Laser. CNC. Woodworking.

Proudly made in San francisco, California

 
 

About us

We are makers, made in San Francisco, CA

 

Lightsmith laser was founded by brothers Seth and David Newsome, longtime members of the Bay Area maker community. We grew up in a family of makers with a carpenter father and an avid sewing and gardening mother. Some of our favorite memories growing up were hand making projects with our parents.  Our father helped us realize the building of a full tree house high up in our backyard, and our mother maintained a bountiful garden of herbs, vegetables and fruit in that same backyard - and every year at Halloween she would work with us to sew 100% custom halloween costumes.

We took our making to a whole other level when we joined Techshop San Francisco, a once nationwide chain of makerspaces that sadly made some mistakes and is no more. But we won't let that stop us - we have some of our own tools and plan to rebuild our own workshop, combining the best of traditional craftsmanship with modern technology. In time we also hope to invite members of the public inside our shop to help out the maker community that has helped get us where we are today.

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Seth Newsome - CWo (Chief wood officer)

Seth likes wood, It's no secret, Whether working or playing, he can usually be found hanging around the woodshop carefully cutting out crafts, furniture, signs, and more. He has a special place in his heart for hand tools and traditional craftsmanship, but he's also very comfortable with modern digital design and machining.

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Dave Newsome - CFo (Chief Fabrication Officer)

Dave works stubbornly to make things as efficiently as possible, he likes working on hard projects with hard materials. He is very fond of the precision of digital machining, including CNC routers, laser cutters, and 3D design. When presented with a problem he will devote 100% of his focus to solving it.

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Sugar - CRO (Chief Relaxation Officer)

Sugar is in charge of making sure we don't burn out, and he's very good at his job. When things get too heated he likes to call the team together and cool things off with a round of chase-the-piece-of-string. He is a vital component of our operation.

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Bella - CSO (Chief Security Officer)

Don't let her closed eyes or calm face fool you, Bella is well aware of her surroundings and she will not accept any funny business. If she senses a threat to our operation then her claws come out. Don't get Bella angry, you wouldn't like her when she's angry.

Getting started

In order to get started, contact us with the following information

  • A description of the project
  • The materials to be cut or engraved
  • Any digital files you have - photographs, scanned images, raster files, vector files, etc...

Details on materials and file preparation is listed below. If you already have files prepared send them to hello@lightsmithlaser.com

Materials

Natural wood

Plywood, MDF, Wood Products

Paper products

Acrylic plastic

Other materials

Engrave only, no cutting

Materials we CANNOT CUT

When cut or engraved with a laser, these materials either do not work with our technology, release toxic hazardous gasses, or release chemicals which can damage the insides of our machines. We will not accept these materials for cutting or engraving. If you are not sure what a material is made from we will try to identify it, and may even offer a test cut, but we reserve the right to refuse any "mystery materials" that cannot be identified.

Design guidelines

We can work with anything from cocktail napkins to professionally produced digitial files. That said, it's faster and easier for everyone if your designs can conform to the following formats.

Experts only: If you need help with design contACT US AT HELLO@LIGHTSMITHLASER.COM

Here are some guidelines on how to best prepare files for us to give you a fast estimate. If you don't understand the terms used below don't worry - we will help you prepare any digital file for proper laser cutting or engraving.

File types and units

  • File types: For laser cutting and engraving we primarily use Adobe Illustrator (.ai) and Corel Draw (.cdr), .SVG 1.0, and .DXF
  • Units of measure: Standard or metric units can be used in your file. If you are submitting a precision technical file it is helpful to also include a reference object - for example a 1 inch circle or square - used to check for scaling errors.

Vector files

If your file was designed in Illustrator, Coreldraw or CAD software and consists of lines and curves - chances are it's a vector file

  • Cutting vectors - Vector lines that are supposed to cut through the material
    • Please make all similar cutting vectors the same color. If you have special instructions on how to process your file or how to order different colors please include this information when you contact us.
    • Both cutting and scoring vectors should be hairline / 0.001" thick
  • Scoring vectors - Vector lines that are supposed to make a mark or score line, but not cut through the material
    • Please make all similar scoring / marking vectors the same color. If you have special instructions on how to process your file or how to order different colors please include this information when you contact us.
    • Both cutting and scoring vectors should be hairline / 0.001" thick
  • Raster fill / raster lines - Fills and vector lines that you want to engrave on the surface of the material. If you desire a specific darkness, depth or other effect please include instructions when you contact us.

Raster files / Photographs / other artwork

If your file is a photograph, scanned image, .JPG, .PNG, .PS or any other raster based image

  • Resolution - Include the highest resolution of your image possible. Even if your engraving is not detailed anything up to 1200 DPI will improve the results of our work.
  • Contrast - For photographs and artwork high contrast images work best. If your image is not high contrast it may still be laserable, but may require additional processing to be laser ready.
    • Photographs should be well lit and the subject of the photo should stand out from the background for best results
    • Artwork with subtle gradients and color shifts may require modification to properly show up using laser engraving. We can discuss your options in your initial consultation.

Our work

Here is a sample of some of the work we have done for ourselves and for our clients. Not just limited to laser cutting and engraving, we are heavy into woodworking and all sorts of other projects as well.

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Get started

Please send us any questions you have about your design, files, materials or anything else we need to get started on your work. If you have files to email us send them to hello@lightsmithlaser.com

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Our Office

Woodthumb Building 173 Shipley St.

San Francisco, CA 94107

 
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