Laser Project prices vary heavily based on a variety of factors. Generally operating the laser costs $75 an hour. Any manpower required to process or monitor the project also has a base rate of $75 per hour.
1. Artwork and Artwork Processing: The less developed the artwork the more expensive the initial processing will be. If you do not have any artwork or your artwork is only in printed form this will lead to significant processing time (aka manpower). Providing digital artwork is the best. If you have experience with laser systems and/or are a repeat customer then processing should be minimal.
2. Materials: Different materials require different laser settings. Cutting paper is obviously faster than cutting wood or acrylic. Round materials such as bottles are both machine and labor intensive because they use a special rotary attachment in the laser which is harder to configure then flat materials. Metal marking on some metals involves a spray coating which in turn means more time for spraying and drying before laser processing. Providing your own material will also provide savings. We stock a variety of popular materials but we are not a lumber yard!
3. Cutting vs. Engraving: In most cases cutting material is faster than engraving materials. This is simply a result of how the laser works. For example: Cutting medium sized model airplane parts out of a 24″x18″ piece of wood could take 10 minutes but Engraving a 24″x18″ mural into the same wood may take up to 90 minutes.
4. Quantity: It’s expensive to be one of a kind! Generally there are substantial savings to be had with creating multiple versions of the same item, through a combination of material and labor savings. Small items can be mass duplicated and processed in the laser all at once providing significant savings. Multiple large items will provide some savings by cutting down on setup and prep times.
For those people wanting to process their own laser work the flat rate is $75 per hour ($40 minimum). This includes the operation of the laser and use of our graphics workstation. You must provide all materials and are expected to clean up when complete. You will need to schedule time before hand and depending on the quantity/type of material you may be required to process after 5pm. For instance a high volume of small acrylic parts is generally an after-hours project.
Prerequisite: Before you are allowed to operate the laser unguided you will be required to either; provide references from other open laser shops OR demonstrate competent knowledge of laser operation OR go through a 2 hour laser initiation class ($90)
Some people want real pricing. It’s hard to give solid numbers because of the variables but here are some examples. These are estimates of ONLY time spent on laser. This assumes artwork is 95%+ ready to go. It also assumes just one item is being made.
Standard Easy to Use Materials such as Wood, Acrylic, Papers, Mirror, Tiles:
11″x9″ Light engraving – 35-45 Minutes
11″x9″ Heavy engraving – 45-55 Minutes
17″x14″ Light engraving – 55-65 Minutes
17″X14″ Heavy engraving – 65-85 Minutes
24″x18″ Light Engraving – 75-105 Minutes
24″x18″ Heavy Engraving – 105-145 Minutes
Laptops – 45-125 Minutes
Music Players – 25-55 Minutes
Bottle Large – 45-65 Minutes
Bottle Small – 35-55 Minutes