Getting Started with Laser Cutting

Stephen just shared a new tutorial: "Getting Started with Laser Cutting"

Welcome to the exciting world of laser cutting! For all those makers out there looking to start creating with a laser cutter, this tutorial will have the basic information you need to get started! We recently added a Laser Cutting Service to our site…

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Lots of good making last night in the course. Graham mentioned a list of things to laser cut and not laser cut. It would be good to know what is on hand to laser cut @Core and ball park pricing.

Specifically I am looking to make a stereo GoPro frame to mount on a bicycle so I am probably looking for something a bit more resilient (say Acetal) then acrylic.

Hi Peter,

Glad you liked it!
We currently only offer Acrylic with our laser cutting service:

I build boats for a hobby, but due to athriti sat 80 am finding it difficult. Which of the various programs you mention would be the easiest to learn for laser cutting the flat frames

Hi Les,

Use either Inkscape, Fusion360, or Adobe Illustrator. We have tutorials to help get you started with designing for laser cutting as well!

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the advice, had a look at Fusion 360 and some of the You Tube videos and I think with a bit of work I could get to use it. Not to the programs potential but mine. Are your tutorials on laser cutting paper or video?

Best regards, Les

Hi Les,

Our tutorials for laser Cutting are online in the Laser cutting tutorial section.

I’m printing from Inkscape to the Trotec laser cutter for the first time. I am obviously missing a step because it’s not cutting - even though the lines are set at 0.01mm. I have googled a bit and there seems to be conflicting information about the width the lines need to be. Is there something else I need to adjust on JobControl. Thanks


Hey @Cherie61089 - welcome to the forums. A good checksum before trying to print any job is:

  • Line width: I use 0.001mm out of habit but I’m sure 0.01mm is fine.
  • No Fill. Not strictly necessary but can help remove unnecessary errors
  • Colour space: RGB (not CMYK)
  • Line colour: usually pure red: FF0000
  • Opacity: all opacities should be 100%. If there is transparency anywhere in the file it will not cut. From memory I think it presents as an empty job to Trotec JobControl.

Do you have some screenshots showing your settings that you can attach?


@Michael Still no luck. I’ve only been able to cut one rectangle. There must be an error in there somewhere.

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@Cherie61089 have you been able to do a split-test to isolate where the problem might be?
What I mean is, have you tried to:

  • Cut a rectangle by itself (:white_check_mark: Done )
  • Engrave some text by itself ( To Do )
  • Cut a rectangle and engrave some text together ( To Do )

It might be worth creating a new file for the engrave test, so you don’t contaminate a working file.
If you have a working file, you can always copy and rename it to begin a new job. Then you can be sure you’re starting off with settings that worked (last time, at least :sweat_smile:)


Check the material profiles - i can see your print dialogue is specifying trolase, and Job Control is set to Wood|Plywood. Is something going on there?


Within Job Control, you can preview the job by clicking the eyeball icon or pressing Ctrl+I. If cut lines image looks pixellated it probably wont cut. If the cut lines display as clean paths then the file will cut.

If you’re at your wit’s end you can upload your .svg and we can take a look. Of course things are a bit trickier when we don’t have the same laser set up but we’ll see what we can learn.


Looks like you’ve replied by email with your signature turned on. You might want to edit your post on the forum.

The circle file cuts fine as supplied on our Trotec laser (using Adobe Illustrator as the software to begin the print process from).

The other artwork has what we would call/refer to internally as “CMYK or raster contamination”. Likely something in the design file at some-stage was CMYK and has been profile changed to RGB and/or gone through rasterisation instead of vector conversion. We find (might not be the case for everyone) that if CMYK or raster contamination exists inside the metadata of the SVG, then it won’t work from that point onward (a pain - but easy to work around / avoid by sticking with RGB and vector-based workflows).

There are ways to handle raster images - though we don’t experiment with them.

If all of this is sounding a little confusing, it might be best to get in touch with Trotec as they can provide training as a paid service (normally done during installation).

I hope that helps in some way.

I’ve made an edit for Cherie just in case she missed this for a while :slight_smile: