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Prices

Pricing is essentially down to "machine time" eg if it takes the machine one hour to do the job then the charge is for one hour of machine time.

For materials prices see the bottom of this page.

If we are asked to source and supply materials, that is of course in addition to machine time, if you supply your own materials, then it is just machine time.

Collection / delivery / shipping are of course excluded from machine time.

  • "Machine time" is charged at £50 per hour.
  • For jobs quicker than an hour Machine Time is £1 per minute.
  • Minimum £10 charge. All exc VAT

For the purposes of clarity, six off ten minute jobs does not count as one hour of machine time, loading / unloading and pick and place breaks the cycle.

Please note we do not offer credit, 30 day terms, or anything other than payment on collection / shipping.
For jobs that include us supplying materials then it is payment with order only.

We have managed to maintain prices at current levels for two years, we are currently looking into whether we can continue to do so, or if it is time for a small increase.

Please see the following blog post about why we will not be taking payment by plastic -
http://exeter-laser.co.uk/blog/2015/12/11/payments-and-money-the-truth-and-updates-for-2016/

The thing you need to be aware of with lasers, is that it is not just the case that the laser will do things no mechanical machining process can do, for example to cut a perfect square or star or indeed any perfect angle (because the vertical mill for example cannot cut any radius smaller than the diameter of the cutting tool itself) but that it will also do so many things so much faster, and cleaner and more efficiently than any mechanical process.

As time passes we will populate the gallery with test / example pieces and jobs, and for each one we will tell you how long it took, or, in the case of a video, simply watch it and see the time in the player bar for yourself.

So it is not just the case that a laser can do things in one hour that no other process can do at all, such as cutting perfect angles, but even if the laser is doing things that other processes can do, it does them so much faster, that there is simply no comparison.... indeed it has been for this reason that up until now those companies that do own a proper laser charge so much for their use, on a per item basis the cost seems reasonable, if you divide the total cost by the total number of items in the production run, it is when you divide the hour by how many of said items the laser can churn out in an hour that you start to see the true scale of the costs.

 

This is why at EL we bill in "machine time", we don't care if you want Laser Cutting, Laser Engraving, or both, we don't care what material or object you want us to work on, we don't care how long (or quick) it takes the machine to do one item, we charge for "machine time".

Materials Prices.

Our preferred / local acrylic stockist is Plastexe. You can order direct from them, for us to collect, if you prefer.

As of today's date, May 2017, the prices for Acrylic in £ per square metre (1,000 x 1,000 mm) are;

Update - there have been three separate 8% price rises so far in 2017, in total that represents a 26% increase and we can no longer eat that, so prices have been updated today 23rd May 2017.

Clear acrylic, (cast and extruded now very similar prices.)

Prices *do* fluctuate from week to week, acrylic is produced from the same raw materials as petrol, diesel, lube oils etc, so as these costs fluctuate so does acrylic.

2 mm - £18.70 M2
3 mm - £28.05 M2
4 mm - £37.37 M2
5 mm - £46.81 M2
6 mm - £56.11 M2
8 mm - £74.81 M2
10 mm - £93.62 M2

Coloured acrylic available only (unless special orders for an entire sheet are made) in 3 or 5 mm, 3 mm - £42.88 M2, and 5 mm - £71.44 M2

Perspex.co.uk has a nice acrylic colour selection page ---> here <--- please bear in mind that just because it is a genuine acrylic colour, Plastexe may not have that exact one in stock, and they have to order full sheets 3000 x 2000 mm, so minimum order of a special colour is going to be 3 meters square, and it will come with a bit of a surcharge as they have to stock the remainder and hope to sell it... so assume circa 150 quid MOQ.

Other things like thicker clear acrylic are special order, so for example 30 mm clear is quarter sheet MOQ and that starts around £350 exc

As a rough guide, nested properly, the 640 mm / 25 inch high Eiffel tower model is about a third of a square metre of 3 mm acrylic, so approximately £10 in materials.

As you can see from the prices, with the price of 4 mm being about twice the cost of 2 mm, and the cost of 8 mm being about twice the cost of 4 mm, you pretty much buy acrylic by volume or weight, price wise, hence us not going beyond 10 mm, because 20 mm is about twice as much as 10 mm and so on.

Lamflex tuffcoat & micro laminates.

Laminates are exactly what they sound like, two layers of material that are of different colours in each layer.

By varying the amount of power used in the laser you can precisely cut through the top layer, exposing the bottom layer, to create an incredibly tough, durable and elegant finish.

These sorts of laminates are absolutely ideal for things such as labeling for machine spaces or electrical cabinets, door labels, notification signs for things like exits and access points, the uses are endless.

As you can probably tell from the brand name of the laminate product itself, Lamflex, these laminates are 1.6 mm thick (other thicknesses are available such as 0.8 mm and 3.0/3.2 mm) and are quite flexible, so they easily conform to curved and radiused surfaces.

By increasing the laser power these laminates can also be cut precisely and accurately to any shape you desire, so by combining the engraving and cutting processes into one you can for example make a circular sign with a hole in the centre to indicate the various settings on a rotary switch, or you can use a stylized outline for a more "arty" approach to door signage etc.

Lamflex comes in several basic forms.

The top picture shows the Metallics and Tuffcoat types, which as the name suggests give a finished effect that simulated metal engraving, and extreme hard wearing properties, and the lower picture shows the Micro range, which comes in almost any colour combo you could require, and is ideal for everything that does not require a simulated metal finish. There are also of course gloss and matt finishes, textured finishes, wood grain finishes, etc.

Both pictures are links to full size versions of course.

The photos only show a small selection from the full Lamflex range.

We purchase our laminates from Engravamet so again as with the acrylic you are free to purchase and pay them direct and have them ship the product to us for engraving and cutting, or you can purchase from us, whichever is easier and more convenient for you.

Update for 2017 red text below

Standard sheet sizes are 1,245 x 616 mm and prices for the 1.6 mm thick sheets, depending on exact type etc, are in the ballpark £42 exc per sheet, plus £16 exc carriage (up to 10 sheets) by the time they come in the door here price range, so as a material when calculating your material costs it is basically not a hugely significant factor in your costing.

There *are* cheaper alternatives to Lamflex, in my own personal opinion they are cheaper because they are slightly inferior, so I personally will never specify or recommend them, however, if you as the customer do specify the cheaper alternatives we will use them.

For example if we take a ballpark £42 (exc) per sheet ex stockist at 124 x 61 cm per sheet we get 7,564 sq cm which works out about 0.5 (exc) pence per square cm, so a sign the size of a new phablet phone with a 5" screen would be approx 160 x 80 mm which equals 128 sq cm so around 71 (exc) pence in material costs ex stockist.

Due to the vast range of colours and finishes, eg metallic and wood grains and textured and gloss and matt, available in the Lamflex range, it simply is not practical for us to keep local stock of everything, nor is it practical for us to order an entire sheet just to make you one small business card sized sign, so if we supply the materials for you there will be a minimum £10 materials cost per order.

We can get stock in with a 72 hour lead time, but please be advised our terms are strictly cash with order for materials, unless you supply your own, or contact one of our preferred suppliers direct yourself and pay them for the materials and carriage to us.

Typically with engraved laminates the surface layer that is removed by the laser to create the two colour 3d engraving effect is 0.3 mm deep. This means it is not just a two dimensional printed effect, it is a genuine 3d effect where the top layer of a sandwich of different coloured materials is removed.
As you can probably tell, this means you can feel it as well as see it, and Engravamet also supply a laminate especially designed for braille signs.

Some laminates come with adhesive rear sides, but all laminates can be affixed with any trade quality contact adhesive.

Within the limitations of the laminate sheet size of 1,245 x 616 mm there is no limit to the size or complexity of the design that can be cut, or engraved, from the whole, and of course multiple objects can be cut and engraved from a single sheet in one pass, so for example you could get say 120 off 100 x 50 mm signs out of a single sheet, or 12 closer to A4 sized signs, or a whole series of different ones, such as the letters of the alphabet individually cut and engraved.