View Full Version : Help, Cutting

Tami Carlson
05-11-2010, 12:33 PM
Hello, My husband and i just purchased a 40w Pinnacle M Series Laser Engraver. We are just trying to figure all this out. We are getting better at engraving. But now we are trying to figure out how to cut out images.
We are just getting burned images. Anybody have any advice or help?
We are using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop Element.

thanks so much, this is such a wonderful site!

Chris DeGerolamo
05-11-2010, 12:41 PM
your laser has two modes of operation: raster and vector. Raster will etch images, artwork, etc. Vector is point-to-point cutting (in a nut shell). In order to cut in vector (and assuming you are using corel draw), you must set the object width/lineweight to hairline.

Martin Boekers
05-11-2010, 2:16 PM
Welcome to the Creek!

First I recommend that you start at the beginning archive of this forum and read each post. There is much great information there.

Many of us learned engraving by just doing that.

Also You Tube has a lot of videos on engraving and I suggest you check that out also.

This forum has a search feature which will help on finding many different topics on engraving.


John Noell
05-11-2010, 2:48 PM
More information would be helpful. Are just the edges burned or is the entire image burned or...??? Far more people here use CorelDraw for their lasers but Illustrator certainly has some fans as well. AFAIK, Photoshop Elements can only provide bitmapped images so it cannot be used to produce vector (cut) lines.

Larry Bratton
05-11-2010, 3:01 PM
Other advice given is good. However it doesn't give you a good answer.
First..any cutting that is to be done has to be in vector mode.
Second..be sure the material your trying to cut is laserable. Many things are not. Be very careful not to cut or raster anything with PVC in it. Be aware of thickness. I too have a 40 watt machine and I can get through 3/8" acrylic and that's about it.
You have to have a vector outline of hairline width in order to cut the image. Illustrator is capable of producing these type of lines. Your Photshop software is useless in this vector line process.
You should have guidelines from your laser manufacturer on speed and power settings for each material. Use that as a guideline.
Set up your printing via your laser's driver and send it to the machine. If you have air assist, use it. I run air assist on all vector cutting.
Watch the machine and the process carefully and be aware that a fire can happen before you can blink an eye.
Happy lasering and welcome to the forum!

Tami Carlson
05-11-2010, 11:52 PM
thank you for the replies.

We are getting the engraving part down.
We are just running into a problem with cutting.

Currently we have Adobe illustrator 10. I understand we need a vector file. We have tried everything we can, and still not cutting out an image.

We purchased the laser used, and the program that came with it was missing the security dongle. We are trying to use the software we already have.

Rodne Gold
05-12-2010, 12:42 AM
You will have to figure out how to use the mercury (the laser you have is actually a GCC laserpro mercury) with illustrator - GCC might have a tutorial..try contact a laserpro agent for this.
However I would suggest you use CorelDraw for your graphics and cutting as the laser was designed around this package or works well with it.
You can try this: Set your colour management completely OFF in illustrator and set the vector outline you want cut to the smallest width you can - ie hairline and set it's colour to red - try send that. (you need to set the parameters for red in your driver so it will cut)
go to http://www.jorlink.com/Support/LaserSupport/DriversFirmwareforLaserMachines/tabid/218/language/en-US/Default.aspx and download the latest drivers and possibly the latest firmware for your mercury from their