What are CO2 laser cutters and what do they do?
Laser cutting is a subtractive fabrication method in which a laser beam heats up the surface of a material until it generates a clean-cut or leaves a mark (engraving) on the surface. It’s able to cut and engrave different materials including metals, wood, MDF, acrylic, paper, or cardboard, among others.
Laser cutters come in many different sizes from small tabletop size all the way up to industrial size machines.
Laser cutters have many applications for designers, makers, and hobbyists. You can work with different file formats, like DXF, DWG (AutoCAD), AI (Adobe Illustrator), CDR (Corel Draw), or even images, like JPG or BMP.
A lot of templates and designs are available on the internet to be downloaded, some for free and others at a very low price. Templates are generic files that you can customise easily with many software tools, and designs are made with accurate measurements, ready to be cut as-is.
All you need to create art is a software supported by the laser cutter and you are good to go.
Here is a list of the Top 5 websites to get designs you can laser cut and sell.
As they claim on their website, Vecteezy is a vector graphics community where designers and artists from all over the world publish and share thousands of files. Some are very simple designs while others are pretty intricate, but all of them are usable and optimised for laser cutting.
3axis.co is probably the largest vector repository where you can download free designs for laser cutting in many formats, like DXF, DWG, CDR, or BMP. It has over 16,000 files available, and new content is added frequently. Previews are also available, showing you what the design is likely to look like once fabricated.
3. Laser Ready Templates
Laser Ready Templates is an online shop with more than 3,500 templates and designs ready to be laser-cut and engraved. The content is updated every month, and in case you’re looking for a specific design, they accept custom design jobs, too.
Epilog Laser, a company founded in 1988, is a leader in high-quality laser cutting and engraving systems. In addition to that, they have a free resource section, the Sample Club, on their website with more than 170 designs ready to be downloaded in different file formats, like AI, CDR, PDF, and EPS.
Etsy is an e-commerce website where people can sell and buy creative items. It has lots of quality laser templates with more than 17,000 files available to be purchased. You can download them in multiple formats including DXF, DWG, or AI, and you can filter them by material and price, too.
Once you have downloaded or bought the files that you like then you can start selling your art and making extra cash.
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