Laser Cutting and Engraving Service
3D Creative Workshops offers quality laser cutting and engraving services in central Edinburgh. Our French-made Gravograph machine is highly accurate, stable and reliable. We have a wide variety of materials in stock or on overnight order.
If you require laser cutting and/or engraving of high detail or fine tolerance, get in touch with 3D Creative workshops for personal service, attention to detail and careful hands. With our wide experience in applying high-technology production processes to low-volume craft products, we may even suggest an alternative and more appropriate approach to your job to suit your budget, volumes and time constraints.
No file? No problem! We are happy to develop your sketches and descriptions into CAD files for the appropriate process.
If your lasered product requires assembly or any further processing, we might be able to do or manage this on your behalf as well in our multi-discipline jewellery/metal/wood processing workshop.
Below, we have set out the constraints of our process and what we require of you when you place an order. Please ensure you read this information carefully before submitting your job or query, so that no time is wasted in getting your job into production.
Cutting/engraving area (maximum sheet size): 610 x 305 mm
(Any sheets larger than this will simply not fit inside our machine. In some cases we could offer to cut down your material for you.)
Z clearance (maximum material thickness): 145 mm
(Note this is not an indication of how deep the laser can cut! This depends on the type of material.)
Engraving on curved or cylindrical surfaces: We cannot engrave in the round, but we could subcontract this part of a job to our trusted partners who have rotary engraving facilities.
Materials on offer
We can source a wide variety of materials from our network of suppliers. Basic materials include - but are not limited to:
Acrylic sheet - various colours, various thicknesses (standard 3mm)
Balsa wood - various colours, various thicknesses
Bamboo sheet - various
Basswood - various thicknesses
Bockingford watercolour paper
Canford paper & card
Cardboard - various colours, various thicknesses
Cellular rubber - various thicknesses
Cork sheet - various thicknesses
Eco stamp rubber sheet - 2.3mm
Engraving laminate - various colours and finishes
Felt (Acrylic) - various colours
Finnboard - various thicknesses
Flexi-Ply - 5mm
Grey board (pulp fibre cardboard)
Hardboard (wood fibre board)
Maple wood sheet
MDF - various thicknesses
Mounting board - various
Mylar (for stencils)
Neoprene (foam fabric)
Plywood (birch laser ply) - various thicknesses
Polyurethane foam board
Wood veneer - various
If you don't see what you had in mind, get in touch and we'll see what we can do.
Whilst our CO2 laser can cut through almost anything but metal, we opt to exclude certain materials from our supported list because they are either highly toxic, damaging to our laser or highly flammable.
Only certain metals can be engraved with our CO2 laser, but do still get in touch if you need metal engraving or cutting, as we have excellent contacts for various super-fine metal marking and cutting processes. Some metals can be marked in black using our CO2 laser over an applied chemical.
Below, please find a list of materials with indications of whether they can be cut or engraved. This list is by no means complete, so please get in touch if you can't find something.
Preparing your design
Following the instructions below, you should be able to create a laser-ready file yourself. This means 3D Creative Workshops spends less time preparing and repairing files, which saves you money.
The maximum sheet size supported is 610 x 305 mm. To prevent mishaps at the very edge of these parameters, please ensure that your design fits within a 600 x 295 mm rectangle. If you cannot fit all components in one sheet, please distribute them over two or more sheets.
Layout and Nesting
When laying out multiple pieces for cutting out, please allow a gap of at least 2mm between pieces.
Do not create 'shared' edges between items. (If you have a specific reason for this, please discuss it with us before finishing your design.) There will be a noticable gap where the laser cuts. So for example, depending on the fineness of your design, you may find puzzle-type interlocking designs don't work with shared edges; you would need to cut each piece separately.
If you want to produce several copies of the same item, you could use a nesting tool (included or available as a plug-in with most design packages) to prepare the sheet(s) according to the design area stated above. If you have trouble working this out, just come talk to us.
Please use the following colours to indicate what's required:
BLUE for Outer Outlines of Cut-outs
GREEN for Inner Outlines of Cut-outs (where a piece is cut out of another cut-out piece, e.g. the inner of the letter O)
RED for Vector Engraving (engraving thin lines)
BLACK for Raster Engraving (engraving filled-in areas)
Note that in general, text is Raster Engraving!
Blue denotes the cutting outline of the item. Green denotes areas cut out from inside the item (hole and see-through star). Red is for vector-engraved thin lines (details along the edge). The black areas (text details) were raster-engraved.
Cleaning up lines or curves
Please ensure all lines or curves are solid and connected up where appropriate.
If you are using a NURBS modelling software like Rhino3D, you will need to convert your NURBS curves (splines) into a series of arcs and/or lines, so that your design consists of only arc and line segments.
Please make lines indicating Outlines for Cut-outs and Vector Engraving hairline thin (0.02mm).
Before saving your design, please check that your measurements are to the desired 1:1 scale.
Please download one of our scales from Dropbox below, then copy and paste this into your design, without resizing either the scale or your design.
While exporting or saving your design for us, please again ensure you retain 1:1 scale.
Please save or export your design in one of the following supported file formats: DFX, DWG, HPGL, EPS.
We can laser engrave bitmap images on various surfaces. For this, please provide a good quality image file file. Bitmap images are engraved as a non-uniform series of dots that can vary both in intensity and spacing to produce an image similar to black and white newspaper images.
The following image file formats are supported: BMP, JPG (Jpeg), GIF, TIFF.
Picture to Vector
If you have a colour or grayscale image (BMP, JPG, GIF TIFF) which you wish to convert to a clean and flat vector image (e.g. a logo or sencil) for cutting or vector/raster engraving, get in touch, as we could do the conversion for you.
Get a Quote or Advice
After reading through all of the above carefully, if anything doesn't make sense to you, just ask.
Use the form below to forward us your job or query and we'll get back to you.