In the videos below about digital design for laser machines, we take a closer look at the basic skills of vector designing for use in cutting laser machines and preparing photos for laser engraving machines. The techniques below apply to all laser machines that work with digital software. Being able to work well with vector files is one of the essential skills needed to deploy your laser machine quickly and effectively.
Cutting lasers generally work with vector files. The laser follows the precise coordinates described in the vector file. Examples of this are dxf or ai files. If you have more of a product / mechanical design background you will most likely be familiar with the dxf format which is supported by most mechanical design packages (Solidworks, Fusion360, Sketchup etc.) and is also widely used by CNC milling machines, for example. If you have a more graphic background then you are probably familiar with the vector pack Adobe Illustrator (.ai format).
Digital design for laser machines – working with vectors for cutting lasers
Export ai vector file for import into Laserworks
Export Adobe Illustrator (ai) vector file with the correct settings for import into Laserworks software used with MetaQuip CO2 laser machines.
Exporting ai vector file for import into EzCad fiber laser
Export Adobe Illustrator (ai) vector file with the correct import settings in ezcad software used with MetaQuip fiberlaser's.
Prepare 3D model in Solidworks
Making a 3D model suitable for Lasercut is actually quite simple. Here a short tutorial, in this case with Solidworks how to do this.
Make EPS files or Adobe AI suitable for import in Lasercut
Vector files in EPS or AI format can easily be made suitable with Adobe Illustrator for importing with Lasercut, so that they can be cut or engraved. Here is a short tutorial on how to do this.
2D Mechanical Design in SketchUp
SketchUp is a 3D design program that is free to download and use for education and private individuals. It is quick to learn and can also be used to draw in 2D forms.
In this short tutorial, we'll show you how to draw 2D in SketchUp and export it in dxf format, which can then be imported into Newlydraw for laser cutting or engraving.
More information about SketchUp and download: https://www.sketchup.com/
Inkscape for laser cutting of texts
Inkscape is an open source vector drawing program. Here we show how it can be used to use all fonts in Lasercut.
Vector signs for laser cutting with Inkscape
Vector drawing for laser cutting is easy with the open-source package Inkscape. Here is an example of how quickly to make personalized cake toppers in acrylate.
Digital design for laser machines – preparing photos for engraving lasers
Photos are 'printed' line by line by the laser machine, with the laser switching on and off very quickly. Contrast is created by the degree of combustion of the surface that is engraved. This contrast differs from material to material. You can convert a graphic photo to a bitmap file in photo editing programs yourself. If you want to do this very regularly with constant quality, we recommend the PhotoGrav software package. With this, the entire preparation of the photo file to a file for perfect engraving results is taken over by the PhotoGrav program. If you have any questions about digital design for laser machines, please contact MetaQuip.
Preparing Photos in Photoshop for Laser Engraving
Preparing photos for laser engraving is easy to do with Adobe Photoshop. Here are the steps to follow to get a good result. Better and faster results can be obtained with the PhotoGrav program.