We maintain a stock of basic materials we've learnt it's pointless to stock all variants of everything, so we utilise a network of companies who typically supply our needs within 24 hours of ordering (when ordered before noon).
Materials we keep in regular stock are plywoods, MDFs and regular Perspex types. We also keep in a variety of paper and card stocks as well as stencilling materials such as oiled card, acetates and Rowmark Lucent (for sturdier stencils).
Materials such leather and fabrics tend to be very client and job specific, so along with anything else we think will work in the laser, you're more than welcome to provide and send along your own stuff this includes pre-made items which you may wish to have branded or marked in some way.
Clean cuts, can be masked if not finishing (eg. sanding or painting) afterwards. Typically a 0.15mm kerf.
Plys and woods can be beautifully surface-etched, with a particular benefit for graphic-based designs, but are also great with burnt-looking aesthetics, pushing things beyond normal parameters.
Non plyed woods can be multi-passed to achieve greater depths and masked to mitigate peripheral marking doing this on plywoods will reveal the internal structures, which isn't always desirable.
Can be stained in a variety of shades to imply more expensive types of wood, or colours, for greater impact.
Birch-faced BB+ Grade in 0.8, 1.5, 3, 4 & 6mm thicknesses.
Cuts very cleanly. Can be slowed down to increase side 'polish'. Typically a 0.1 0.2mm kerf, depending upon thickness.
Text and graphics can be surface-marked well better to avoid large swathes of etched area. Deep etching is best reserved for thinner details.
Clear acrylic can be spray-painted on one side to better match branded colours.
Typically: Perspex Brand. We keep a basic stock in and order-in on a job by job basis so quality is always best.
Colours come in 3 & 5mm thicknesses. Black and White are additionally available in 2mm thicknesses. Clear is available in 1 6mm thickness.
Cuts very cleanly. Typically a 0.1 0.15mm kerf, depending upon thickness.
Text and graphics can be surface-marked well. Can be multi-passed to achieve greater depths and masked to mitigate peripheral marking
Can be stained, painted, primed and... well, MDF is a great work horse!
Typically: 2, 3, 4 & 6mm thicknesses
Tends to cut very cleanly, with high resolution possible. Typically a 0.1 0.15mm kerf, depending upon thickness.
Can be lightly etched to provide a patterned texture. Going strong will typically result in an ochre colouration. Contrast otherwise is highly dependent upon the type of stock.
We are happy to receive your paper stock or order-in for you
Typically: We typically stock a variety of Daler Rowney coloured card at 300gsm as well as a range of white and tracing stocks from GF Smith.
Leather can be a tricky one and is best discussed in advance. We are happy to advise beforehand and run tests to check before committing. That said, where it can work, it works BEAUTIFULLY on the laser.
Thinner leathers cut better than thicker, with (for example) hide leather charring quite a lot. For thick leathers we instead recommend cutting guides which are then finished off by hand, with a blade.
Conversely to the above, thicker leathers etch better than very thin leathers, such as nappa, as the heat can bunch the material, ruining the end-result.
We CANNOT and DO NOT cut vinyl-based materials.
These days however, there is an increasingly-large range of PA/PU synthetic leathers. Lighter versions of these will often cut and etch with a yellow periphery. Darker shades or colours tend not to. However, there are NO absolutes in this field, as there are so many different 'recipes', so we're happy to run swatch tests for you.
We keep a small random selection of leather this tends to be a sort of material subject to very specific client requirements, so we prefer to receive this or order-in rather than maintaining a stock.
As with leather, above, fabric either works brilliantly or not-so-great at all, and a quick call and/or a test is often advisable.
We CANNOT and DO NOT cut vinyl-based materials, such as PVC.
As a rule of thumb synthetics cut neater and often self-seal. Natural fabrics cut with a slight ochre/yellow edge - the extent of colouration depends upon thickness and the shade of the fabric being cut. eg. thick white linen will highlight it much more than thin red wool. Silks & organzas can be fiddly to work with, but cut neatly.
Etching of fabrics is a rare-use scenario, but tends to work better on natural compositions rather than synthetic.
Given the vast range and very specific client needs, we don't stock fabrics. That said, we do tend to keep felt in.
We work with a number of clients, providing them stencils for one-off and multiple-use jobs. We do most stencils in Oiled Manila Stencil card as it provides a good balance of rigidity, tolerance, cutting quality, re-use and economy.
Other materials we cut stencils in include acetate and 'Lucent', as well as plywood for reverse or 'clean graffiti'.
Most stencils fit inside an ~A1-sized sort of dimension, however we've a lot of experience at deconstructing designs and spreading them over multiple sheets. The largest design we've made stencils for measured over 5m width and 3m height!
We can also make multi-layered stencils for use with multiple colours, using registration marks for alignment.
Oiled Manila Stencil Card etches surprisingly well, although this is mostly useless where stencilling is concerned, beyond making small usage or alignment notes in the corner.
We always try and maintain a stock of oiled stencil card, thick-ish acetate and plywood for pressure-hose stencils. We order-in Lucent where needed.
Anodised & Dyed aluminium and painted metals can have their topmost layer gently lasered off to reveal the underlying metal beneath.
We stock standard grey stamping rubber for making customised rubber stamps, with a high definition of detail available.
We can mark/modify a variety of client-supplied pieces. Examples include wooden record boxes, thermal mugs and flasks, cigar boxes, small leather items such as wallets, etc.
We do NOT do expensive items, and will ask about the value of a piece before pricing a job. To be be blunt the price we charge often isn't worth the risk on an expensive item, so we don't mark laptops or add initials onto expensive luggage. Sorry there are companies devoted to that sort of thing anyway!
Atypical materials we've worked with include the following Please enquire directly if you're interested in these, as they tend to come with provisos and gotchas!
Teflon (PTFE) Sheet
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
Granite Slate Formica Glass Fruit (peelable)
If you don't see what you're wanting on this page please enquire and we'll give you a swift answer.
Try things that we might not have tried before, as long as we don't think they'll destroy the machine or kill us.
Cut metal or work with vinyl-based materials such as PVC or leatherette.
Mark or etch into high-value items like laptops or very expensive Louis Vuitton luggage... .
Send enquiries, along with files and any material & quantity specifications to: email@example.com.
Filetypes for completed designs:
Laser-cut: Adobe Illustrator, EPS, Vector PDF, CAD*.
Laser-etch: High res bitmaps including PSD, BMP, JPG, TIFF etc.
Laser cutting & Etching is best done with Adobe Illustrator/EPS or CAD.
Click here to download a template for Adobe illustrator.
For outline sketches etc:
JPG or a camera phone pic will suffice.
* Please save DWG files (etc) in a legacy 2004 format, bound by a 900x600mm rectangle.
We do not cut metal.
New River Studios,
199e Eade Road,
Visits by appointment only.
We're based in Haringey, North London just a nip away from Islington, Hackney, Central.
Nearest Tube is Manor House, on the Piccadilly Line. Nearby bus routes: 253, 254, 257, 259