1:1 scale). If you desire the part to be a different size than the original, you should specify it in the configurator by editing the height and width fields. The units for uploading your file should be in millimeters (mm).

Piezas cortadas a laser 2D dimensiones correctas

> Content

Your file must contain only the cutting lines and paths and a single part design per file. To get an accurate price for your parts, your design should be free from dimensions, notes, edges, and objects that shouldn’t be fabricated.

> Strokes

Your designs should be free of open endpoints and intersections. Our process treats all lines in your design as cuts, so an open area will lack a complete cut, and an area with intersections will result in excess cuts.

Make sure your designs don’t contain any of these elements unless they are absolutely necessary.

> Texts

There are fantastic fonts out there, but we don’t have all existing typefaces on our cutting machines. To prevent any misinterpretation of your text, we need you to convert the text to outlines.

In most CAD programs, the functionality of converting text to shapes is referred to as “explode” or “explode text”. In Adobe Illustrator™, you can achieve this by selecting the text and clicking on the Text menu > Create Outlines.

> Minimum Perforations

For a proper cut, we require that all perforations have a minimum diameter.

Thickness t (mm)

Minimum Diameter d (mm)

0.5

0.5

0.8

0.5

1.0

0.5

1.2

0.8

1.5

0.8

2.0

1.5

2.5

2.0

3.0

2.5

4.0

2.5

5.0

3.5

6.0

4.0

8.0

5.0

In aluminium, the value of Thickness (t) is equal to the value of the minimum diameter (d).

> Minimum Bridges and Distance to the Nearest Vertices

To avoid burns or irregularities in the narrow areas of the part, we need them to meet a minimum distance. This also applies to the minimum distance between the cutouts and the outer edge of the part.

Thickness t (mm)

Minimum Space s (mm)

0.5

0.5

0.8

0.5

1.0

1.0

1.2

1.0

1.5

1.5

2.0

1.5

2.5

1.75

3.0

2.1

4.0

2.8

5.0

3.5

6.0

4.2

8.0

5.6

In aluminium, the value of Thickness (t) is equal to the value of the minimum diameter (d).

Other Considerations about Laser Cutting

Heat-induced deformations

Our cutting process subjects the part to high temperatures. A very high cutting density can generate deformations or oscillations in the part. For example, a large-sized grid. More information is available in our design guide for flat laser cutting.

Part flatness

The materials used in LaserBoost comply with European flat rolled supply regulations, including their flatness. However, this may not be directly related to the final flatness of the part, which depends on its length and can be affected by its design or even gravity. For example, a 1mm thick part measuring 2000mm x 5mm may experience a lack of flatness.

Files with multiple designs

Each file must contain a single piece or design. If a file includes more than one piece, whether of the same model or different models, our team will contact you to adjust your order accordingly.

Any questions? LaserBoost’s technical team is at your disposal to help you with your design and validate its productive potential.
Contact us here.

About User Guides, Tolerances, and Production Capabilities of LaserBoost Service

It is possible to correctly manufacture parts that do not meet the capacities announced here. However, LaserBoost cannot guarantee the correct result of cutting and/or bending if the specifications mentioned on our website are not met. If a design does not meet any of the announced tolerances, capacities, or limitations, it can be produced by LaserBoost at the customer’s risk. You can validate the proper producibility of your design prior to placing an order by contacting our technical team at info@laserboost.com.

For more information about using our platform, you can visit our Terms and Conditions of Service.

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