How To Find Professional Laser Cutting Designs
Posted By Jessica Van Zeijderveld on May 9, 2018 | 0 comments
The reason why you probably clicked on this post is that you’re interested in creating a laser cut product yourself but you don’t have the time, resources, skills, money or motivation to make a design first. Which of course, is perfectly normal. For those reasons, professional designers out there have created incredible and accurate 2D designs that can be applied to laser cutting. These designs can be found on marketplaces all over the internet. We have already written a list on where to find the best 3D models for 3D printing here. There are more 3D printing markets out there but we have created a list of where you can find 2D designs as well. In this blog post, we will first tell you what laser cutting and laser engraving is and how it can be applied to your industry. Then, we will show you where you can find professional designs yourself. Last but not least, if we have interested you in laser cutting, we will explain to you how you can try it out yourself with the laser cutting service at Sculpteo!
What is laser cutting
Laser cutting is a process which of course uses a high powered laser to cut materials like metal, wood, aluminum you name it. The optics of the laser cutter direct a generated laser beam on a material which then melts/burns/vaporizes the laser’s trajectory on the part of the specific material. The main benefit of a laser is its accuracy due to its strength and due to the technology behind it that allows for accurate tracking.
What is laser engraving
Besides only cutting material, a laser cutter can also be adjusted so that it only engraves the material. This is ideal for when patterns or words are to be placed on it. The material itself doesn’t have to be cut by laser cutting in the first place in order to laser engrave it. Laser engraving is fast due to the material being removed with each pulse of the laser and it can be used on almost any kind of metal, plastic, wood, leather or glass surface.
Specifics on laser engraving
At Sculpteo we offer two methods for laser engraving: line engraving and surface engraving. Line engraving is perfect to engrave a contour. In general, it’s the same process as laser cutting but with less power. Our surface engraving engraves, of course, the surface only. The outline of your design must be closed in order to so. For this type of engraving, we offer two surface depths namely, superficial and deep. With a superficial depth, the cut can barely be felt when you touch it but this is not the case when you deeply engrave it.
How can I apply laser cutting or laser engraving
Both processes are mostly used for industrial manufacturing applications, but it is also used for companies who wish to customize their products. For example, companies who offer products made by laser cut wood also offer their products with personalized engraving. Find some examples here. The main reason why industrial companies use laser engraving is due to its accuracy. Products used in this industry need to follow safety regulations or a product needs to be tailored in order to fit for mechanical purposes. Laser cutting is also used for industrial prototypes in order to see if the mechanical properties interlock with each other. Laser cutting is the ideal solution due to having the costs on the down low but having the end result be of quality.
Finding professional laser cutting designs
So, now that you know a bit more about laser cutting you might want to try it out yourself. But like we said in the beginning, you might not have the time, resources, skills, money or motivation to make a design first. A design is needed in order to send it to the computer which directs the laser beam to follow the path of the design. There are many resources available online. Professional designers upload their designs on a marketplace, some ask for a small fee which is understandable since these designs are professionally made which may have taken quite a while to create. When you find some design ideas in one of the marketplaces below, just make sure that A, it’s a 2D file – not a 3D file and B. make sure it is in a, ideally, SVG format and otherwise in the following formats: DXF, AI, EPS, PDF. Also, do pay attention if the 2D file is for laser engraving or laser cutting. In some cases, it can be applied to both!
Obrary is a straightforward website which offers you a lot of designs for laser cutting wood. Simply click on the picture of an actual laser cut product in real life, and download the file on the right-hand side. Do note, most of them are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Craftsmanspace is an online database that offers 3D models, technical ebooks and 2D designs for laser cutting. If you want to adjust these designs you will need a vector editing tool but do note that these laser cutting designs are only for personal use, not for commercial use. So, you would need to contact the designer first if you have a commercial use in mind. The designs themselves were taken from technical books to be then expertly hand traced in Rhinoceros CAD software.
Etsy is probably one of the most well known online C2C markets out there and for a reason. Most people on Etsy are hobbyists with a passion for design and creation. It comes as no surprise that some designers offer their laser cutting designs on this webshop. From lamps to laser cut wedding invitations, wall clocks, cake toppers, Etsy offers a lot of feminine wooden designs.
Vecteezy offers you many laser cut vector files for free! Most of the designs are expertly designed logos and numbers. This site is perfect for when you need these kinds of straightforward designs.
Freepik offers a lot of laser cutting designs for free but some are also on accessible for premium paying members. The free designs are some of the most beautiful round and square designs available on the internet due to most of the designs being inspired by Arabian art and architecture.
Thingiverse is not only great for finding 3D models, but also for finding 2D models as well. Being one of the most popular design markets out there, Thingiverse has a lot of users. This means that there are a lot of designs being offered but you then also might need to separate the good from the bad by paying attention to the amount of ‘’likes’’ a design has received, and by paying attention to the design’s description.
Rabbitlaserusa is a great website in order to find laser cutting designs for cardboard material! All of the designs are free but more importantly, the designs are very useful for packaging ideas. Whereas most other websites we mentioned before offer designs mostly based on their aesthetic, Rabbitlaserusa offers designs based on functionality.
Epiloglaser is probably the most all including material and design forms website in this list. From acrylic to wood, it has got everything. Simply click on the picture and download a design on the left-hand side. Besides offering a lot of varied designs, the designs also have an explanatory description stating the thicknesses and material usage – great for calculating costs.
Laser cutting at Sculpteo
So, we have convinced you on the use of a laser cutter and/or laser engraver? Or maybe you were already familiar with it but now you have finally found a proper design laser cut? At Sculpteo we currently offer the following materials for your next laser cutting project: Plywood, MDF, Cardboard and POM. We have no minimum orders, a short lead time of 1 to 3 days, multiple secure payment options and a no waste policy: you only pay for the material you need. You can upload your design here at Sculpteo and we will get right onto it in order to send it your way ASAP!