What is Laser cutting?

Laser cutting is a broad term and can be used for many purposes from industrial manufacturing to bespoke wedding invitations. Furthermore, there are several types of laser cutting devices based on the material being cut or etched and the speed required to complete the job. The most common products created using laser cuttings are promotional marketing items, awards and bespoke designed items. For example, if you are looking for laser cutting in Sydney you are likely to want a small to modest quantity (10 to 500 pieces) of some type of specialised branded or personalised gift or award. Common laser cut items include pens, key chains, packaging, wooden objects like cutting boards, trophies, plaques and perspex awards, invitations and packaging boxes.

What does it cost to get something laser cut?

Laser cutting’s cost is driven by two key factors; the cost of the base product or material used and the time to produce which in turn is driven by quantity, size and complexity of the items to be cut. All laser cut items need to be manually set up in the “bed” of the laser cutter…if it is a high volume or repeated job for then the manufacturer will typically create a mold jig to make the placement and changeover of the items quick. If the job is simply to cut or etch and cut a material like a Perspex award, the speed of the job is enhanced by getting several awards produced at once and the size of the bed can drive some efficiency, though in all cases the setup and removal process must occur with each set of items. The amount of time it takes to produce each item is a big driver of the cost as it drives the “job production time” – the time the job takes on the machine. If the job is a small logo and a rectangular cut, it will be very quick, but if on the other hand the job is a highly intricate lace cut wedding invitation, the time to could 20 times longer or more. This will drive the cost. Finally, the cost of the item itself drives the price. In the simplest case printing a staff member’s name and the company name on a pen could cost a few dollars or hundreds of dollars depending on the type of pen!

What to look for from a laser cutter in Sydney?

The first thing to do when trying to find a laser cutter in Sydney is to determine what experience and what type of products they have created before. If you know the quantity and specific nature of what you require, you can quickly find out if the laser cutter makes sense. Another key factor is whether or not you have the artwork and design and in a usable format. Laser cutting is a path driven process and the way a drawing was created (typically in Adobe Illustrator) specifically the sequence of the lines (the path) is what drives the laser cutter. Typically, you will need to factor in some design costs to get your products produced. Many times when you are laser cutting, you may want individually named or customised items…you will need a data file for the variable data before you proceed as well. There is a lot to consider when choosing a laser cutter in Sydney. The first place to start is reviewing sample past jobs and items on their website and then having a conversation. Simply providing a detailed description of the item, quantity and markings required will enable you to get an order of magnitude quote and see what makes sense.