In this article, we will explain how to configure a laser cutting machine in Boostfab so that Boostfab can generate accurate quotations for laser cutting or engraving projects.
First, sign in to Boostfab. If you don’t have an account, sign up here. Once you have signed in, go to the Machines page. Before creating the machine itself, we need to add the materials available in our inventory (MDF, Aluminum, etc.) for the machine.
1. Set up your available materials
To add materials, navigate to the Materials tab and click on “Add material”
- Select “Panel for laser cutting“.
- Provide a descriptive name for the material (it will be visible to your customers).
- You also need to specify the Price per m2, which is the amount you will charge your customers based on the amount of material used in their projects.
- The last field to fill is the weight of your panel per m2. This value helps Boostfab calculate the weight of your customer’s project, which is crucial for determining shipping costs.
2. Set up the actions that your machine can perform
Next, let’s define the actions our machine will perform from the “Actions” tab. A laser cutting machine typically performs two operations: cutting and engraving. So, let’s define these actions. Click on “Add action“.
A form will appear, and you will need to provide a descriptive name for your action. Let’s start with the “Cut” action. Under “The action applies to…”, choose “Outline” because cutting is typically performed along the outline of a shape.
Now, let’s define the engraving action. Here, we have two options: engraving the outline of the shape or engraving the fill of the shape. We will need to define one action for each.
Note that if the action applies to the fill, you will need to specify the line spacing, which is the gap that your machine leaves between two lines when engraving.
If you want to allow your customers to choose from different line spacings to offer various levels of finishing (diferentes niveles de acabado), you can create one action for each line interval that you support.
Let’s jump to the last step, when we will finally create our machine and define the pricing.
3. Create your machine
Now that we have our materials and actions, let’s go back to the Machine tab and click on “Add machine” and select “Laser cutter”.
Next, fill out the form:
- Provide a descriptive name for your machine.
- The working area is the maximum dimension of the panels that your machine can work on. If your customer uploads a project that exceeds these dimensions, they will receive an error message stating (please, complete with the right words).
- Select the actions that your machine can perform.
- Specify the base price. The base price is the amount of money that will be charged to the customer regardless of the nature of the job. For example, for the startup of the machine.
Now, things get interesting. In the following table, you will be able to specify the pricing depending on the centimeters of cutting or engraving for each material.
In the example below, for instance, we state that cutting a centimeter of MDF will cost 0.05 cents. Engraving, as you can expect, has a cheaper cost: 0.01 cents per centimeter.
If you leave a field empty, then the machine will not be able to perform that operation. In our case, the machine is able to engrave aluminum but not cut it.
That’s it! Now you can start creating quotations. I recommend that you read this article to learn how to create your first quotation and how to integrate a quotation page into your website. If you need any assistance, contact us.