The core of your design will be the shapes you want cut out.
The easiest way to visualize how this translates to your design is to imagine laying the pieces you want to make on a sheet of paper, then drawing around the edges before taking them away. Your design should look like the lines left on the paper.
To make a cutting line, draw a line or shape.
Then in the Object Properties window, set the stroke width by clicking inside the 'Width' field and typing '0.01mm', then press enter:
And set the stroke color to blue with RGB values of 0, 0, 255:
Vector line engraving works in a similar way to cutting, but instead of slicing right through the material, the laser just marks the surface.
The laser will trace along the engraving line you draw in your design package. There are three different strengths available: light, medium and heavy – with corresponding depth and darkness. All three are very thin – approximately the width of the laser's beam.
In the Object Properties window, set the stroke width by clicking inside the 'Width' field and typing '0.01mm', then press enter:
Light vector line engraving
Set the stroke color to magenta with RGB values of 255, 0, 255:
Medium vector line engraving
Set the stroke color to green with RGB values of 0, 255, 0:
Heavy vector line engraving
Set the stroke color to red with RGB values of 255, 0, 0:
Raster fill engraving must ALWAYS be indicated by using a fill color - never a stroke color. To turn a black/gray/white stroke into a filled shape in CorelDRAW, select your line and use the Arrange > Convert outline to object command. If you want a very thin engraving line, we would always recommend using vector line engraving instead of raster fill engraving - as above.
The strength of the raster engraving ranges from black as the heaviest, down to very pale gray which is the lightest (or white, which is none). You can actually use any strength in between these two, as long as all your RGB values match. Make sure you only use solid, single color fills – no patterns or textures.
To give your raster engraving a clean edge, combine it with vector engraving around the outside of your shape.
Light raster fill engraving
Set the fill color to light grey with RGB values of 230, 230, 230:
Medium raster fill engraving
Set the fill color to medium grey with RGB values of 128, 128, 128:
Heavy raster fill engraving
Set the fill color to black with RGB values of 0, 0, 0:
Any text you use in your design file needs to be converted to curves. This way the laser cutter will follow your design correctly, regardless of whether or not it has the font installed.
This is as simple as selecting your text and then choosing Arrange > Convert to Curves from the top menu. You won't be able to edit the text once you've done this, so do it last after your spell check.
You can create text using raster fill engraving, vector line engraving, or a combination of both.
Our making system only registers vector artwork. It will ignore images inserted in other formats (such as .jpg or .bmp).
To get around this, you'll need to trace the image you want to incorporate into your design. You can do this by selecting the inserted image and using the Bitmaps > Trace Bitmap command. You'll see there are several tracing options so try out a few until you find the one you want. Make sure your traced shapes are a single solid color.
The original image will still be behind your new traced image, so make sure you select it and delete it.
Next, select the traced elements with the ‘Pick tool' and use the Arrange > Ungroup command.
If the trace has worked correctly, when you click on the ‘Shape tool', vectors should appear around all the individual parts of the traced image.
Finally, to choose the level of raster engraving you want to use, select all the elements of the traced image and adjust their fill color using the Object Properties window.
If you place objects directly beside each other, it's likely you'll end up with cutting lines sitting one on top of the other.
These can be particularly tricky to spot in CorelDRAW as they look the same as single lines. You need to change these double lines into a single cutting line – or as we call them, a shared cutting line. Otherwise the line will literally be cut twice – which is not the best for your material, or the machine.
Here's the process for removing double lines:
Step 1: Select one of the adjoining objects with the ‘Pick tool', and use the Arrange > Convert to Curves command.
Step 2: Use the ‘Shape tool' to select a node (corner) on one side of the double line you want to remove.
Step 3: With the node highlighted blue, click the ‘Break Curve' button.
Step 4: Click on the node on the other side of the double line, and use the 'Break Curve' button again.
Step 5: Use the Arrange > Break Curve Apart command.
Step 6: Click away from the object to deselect it, and then click on the double line you want to remove. It should clearly be selected on its own, and you can now press delete. The other blue line should be left behind.
Step 7: Repeat this process until all of the double lines have been removed.