What are the first steps for designing a laser project?

The first step in designing anything is to define and understand your limitations. Size, for instance, could be specifically defined by the client, but if not, it could be defined by the capacity of your equipment or by limitations of material size. For instance, if your laser bed is 18″ X 24″, then any component of your design needs to be able to fit within that area. Likewise, you want to make sure that your components will fit your materials. 

As your design begins to develop, consider your options in terms of materials. Again, be specific. Either make matching color sample swatches on your page layout or add the colors to your Fill color palettes. If you are using a metallic material, try to create Fountain fills that match. If you are arbitrary or vague about color, then you may end up designing a beautiful piece that you can’t make happen with existing materials. 

Jim Sadler

Jim Sadler is a former university professor of computer graphics and a freelance designer. He is currently offering his services as a consultant within the industry. He brings together his expertise in design, computer graphics and industry-related technologies with his ability to communicate through teaching and technical assistance. Jim can be reached by e-mail at His web address is

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