Stencils are used everywhere where, but to produce them to perfection you need to pay attention to artwork you make. This guide will show how to make stencil artwork for laser cutting. Stencils can be cut with CO2 laser, fiber laser, CNC and blade vinyl plotters. regardless of what machine is used to cut them the all get cut and unlike a printer all cutters cut through material fully so all unsupported parts will fall off.
So lets say we want to spray paint this image below.
If you print out our image it will look perfect on paper, font is good size is good BUT if you send this art for laser cutting as stencil this art is not good and you will NOT get what you expected to be on paper. This font has letters B, oo, e,o that have inner elements. When laser cutting machine cuts out black area you get sign style letters that you can stick to something and you are OK but stencil needs negative space and as result all inner elements will get lost. Here is what happens when art is cut as stencil.
As inner elements of stencil were not supported by bridges ir tabs they got separated from main stencil body and when you spray that art you get big black holes in certain letters.
To avoid this, bridges or tabs need to be added to stencil artwork. This can be dome by cutting letters with eraser tool. So basically walls of the letters are separated and this allows main body your material to hold inner components. Example of properly setup stencil artwork will look like one blow
Same technique is used to make actual artwork with more complex thing then just plain text signs.
Another thing is to keep in mind about stencils is wall thickness of your bridges. If walls are too small then there us chance that bridge will burn out when lasered and inner part will be lost. Best to keep bridge walls to be at least same at material thickens though in many cases it can be smaller. For example if we would cut artwork above from 1/8″ (3mm) acrylic min wall thickness should be 3mm , bigger the wall more reliable it is. However if our stencil is very small day 6″ wide we can stil push bridges down to 1mm this will make stencil more fragile but its still usable. If we go less 1mm on acrylic parts will just brake.
Hot roll A38 steel fiber laser cut metal sign done for NYC restaurant to be used as fence for open streets barrier. Sign cut from 1/8″ 11GA panel, venue had 5 signs surroundings area to add extra branding. This metal sign will stay outdoor and overtime it will rust and will look like Barclays center paneling style
Spot welding is nothing new and not exiting, it been around for ages and does it job, but when it comes to a laser worlds, doing spot laser welding becomes fun and easy. Unlike electric art spot, laser does not require electrodes to be on sides to penetrate through material. Hand held fiber laser gun easily allows to move around and weld any location very fast. More to say big dark welding helmet not needed so operator can actually see whats being welded (well of course laser glasses are needed for safety) Picture above shows very quick laser spot weld sample form 22ga cold roll steel. Sample plates got laser cut then we used hydraulic bender and finally spot welded assembly.
Laser is best to cut thin material such as paper for decorative purposes. There different types of lasers have different advantages, for example cold laser will cut paper without any burning at all and with very very small kerf. CO2 laser 10.6nm will have some burning but can cut fast. Floral decoration on photo above was cut with custom build galvo machine and as result cutting time was reduced form 17 minutes down to 37 seconds. This cutting speed improvement allows to make massive decoration assets
LaserCutZ spacial fiber laser machine is capable of cutting any tube or profile shapes. Conventional miter saw can only do streight cut and its very limited while laser has unlimited possibility in cutting tubes. Drilling holes in exact location is very easy with tube laser cutter, more over any type of shapes can but form in both square and round tubes. With tube cutter architectural, art, automotive structural and mechanical projects are made much much easier
Metal business cards always look nice and memorable, those 2 cards are done as a gift and more like a name plate rattehr then a business card, they fiber laser cut form thick #4 brushed stainless steel, then manually polished edges for extra safety to make sure there are no sharp corners and finally MOPA laser engraved with holographic effect, when you move card around text shines and changes colors.
Kindergarten sneeze guard manufactured from Brooklyn local school. Interlocking acrylic partitions divide common desk into individual section making study environment more safe for kids. Despite acrylic is cheper material to fabricate LaserCutZ recommends using polycarbonate dividers as they don’t chip or brake.
Cerakote is very often used for coating weapons but we decided to do a sample on structural stainless steel beam that we laser cut on our tube cutting machine. Crekote can provide environment friendly, high temperature resistant coatings, in most cases its a spary based alternative to a powder coating.
Art wok was cut from large 4×8 peace of felt in multiple color and multiple layers, once laser cut each peace will be sewed to main body forming large marketing sign or flag. Laser is non contact cutting technology which allows perfect cuts in most fabrics and materials such as felt. As laser does not touch felt, artwork cut outs are perfect and undisturbed. LaserCutZ can cut felt patterns of any complexity weather its a fashion show or a marketing project, we can do it!