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File Format Information

File Formats for Laser Cutting  We accept vector-based files such as:   DWG can be saved from AutoCAD, any versions up to 2013 DXF can be saved from  AutoCAD, any versions up to 2013  EPS can be saved from Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign  AI can be saved from Adobe Illustrator, any versions up to CS6 CDR can be saved from Corel Draw, any versions up to X5 PDF can be saved from almost any vector based program SVG can be saved from almost any vector based program WMF can be saved from all Microsoft Office versions We accept Raster-based files such as: JPG can be saved from almost any Raster capable program BMP can be saved from almost any Raster capable program PNG can be saved from almost any Raster capable program TIFF can be saved from almost any Raster capable program RAW can be saved by many Digital Cameras* Raster vs Vector Some applications and graphic utility programs such as Adobe Photoshop allow a pixel-based image to be saved as an EPS file. This is called "EPS for Placement" or "Placed EPS" representation of the file. It is also known as a "faux EPS" for placement and sizing only. This "faux EPS" is a value in Photoshop for saving a clipping path within an otherwise continuous-tone image file. Some other common raster file formats are BMP, GIF, JPEG, TIFF and PNG. Raster image files can be laser engraved onto a variety of materials such as acrylic, wood, glass etc. The quality of finished products depends on the resolution of the image. Higher resolution (300 dpi) means better laser-engraved image but, there is a trade-off. High resolution = Slow burn and higher detailed image. Low resolution = Fast burn and less detailed image.   Vector files are more versatile and flexible. Vector graphic formats create, execute and store their images as mathematical calculations of descriptions and coordinates. The most well-known of the vector formats is EPS or EPSF (for Encapsulated PostScript format). An image created as an EPS vector can be scaled to any size without loss of resolution. A vector file is sometimes called a geometric file. Most images created with tools such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw (prefered) are in the form of vector image files. Vector image files are easier to modify than raster image files. Vector files are required for many laser cutting, etching or engraving projects. For your convenience, we can convert many image files into functional vector artwork at a nominal charge. Vector EPS (Basic description) Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is a standard file format for importing and exporting PostScript files. An EPS file can contain any combination of text, graphics and images. Since it is actually a PostScript file, it is the most versatile file format that is available. Currently, there is no application that is capable of taking a drawing that was not created from inception as a vector file and save it as an editable EPS. DXF (Basic description) AutoCAD DXF (Drawing Interchange Format, or Drawing Exchange Format) is a CAD data file format, developed by Autodesk as their solution for enabling data interoperability between AutoCAD and other programs. DXF is a two-dimensional graphics file format supported by virtually all PC -based CAD products. DXF files can be either ASCII (DXF) or binary format (DXB). If you export Solidworks files into DXF files, please use the 2D polyline option. Do not use SPLINE. All curves will be cut as faceted lines. Depending on your Solidworks version, compatibility may be an issue. It is best if you can draw a 1" x 1" square in the drawing for scale reference and verification. AutoCAD File Guidelines: ·Polylines - using polylines will save you money because they cut more efficiently. You can create polylines (plines) by joining lines and arcs. Please also make sure that closed shapes become polylines. ·2D Drawings - since our laser systems cut in 2 axes, all drawings must in X,Y plane. A 3D effect may be achieved by laminating parts together. Clean Drawings - please make sure that all lines are continuous and non-overlapping because every line drawn will be cut. Use ZOOM EXTENTS, check for off-screen objects and remove them. Remove any blocks with EXPLODE command. SPLINES should never be used since they do not produce smooth curves and arcs when cut.   Layers - use layer controls to differentiate types of cut such as etching and cutting and types of materials.   Layer Names - use descriptive layer names such as cut030acrylic (meaning cut layer using 1/32 inch thick acrylic) or etch030 (meaning etch layer using 1/32 thick acrylic).   Lettering - most CAD programs do not create letters as line information. Last Unicorn Creations uses a special software that generate high resolution output for more than 70 outlined fonts. We can also import fonts from other graphics programs into AutoCAD files.   1:1 Drawings - change the scale of your drawings to finished part size. This will ensure that your project will proceed quickly and accurately. Offset for laser beam width - the width of our laser varies from .008" to .010" depending on materials. For high tolerance work, compensate using OFFSET command. To compensate for the laser beam width, offset your cut line half the beam width away from the part you want to keep. On inside cut-outs, offset toward the inside and on outside cut-outs, offset toward the outside. For most materials, use offset of .004" is sufficient. For 1/2 thick or thicker materials, use an offset of .005". Be sure to remove the original objects.   Group Parts - parts that required same material and thickness should be grouped together. Purge all unused layers and blocks. Scale drawing to desired size. Space between cut lines should be 1:1 to material thickness. Label each sheet with the material and thickness desired. Make sure there are no duplicate or overlapping lines (this will cause the laser to cut in the same place multiple times and will yield an undesirable result and may increase cutting time)   Do not use the SPLINE command. This will make the curves become faceted! It is not usual to work with RAW files, for Laser Work, because such images need to be converted by a RAW-converter which can be time consuming. If it is a unique situation, and depending on the camera used and our ability to process conversion, we may be able to work with the file for a reasonable additional charge. In short we are usually able to: Read/Write common formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, BMP, WBMP, TARGA (TGA), PPM, PGM, PBM, XPM, ICO) Read/Capture less common formats (CUT, G3, DDS, IFF, JNG, KOA, MNG, PCD, PCX, RAS, SGI) Read/Write JPEG 2000 (JP2, J2K) Read/Capture MrSID format (SID) Read/Process RAW formats ( RAW, CR2, NEF, DNG, NRW, RW2, RWL, CRW, ORF, MRW, THM, PEF, SRF, SRW, ARW, 3FR, ERF, KDC, SR2, RAF, X3F, DCR, DRF, MEF, MOS, PTX) Read/Capture PSD Read/Write SVG
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