Laser Cutter/Engraver 101: How to Make Graphic Tees?

Your search for how to make graphic tees ends here, as this article recaps the good old hobby of most laser cutter owners.

  • Introduction
  • How to make graphic tees with laser cutters?
  • Wrapping Up


If you were searching with the keywords how to make graphic tees with your laser cutter and engraver, then we suspect that you are one of those individuals always looking to have personalized clothes for themselves. Tees are virtually available in infinite designs, but having your own tee with graphics according to your personality is a different game. There are many ways to do it; a few of them are explained below to give you an idea of which one suits your needs:

1. Laser transfer printing

It involves engraving a design on specific transfer paper while using a laser engraver. The design is then applied to the T-shirt with heat and pressure. This approach is adaptable and can be used on a variety of textiles, producing brilliant and long-lasting patterns.

2. Direct laser printing

As the name suggests, it directly uses lasers to print on a tee, and it does that by etching or engraving designs directly onto the cloth surface. This approach is extremely precise, allowing for detailed details and complicated designs. It requires some serious skills, though.

3. Bleaching using laser Engravers

Suitable for dark-colored tees, this method uses dyed (bleached) fabric and a controlled bleaching process during which a laser engraver selectively removes color from colored cloth, resulting in intricate and precise designs.

4. Laser Appliqué

It involves creating appliqué designs using both laser cutting and engraving, and then attaching them to a tee. Can be used with various materials, which lend texture and dimension to the printed artwork.

How to make graphic tees with laser cutters?

If you just got your shiny new laser cutters and engravers or you decided to put your old hardware to use, then knowing how to do this is the first question that comes to mind. To generalize the method, we are assuming that your tee is 80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester with a white color.

Also, keep in mind that every laser cutter/engraver has different power and other OEM specifics that you need to take into account. We have explained a generalized method of how to make graphic tees by using Ortur LM3 which is the best one out there in the industry when it comes to engraving graphics on tee shirts and many other surfaces like wood, metal and more. Follow the below steps to get started:

  • Prepare your design in Inspiraesth or Lightburn and make sure that your design can be easily scaled and adjusted without losing quality. Once done, transfer this to the software connected with LM3 and align it according to one’s preference for the fabric.

  • Adjust the laser cutter's focus and power to ensure it stitches the design without damaging the fabric. The LM3 has a super-efficient focus system that makes sure that the laser works precisely. Before starting, we still recommend starting with a scrap cloth, just to be safe.

  • Position the white tee on the bed of the LM3’s laser cutter in a manner that fits snuggly, without any wrinkles or slack. Any sort of creasing that is on the engraving plate can cause certain areas of the material being engraved to have a different pattern. In cases where the material is very thin, we recommend using a backing material to give the tee proper support.

  • Start the engraving process while closely observing the engraving process (while wearing proper PPE). We understand that for newbies, this process can be a little overwhelming. We recommend being patient and using scrap fabric for some trials until you completely understand the entire process.

  • Once, wash to wash off any dirt or soot, or you can go with a few wipes with a soft brush. The LM3 laser engraver is guaranteed to bring you the best results when making graphic tees thanks to its ultra-fine focus system powered by COS Packaging Technology and paired with double cooling fans reaching up to 10,000 rpm.

Wrapping Up

We went through a generalized method of how to make graphic tees using your laser cutter and engraver. Although the above process might look quite generalized, in reality, the choice of fabric will largely impact the laser cutting and its power preferences, along with other settings like focus, speed, and power settings, especially if your fabric of tee is polyester or other similar ones that can easily get burned. In all cases, printing on tees with laser cutters and engravers is fun, and we expect you to have a good one.

Jeans- laser engraved images_副本.jpg__PID:0169428a-fdc3-4fef-8f1a-911aefcf1d21

Keep in Touch with Ortur