(no drawing skills or software see below)
Computer numerically controlled machines have to follow precise instructions, therefore it is important that any drawing has accurate lines (i.e. they go from point A to point B). Remember, rubbish in - rubbish out.
As luck would have it, there are a lot of CAD programmes out there that do a good job of this, and some are even free. I can accept most PC formats (not MAC), DXF, EPS, AI, CDR, DWG, IEGS, etc.
Basically there are two ways to draw, either using a vector format or a pixel format. The easiest way to tell which it is, is by zooming in; if a line gets thicker it's made of pixels, it is stays the same, it's a vector line. There are few exceptions to this, like Corel Draw (you can make a line look fat by giving it a width), in truth a line has no width, switch to wireframe view to see what you really have drawn.
Although a CNC machines can follow most 2D drawings, there are a few exceptions. You can not cut around an object that has a gap in it (these can be very small i.e. .001mm). Also a loop will cause problems, as you can not cut around the outside or inside of a line that crosses over itself, (the exception to this is the machine vectors strategy, this will follow anything you draw).
One other thing is that the CNC table will fit a 2440mm x 1220mm (8ft x 4ft) sheet. The co-ordinate 0mmX 0mmY is always at the bottom left corner. You can put as many shapes in this area as you want, so long as there is a gap around each object larger than the cutter diameter, this is called nested panels, (our software can do this automatically for you if you want). There are a couple of points that have to be considered, that is: 1) any small objects will not hold in place when being cut out, these will need what is called tabs, (small areas that aren't cut right through), the part will need to be snapped out and cleaned up. 2) Remember, the material may have a pattern or grain!
All this sounds a bit technical but often our software will fix these problems with one click, so don't worry. Just email it, if there are big problems I will call you.
No CAD program or drawing skills?
Just send a picture either by fax, post or email (remember to put some sizes on).
Simple shapes don't take long for me to do. If it takes me less than 15 minutes, there will be no charge (although the drawing will belong to us).
Please do not go to a designer or architect, call us first. I have had a case where a customer was charged over £2000 and I had to redraw it (my charge for this was £50!), he could have saved £1950, (although he did have some pretty pictures).
Just call us first, advice is free!