Step 1: Image processing
We only made vector cuts on these particular pieces. For best results with vectors, try to avoid having any very thin sections, especially thin sections supporting other areas, as they are prone to breakage. Tiny holes are hard to pop out and may require a lot of tedious work with a toothpick or the point of a knife if you have many of them. Holes with complex shapes may also be difficult to remove from the finished piece - consider breaking them up into smaller, less complex sections. Thin, wiggly areas make removal of the frisket (the paper coating on new acrylic sheet) difficult. You can take the frisket off first and cut the acrylic "naked" but you may get smoke stains on it. I prefer to leave the frisket on.
We used an Epilog laser cutter, and printed directly from Adobe Illustrator. It is also possible to print from Corel Draw if you are more familiar with that. In Illustrator, I first made a tiling of the images on a page the same size as the acrylic sheets we had bought (we had scraps in various sizes up to about one square foot). Then I made sure that all the lines were set to a stroke width of 0.007 points. We did some experimentation to come up with this number - 0.25pt, 0.5 pt, and 0pt, all did not make any cut at all. If your print file does nothing at all when you press Go on the laser, check your line widths! In Corel Draw, the correct stroke width is called "Hairline" and is in the pulldown menu, but in Illustrator you have to enter it by hand.