You need to apply the following guidelines to get your drawing file ready for laser cutting at Snijlab. Are you new to laser cutting or digital design? Our tutorial page can provide you with all the information you need to get started.

General layout

  • Scale: Draw in millimeters, scale 1:1;
  • Clean: Provide clean drawings: delete all objects and lines which are not cutting or engraving lines;
  • No fills: Disable all fills and hatches;
  • Explode texts: make outlines (strokes) of typed texts in order for them to be recognized by the laser cutter. Use command 'explode' in CAD programs and command 'create outlines' in Illustrator);
  • Closed lines: Make sure that the outlines of a object are closed/joined;
  • Sheet size: The maxium sheet size is 1200 x 600 mm, please note that some materials have a smaller maximum sheet size;
  • Multiple files: Create a separate drawing file for each material type and/or thickness.
  • Nesting: Combine multiple objects of the same material and thickness on one sheet in an efficient way. Please read more about nesting below.

Colors and layer names

You need to indicate which parts of your drawing will have to be cut and which will have to be engraved. You can do so by setting the right color or layer name depending on the drawing software you use:

- In .dxf files (CAD programs) the given layer names are leading, colors are optional;
- In .ai and .pdf files (e.g. Illustrator) the given colors are leading, layer names are optional;

After uploading your files you will see a preview of your drawing. The colors in the preview indicate which operations were recognized by our software. In case your drawing was not made according to our guidelines these colors and thus the operations can be different than you intended. Therefore it is very important to check the colors in the preview.


color (.ai en .pdf)

layer name (.dxf)Permitted geometry
Cutting blue   (RGB 0,0,255) cutting lines, polylines,curves, splines
Line engraving red    (RGB 255,0,0) line engraving lines, polylines,curves, splines
Area engraving magenta    (RGB 255,0,255) area engraving closed lines, polylines,curves, splines
None grey    (RGB 128,128,128) ignore lines, polylines,curves, splines

Unrecognized colors or layer names are automatically regarded as cutting lines. Therefore they will appear as blue lines in the preview.

File types

We support various file types. Do you have another file type? As long as it's a vector-based file you should be able to open it with one of the listed programs en save it as one the three accepted file types. If it's a bitmap (pixel-based file) you will need to vectorise it first.

.DXF Version 2004 or older Ascii (no binary). voorbeeld.dxf
Rhinoceros tutorial
.AI .AI Version CC or older
“pdf compatibility” must be turned on
Save every art board separately
Illustrator tutorial
.PDF Only vector-pdf’s (for example from illustrator), no bitmaps (pixel-based files) template.pdf
Inkscape tutorial
inkscape example

Superimposed lines

Superimposed lines in your drawing will adversely affect the quality of your workpiece.  Since price calculation of laser cutting is based on the length of the lines it will also lead to a higher price. Therefore we strongly urge you to check your drawing well and delete any superimposed lines.