Custom Laser Cutting

We offer custom cutting services and production cutting services. Please read through this page before contacting us for cutting services. This page describes additional Terms and Conditions that apply to custom laser cutting work.


Our laser cutter is an Epilog Legend 36EXT made in the USA. It has a 24" high x 36" wide cutting bed and a 75W CO2 laser. We can cut or etch many materials - please email with specific requirements. Sorry, we cannot cut carbon fiber.


Our stock is as follows (all dimensions in inches):

Balsa: 4x36
1/32, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4

Basswood: 4x24
1/32, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4

Birch 3-Ply plywood: 12x24 sheets (12x36 sheets are available on special order)
1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/8  - Note that the 3-ply 1/8" birch plywood is scarce. We may have to substitute 5-ply wood.

Liteply (poplar plywood): 12x24 sheets (12x36 sheets are available on special order)

Note: plywood is produced in Europe and is made to metric dimensions. If you need close tolerances please send a test cut first. You will be charged for the test cut, but that is better than designing a complete structure only to find out you have to change dimensions of slots/tabs/notches. Wood dimensions also can vary quite a bit from batch to batch and sometimes from sheet to sheet. Variation of 0.010" thickness is not unusual.

Unless otherwise noted, all our plywood is 3-ply. 5-ply may be available by special order and at extra cost - contact us by email for more information.

Actual plywood thicknesses are as follows:
  • 1/64" nominal ply is 0.4mm
  • 1/32" nominal ply is 0.8mm
  • 1/16" nominal ply is 1.5mm
  • 3/32" nominal ply is 2.0mm (note: available in 5-ply only)
  • 1/8" nominal ply is 3.0mm
What Does Laser Cutting Cost?

We can provide cost estimates for your jobs. Cost for laser-cutting your file is made up of four components.

(1) A setup fee for each new cut file.

(2) Laser cutting time.

(3) Materials.

(4) Shipping.


The process goes as follows:
1. You send cut files and we review them for compatibility with our system. We notify you if changes are required. We provide you with an estimate of the cost.
2. Upon your approval of the cost estimate, we cut the files.
3. We calculate the cost plus shipping and send you an invoice via PayPal.
4. When we receive payment for the invoice, we ship your parts.

There are no refunds for custom work. If we make a mistake we will fix it at no charge to you.


We accept DXF, DWG, CDR, and TCW vector drawing files. No other file types are acceptable. We do not convert non-CAD plans to cut files. Currently we do not have anyone we can recommend for this kind of job. If you find a good CAD designer we would be happy to refer others to them.

We work in inches. If you send a file in metric dimensions, we will scale it by 0.03937

Splines, beziers, and other complex curves sometimes are not translated well and should be avoided. Also, using groups or blocks in your CAD drawings can confuse the laser. If you have any question about compatibility send us a sample and we'll see how well it converts.

Eliminate double or duplicate lines - they cause the laser to cut the line twice, which increases the cutting time, results in a wider kerf, and may cause a burn-out which ruins the sheet of wood.

Always use 'connector' or 'break' tags to hold the pieces in the sheet. These tags should be at least 0.05" wide for plywood, larger for balsa. Most parts should have at least two connector or break tags. If you have very small lightening holes (1/8" diameter or less) or other small pieces you don't need, you can let the pieces fall out.

We charge an extra $2 per sheet for loose parts. If the loose parts are small, they may be pulled up and discharged into the trash by our 300CFM exhaust fan, and will not be recovered.

Leave a margin of at least 0.12" around the edges of each sheet of material. Balsa is notorious for shrinking and some of our balsa sheets are not a full 4" wide. Plywood sheets typically are somewhat smaller than the nominal dimensions.

Wood is susceptible to burning when too much heat is applied to a small area. This can happen with double lines or when two lines are too close together. To minimize burns, leave a space of at least 1/16" between lines. If two lines converge to a point at an acute angle, reduce the length of one of the lines so that it doesn't meet the other line, or run one of the lines well past the intersection. Remove all duplicate lines. Another problem area is small holes; for example, a hole of 1/16" diameter in 1/4" thick balsa is almost guaranteed to burn out.

Our software does not nest your parts and it does not optimize the cut file for the shortest possible cut time. All parts must be nested or arranged on appropriate size wood sheets. 

You can minimize the laser time by doing three things. First, remove all duplicate lines from your drawings. Second, convert lines to polylines (sometimes referred to as connected line or continuous line). Third, use engraving only where absolutely necessary.

The width of the laser beam is approximately 0.005". However, the beam does widen in thicker material, or when higher power is needed to cut dense wood. If you need very close tolerances then you must account for that in your drawings. Please be aware that wood thickness varies by up to .010”. We make no guarantee of parts fit. Due to the variations in actual kerf width and material thickness, most designers do not attempt to offset cut lines to account for the kerf width.

IMPORTANT: All lines to be cut or etched must be 0.0" in CAD or "hairline" in Corel Draw. All text must be in vector fonts or Autocad compiled shape files (*.shx). For Corel Draw files, all text must be converted to curves.

Using Layers

Each object or line must be assigned to one of the three following layers. Object properties must be set to "by layer". 

All lines to be cut must be on a single layer. This layer should be black (RGB 0,0,0) or red (RGB 255,0,0), width 0.0" or hairline.

Items to be etched must be on a separate layer. This layer should be green (RGB 0,255,0), width 0.0" or hairline.

Anything that is not to be cut or etched (sheet outlines, marginal information, etc.) must be on a separate layer. This layer should be blue (RGB 0,0,255).


By transmitting drawing files to MLW, you give MLW permission to create laser cutting files from information contained in your original drawings. The laser cutting files that we create are our proprietary information and will not be released outside our company.

You must retain copies of your original drawing files. We are not responsible for the loss of drawings that you send to us. Upon termination of our business relationship with you, we will destroy all copies of your original drawing files in our possession.

We do not audit your files for errors or omissions.


If you are interested in quantity production costs, please email us for further information.