For someone new to Laser, one thing you will need to learn is the digital files. Good thing is you may try it at home for free first. For example, our Forum has download links of LaserCAD and LaserSoft. For Mac user, you may try Lightburn. EzCAD is another popular engraving software.
For vector file, dxf and plt are popular. svg is ok; sometimes it is the only format available on free design software. ai, pdf are also supported. Between different design software and laser software versions, compatibility may be an issue. You may see some lines get distorted after import. It is good to try importing the design in the laser software first before finishing your design.
One common issue for first time user is the overlapping lines. Things looking well on the design software does not mean the file is "laser friendly." Overlapping lines can cause the laser to cut the same line twice. The "remove overlap" function on laser software may not remove all overlapping lines. Copy and paste in design software can cause this kind of "hidden" issue. Sometimes, some lines are not closed. It will give engraving error. Unlike cutting, engraving needs to have area, not line. Laser software's "close gap" function can fix some of them, but it is better to check at the beginning of design.
Try to do array in the laser software instead of in the design software, otherwise the design can be big and time consuming to import in the laser software. Creating bridge/tap can be done on some laser software to prevent a cut piece falling out.
For picture like jpg, bmp, png, the laser can only do engraving. If you want to cut the outline of a simple picture, you may use the laser software to trace the outline. Picture engraving takes up a lot of memory on the laser controller, you may have to split it into multiple sections for a large picture.