‘What does laser cutting and engraving cost?’ This is a question that lots of customers ask, but it’s a lot like asking ‘How long is a piece of string?’
Each piece of work is different. Commissions are produced from different materials of different thicknesses in different quantities, so there are lots of variables. Here are the main ones to consider to make sure the right product is created for customers at the right price and the right quality.
Artwork set up fee
My standard artwork set up fee is £30, but this can be more if the artwork if complex and significant in volume. It’s a one off unless the artwork changes and it covers 2 to 3 iterations incase the it’s not right first time.
Production time for laser cutting and engraving costs £1 per minute. A job that takes 30 minutes will cost £30 + materials + artwork set up. If it takes a hour, production time would be £60.
For larger jobs, there can be a discount depending on the intensity and complexity of the job.
Small production runs are more time consuming and therefore less economical than longer runs, especially if lots of fine tuning is needed to get the results right. Customers rightly expect that a run of 10 small pieces is going to cost much more than a run of 100+. It’s always worth making prototypes before ordering a larger quantity to make sure you’re happy with your product.
Price of materials
Different materials cost different amounts.
Mdf is a bit cheaper than laser ply at the same thickness. They’re some of the best value materials I work with and are much cheaper than perspex at the same thickness.
Bespoke pieces of wood for signs will depend on the wood required and the size required. Fabric, card, formica, mylar and other materials can all be sourced at different sheet sizes from different suppliers depending on the colour and quantity required. Some suppliers only sell large sheet sizes, while some will sell a restricted colour range depending on what their core customers require.
Of course, if a customer wants to provide their own materials, that’s absolutely fine. You can read more about when this in my recent blog Can I supply my own materials?