Starting a profitable laser engraving business takes more than just buying a good laser engraver – you also need to get good designs to engrave on your preferred material. And you can’t just use any image format. For the best results, you may want to use vector files for all your laser engraving and laser cutting projects.
What the heck are vector files?
To put it simply, a vector file is a graphic file that is crammed with a bunch of vector images. These are usually scaleable images. Vector files are often used interchangebly with raster and bitmapped images but they are not the same.
Think of vector files as an upgraded alternative to raster and bitmap. Raster images, for instance, are pixelated. Do you know the odds of moderating or editing images with pixels? It turns blurry in the bat of an eyelid. Vector images, on the other hand, are a brilliant alternative. Kiss goodbye to dim and blurry images.
Vector images are pretty easy to scale or manipulate. Creating the vector files from scratch requires a deep knowledge of gra[phic design software like Adobe illustrator but the good news is you don’t have to create anything from scratch – you can just download ready-to-use templates and then customize them to meet your needs. And there are lots of websites that offer these templates for download.
Websites that offer the best laser engraving vector files
Whether you are looking for simple and easy images, or creative new images with intricate details, the list below will help you with your search. Here are a couple of websites that will give you access to some amazing vector templates for your laser engraving projects
- Vecteezy (Free+ Paid)
Vecteezy is a pretty popular website that attracts contributors from all over the world. As such, they have a huge assortment of vector files that are ready for use. And don’t worry about the cost implications – most of the files are free for use. But there is a caveat for the templates you download on this site – you can only use them for personal projects. Like, say, making custom jewelry for your loved one. However, if you are looking to use the files for commercial purposes, you will be required to get a pro-license. Pro membership plans start at $9.00 per month billed annually.
- Laser Ready Templates (Paid)
Okay, so the website name spills the beans. It is practically an online shop that is brimming with over 3,000 designs and templates to choose from. With all these options, you will feel like a kid in a candy store. Each file uploaded on the site is tested and so all the designs are ready to be used for laser engraving projects.
You can download the templates in various formats including CDR, SVG, PDF, or AI. Here’s the cherry on the cake – the website guarantees that the files you download will work seamlessly with any of the laser engraving machines.
You are also handed out a license along-with the templates. Go ahead and use it for your business and commercial purposes without any trouble at all.
Wondering about the prices and packages? Well, don’t worry since you are not shelling out hundreds of dollars. Prices start at $1. Could that be any cheaper?
- Etsy (Paid)
Speaking of favorites, there is no way Etsy is missing a spot on the list. This e-commerce website is crammed with multiple laser templates, all of which are high quality and incredible.
Downloading the images is easy. Just pick a template that appeals to you and download it in a DXF, AI, or DWG format. The options can be overwhelming. So, narrow your choices by using filters like price.
You will have to spend a little when you are buying a template from Etsy. But you will get some professionally done designs that will set your project aside.
- The Hungry JPEG (Paid+ Free)
If you are hungry for some awesome designs, you might find the hungryJPEG quite satisfying. You will get lots of awesome premium templates that you can use to make almost any kind of laser engraving project. And the best part is it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Templates for as little as $1 and there are lots of freebies as well so you might actually get what you are looking for without spending anything.
- 3axis.co (Free)
The name is pretty interesting, right? Well, 3 Axis is possibly the best repository of free vector files. Not only can you get designs that won’t cost you a dime but the templates can be downloaded in any format. DXF, CDR, BMP, or DWG – choose whichever format that makes your work a cakewalk.
3axis has over 16,000 files up for grabs and new ones are added frequently. It has a preview feature that allows you to see the template before downloading it which will save you lots of time when searching for the perfect vector files for your project.
This would be the best website for getting vector images for anyone that is just getting started in laser engraving. This way, you can experiment with as many designs as you wish without burning a hole in your wallet.
Speaking of free templates, Epilog Laser is right on the list.
Even though it is known for its USA-Made laser engravers, the website also has an exclusive section, called the ‘Sample Club.’ There are as many as 170 designs available for download.
These templates and can be downloaded in multiple formats like AI, PDF, CDR, and EPS. The vector files are truly optimized and can be used to engrave in a variety of materials. Acrylic, wood, MDF, and glass for instance.
if you own an Epilog laser, this would be the ideal website to visit for vector files because they are specially made for their own machines.
How to detect if an image is a vector file?
If you do a simple google search, you will get lots of results with each website on the SERP claiming to be the best repository of high-quality vector templates. So how can you separate fact from fiction? How can you tell if an image is a good vector file or not? It’s actually pretty easy to find out.
Just download the image and zoom it as far as you can. If it starts cracking up and turns blurry, it is definitely not a vector image. On the contrary, if it remains clean and crisp, it is undoubtedly a vector file.
Also, remember that formats like JPG, BMP, and PSD are not vector file formats.