Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


If you cant find the answer to what your looking for here, give us a call on (02) 9168-6987, or shoot us an email. 

Full terms and conditions can be found here


Special offers

Q. What are the T&C's for Same Day Pickup offer

1) All requests for jobs must be made before 11am to ensure same day service.

2) All orders must have payments processed prior to 12pm to ensure same day service.

3) Make Fab ensures the completion of work by 11.59pm of the same day.

4) Make Fab reserves the right to inform the client of their opening hours on a day by day basis.

5) Should clients fail to pickup their work on the same day within the specified time, pickup will be scheduled for the next business day.

Q. What are the T&C's for "One Free Sheet of Laser Cutting Time" offer

1) Offers only apply to quotes received containing 3 or more sheets.

2) Limit to one per customer order.

3) Free sheet size limited to 800mm x 400mm size materials.

3) Free laser cutting time pertains to the cost, machine expenditure and labor cost associated with laser cutting only.

4) The material cost for the sheet will still have to be purchased by the client at the same price as advertised on our price guide.

5) Make Fab reserves the right to determine which sheet will be free.


Q. Can I supply my own materials?

A. Aboslutely! Just let us know in advance and we can organise that with you :) Keep in mind that there are certain materials we don't work with as they are either hazardous to our health or the health of our machines.

Q. Can I pop into the studio at any time?

A. Shoot us an email first! We generally have a lot of jobs going on at once so things can get quite busy in our workspace. Give us a heads-up so we can ensure that we have time and can attend to what you need.

Q. What machines do you have?

A. We have 2 laser cutters, 2 Fuse Deposition Modelling (FDM) 3D printers and 1 CNC milling machine on site. We also have access to external Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers.

Q. What are the size of these machines?

  • Our laser cutters have a bed size of 1200 mm by 900 mm.
  • Our FDM 3D printers have a build volume of 223 mm by 223 mm by 205 mm.
  • The SLS 3D printer has a build volume of 250 mm by 250 mm by 205 mm.
  • The SLA 3D printer has a build volume of 250 mm by 250 mm by 205 mm.
  • Our CNC milling machine has a bed size of 1200 mm by 1200 mm.

Q. Can I return items?

A. Unfortunately you cannot. Every job is unique and the material cannot be reused once cut, milled or printed.


Q. How much does it cost?

A. The cost depends on a few factors: what materials you use and how much, the complexity of the job (i.e. how much time it will take) as well as any associated labour costs.

  1. Laser cutting is priced at $1.00 per minute. We calculate the time based on the length of curves and the associated time taken to cut each material. For eg; 2mm acrylic is faster (and thus cheaper) than 6mm acrylic.
  2. 3D printing is based on material used and quality required with a set up fee - contact us for a quote
  3. CNC is charged at $120.00 per hour with a $40.00+ GST set up fee
  4. 3D modelling services are charged at $80.00+ GST per hour.

Q. How do I pay?

A. We accept direct bank transfer, or credit card payments (2.9% surcharge for credit cards). Keep in mind we require the payment to be made before preceeding with your job, so a direct Bank tranfer method may take a bit longer than the other methods.

Q. Do you offer student discounts?

A. You bet! Email us from your .edu email account and you'll get 10% off your fabrication costs (discounts dont apply to materials)


Q. How quickly can I get my order?

A. For laser cutting, we offer same day pick up service, or 1-2 day delivery service. For CNC milling, turn around time is generally 3 days providing we have the material in stock. For 3D Printing depending on what method you selected it can take between 1-5 business days.

Q. Can I get it delivered to my university?

A. We organise free weekly drops to universities in Sydney and even more frequently during your peak presentation times. Contact us for more info.

File Set-Up

Q. Can you help me set up my file?

A. Definitely, but there will be the associated labour costs with this.

Q. Can you help me with my design?

A. Good question. We can assist you in transforming your design into a model, but as for creating the design itself that can only be done by you.

Q. Do I need to use your template?

A. No, it's not a necessity. But doing so helps keep everything consistent. If you are finding the template too hard to navigate, you can always lay out your items using our RGB values.

Q. What type of tolerances do I need to allow for?

A. Material tolerances, we buy our material in bulk from the manufacturers and no two sheets are the same.

  1. When laser cutting, acrylic its prone to melting and warping because of the heat generated, so you can space out your cuts to not overheat any one particular area (use the cut 1 and cut 2 layers). We tend to account for 0.3mm being removed with each cut line.
  2. For CNC milling, the tool thicness varies from 6mm to 15mm, if you are planning on having notches in your CNC job, its best to use mickey mouse ears or leave and extra 0.6mm +. For larger jobs, we recommend getting in touch with us to have a sample done.

Q. How do I set up my file to be more efficient?

A. Pack your objects close together, you can rotate objects for a better fit. Ensure there are no duplicate lines as this will unnecessarily increase the time and cost of your job.

  • Programs such as Rhinonest are fabulous for maximising efficiency is sheet layout. See our blog for how to use this simple tool.

Q. What file types do you accept?

A. While we predominantly work in Rhino we accept all major filetypes: .3dm .ai .pdf .stl .dxf etc.

Laser Cutting

Q. What is laser cutting?

A. Laser cutting is a process where a focussed laser beam is used to precisely and accurately cut unique shapes in 2D sheet materials.

Q. What’s laser cutting, scoring and engraving

A. Cutting is when the laser passes through the material separating it from the larger sheet. Scoring is a weaker pass of the laser where it doesn't go all the way through the material but allows for things to be drawn into the material, this looks burnt or darker on timbers and white on acrylics. Engraving requires a closed polysurface or shape, the laser moves over the area much like a printer, moving in the X > Y direction at varying intervals, the effect is a small recess, or darker burn that covers the interior of the shape. See our blog for more ideas on this.

Q. How can I reduce burning?

A. You can ask us in advance to apply a protective film to your material before it gets cut.

Q. What materials show up burn marks more?

A. Any lighter coloured material (other than plastic) will show the laser burn marks. This is especially true for materials like screenboard, boxboard and timbers.

Q. What materials can I laser cut on your machines?

A. The materials we can work with include:

  • Paper
  • Card
  • Boxboard
  • Screenboard
  • Corrugated Card
  • Plywood (Poplar and Basswood)
  • MDF
  • Solid Basswood
  • Acrylic / Perspex (Clear, Frosted and Coloured)

Q. What materials can't I laser cut?

A. The materials we cannot work with include:

  • Metals
  • Vinyl / PVC
  • Foam / Polystyrene
  • Foamcore

3D Printing

Q. What is 3D printing?

A. 3D printing is a process of creating three dimensional objects by layering 2D cross-sections on top of one another.

Q. What is the difference between Fuse Deposition Modelling (FDM) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)?

A. Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is an additive manufacturing process when material is added in layers through a heated extruder. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) uses an additive powder that is heated by a laser to form a solid.

Q. What is an overhang?

A. An overhang is any element that extends beyond or over something else, like a cantilever.

Q. Do you have coloured material?

A. While we only stock and print in white, we regularly spray paint our 3D prints and we recommend that as an option for you because you can get a lot more colour variation.

Q. What can I do to make my object print smoothly?

A. If you are selecting to use the FDM printers, make sure that you orient your object so that there is a flat edge on the bottom of your print and keep in mind that the printer will make supports for any overhanging elements. If you are selecting to use the SLS printer, you don't need to worry about supports or orientation.

Q. What materials can I print in?

A. The materials we can print in include:

  • PLA
  • Powder (SLS)
  • Resin - White/Clear (SLA)

Q. What materials can't I print in?

A. The materials we cannot print in include:

  • Metals
  • Precious Metals
  • Paper
  • Glass


Q. What is CNC milling?

A. CNC milling or routing is a machining process where rotary cutters are used to remove material from an object by advancing a rotary tool towards or away from the object. It is a subtractive process.

Q. What is the difference between 2D and 3D milling?

A. 2D milling is just like laser cutting, think of it as heavy-duty laser cutting where you can work with thicker sheet materials and new materials like foam. 3D milling introduces the z-axis allowing you to change the depth at which it cuts allowing you to be able to sculpt topography and other forms.

Q. Why do I need to pay attention to internal cuts?

A. Because of the cylidrincal shape of the tool bit, when cutting internal shapes or cavities, the tool doesn't have room to create a corner and as a result there will be a curved (filleted) corner.

Q. What materials can I mill on your machine?

A. The 2D sheet materials we can mill include:

  • Plywood
  • MDF
  • Acrylic / Perspex

The 3D block materials we can mill include:

  • High Density Foam
  • Blue Foam
  • Jelutong
  • Walnut
  • Mahogany
  • Tooling Board

Q. What materials can't I mill?

A. The materials we cannot mill include:

  • Aluminium
  • Dense Metals
  • Stone
  • Corrian

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