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How to Set Up a Laser Die Cutting Machine Digital Design File
By Owen  2018-04-15
laser die cutter, laser die cutting machine,

Sick of the normal rectangular and rectangles? Need to print a custom shape? Laser die cutter is the ideal solution for designing out of the box.

Laser die cutter will deliver your printed piece a unique look. That is a excellent manner to make your printing stand out. From stunning invitation printing to creative business cards, you will be more likely to market your next event or business.


Laser Die Cutter Terms to Become Aware

Before designing, below are key terms to be known that explain some of the capabilities of laser die cutter.

Dieline:  Line that will be cut through the sheet – this would include the unique outer edge shape or a cutout within the piece.

Kiss-Cut: Line partially cut through the sheet so that peel-off stickers stay on their backing.

Perf (Perforation): A line of tiny holes are poked in the paper that allows for tear off. An example would be coupons that you tear off of a sheet.

Etch – A line or outline of an area where the ink will be removed from the surface and the laser cutter will partially cut into the paper to create a depression.

Crease – A line where the piece will be scored for folding. Please note that crease lines are not recommended over printed areas because they will remove the ink.

laser die cutting machine setting up file.jpg


Adobe Illustrator Setup

It takes just a few steps in Adobe Illustrator to set up a file for laser die cutter:

1.Create a new layer for the laser die cutter in your design. A descriptive name like “Laser die Cutter” is helpful.

2.Once this layer is in place, select the lines that represent where the laser die cutter will be. These lines should be a set color, so create a new color swatch. Go to Window > Color > Swatches. The Swatch Palette will appear.

3.Select New Swatch.

4.Change the Swatch Name to match the desired line type. For laser die cutter, it could be “Dieline” or “Die Cutting Line” and for kiss cutting it could be “Kiss Cut”.

5.Define the outline of any shapes that will be cut out or etched with a .25 pt. stroke weight. All lines, including perforation, should be solid not dashed.

6.Use the Color Type drop-down menu to select Spot.

7.Make sure the color mode is “RGB” and adjust the values to match the desired line type. For laser die cutter, it would be a blue line with the values R:0 G:153 B:221. For a kiss cut, it would be a green line with the values R:94 G:160 B:59.

8.Repeat steps 1-7 for any other types of lines in your file (dieline, kiss-cut, perforation, etch, etc.). The other line types and their color values can be seen here, and can also be found on our laser die cutter file setup pages for Adobe Illustrator.

9.Make sure to leave at least 2 mm between lines and remember to create a design with enough connecting/holding points that it will remain intact when the cut pieces are removed. You may include clipping masks in your printed artwork, but make sure the laser die cutter lines do not include clipping masks.

10.Once your artwork is complete, save as a PDF. Go to Output > Profile Inclusion Policy and select “Don’t Include Profiles.” Then click “Save PDF.”

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