PDA

View Full Version : Newbie Looking for help with a template



Wayne Grecco
05-02-2011, 8:14 PM
Hello All...

I have a question.... Say I find an item that I would like to engrave and I want to use a template for Corel to engrave these types of items in the future.. How do you make a template for the item especially if it is of a wierd shaped item that is not easily recreated in Corel? Is there a way to scan the item and make an outline of it somehow?

Thanks!
Wayne

Dee Gallo
05-02-2011, 10:11 PM
Wayne,

Welcome to the Creek, and yes, you can make a template from a scan using CorelDraw basic tools.

1. Import your scan to CorelDraw and lock it
2. Use the Freehand Drawing tool. Click on a starting point right on top of your scan and then double click wherever there is a key direction change. Use as few points as possible, you can always add more later. Don't worry about getting it too perfect or following curves, you will adjust next. Close the shape by clicking on the first point.
3. Use the Bezier or Shape tool next. Select All, then convert to curves using the button at the top of the page.
4. Move the lines by grabbing them with your pointer. You can also select a point (node) and pull the arrows. Try to center the nodes and lines on your scan lines to maintain the original shape.
5. To add or remove a node, double click where you want the change.
6. When you think you are finished, group the lines and move them away from the scan to see if it's right. If not, UNDO move and UNGROUP so you can do more work. If you don't group, you stand a chance of messing up your stuff.
7. If you want to raster your template, change the line to .5 or 1 point instead of hairline (which will cut)

This is a basic skill that you will use all the time once you get used to it, for templates, designs, silhouetting photos, and also for editing text, traces or clipart converted to paths.

Take heart, this sounds worse than it is!

cheers, dee

Gerd Spatz
05-03-2011, 3:26 AM
Dee!
I use the same method ;-)
Some samples of wineboxes with local historical buildings:

http://www.frag-den-spatz.de/markt/weinkistendemo.jpg

Dan Hintz
05-03-2011, 6:32 AM
Wayne,

If you're looking strictly for an outline, convert the image to pure B&W, then tweak the contrast until the image you care about is all black. Then run the Outline tool. Done.

Chuck Stone
05-03-2011, 7:08 AM
Dee.. your explanation made more sense than the tutorial I just bought explaining
the same things. Often those tutorials don't tell you WHY you do something, or
they do other things in the background that they're not telling you about. Or
they do it so fast that you can't tell what they did. (or WHY)
I'm one of those people who, if I understand the WHY, you won't have to
explain the WHAT to me again. Thanks!

Dee Gallo
05-03-2011, 12:31 PM
Dee.. your explanation made more sense than the tutorial I just bought explaining
the same things. Often those tutorials don't tell you WHY you do something, or
they do other things in the background that they're not telling you about. Or
they do it so fast that you can't tell what they did. (or WHY)
I'm one of those people who, if I understand the WHY, you won't have to
explain the WHAT to me again. Thanks!

Thanks, Chuck. 30 years of teaching & explaining procedures to crackheads makes you get to the essentials as simply as possible.

:D dee

Belinda Williamson
05-03-2011, 1:00 PM
Laserheads . . . crackheads . . . yeah, we're all addicted to something.:D

Great tutorial Dee!

Chuck Stone
05-03-2011, 6:35 PM
so ... what?? Dee's calling me a crackhead now?
I'm taking my marbles and going home!

Dee Gallo
05-03-2011, 8:34 PM
so ... what?? Dee's calling me a crackhead now?
I'm taking my marbles and going home!

No, Chuck, I didn't say you ARE a crackhead, only LIKE a crackhead... hahaha But you might have left some of your marbles at my house so it's not really your fault. Come on back over and we'll have a nice cup of coffee and some cake!

Neil Pabia
05-03-2011, 8:57 PM
No, Chuck, I didn't say you ARE a crackhead, only LIKE a crackhead... hahaha But you might have left some of your marbles at my house so it's not really your fault. Come on back over and we'll have a nice cup of coffee and some cake!

Poor Chuck lost his marbles a long time ago.;)

Chuck Stone
05-03-2011, 10:46 PM
and Neil will try to sell them back to me.

Dee.. if you were a few hundred miles closer *I'd* be your apprentice.

Hey .. look at that.. three posts in a row by the three people who owned the
same Compucarve..

Dan Hintz
05-04-2011, 6:12 AM
I have first dibs on Dee if she ever decides to move closer to our nation's capitol... sorry, Dee, you've been spoken for (whether you like it or not... your husband will just have to deal with it).

Dee Gallo
05-04-2011, 10:15 AM
I'll be in DC for a family reunion at the end of June...tell your wife, Dan!

Belinda Williamson
05-04-2011, 10:27 AM
I'll be in DC for a family reunion at the end of June...tell your wife, Dan!

And You Tube it when you do . . . I want to watch!

Chuck Stone
05-04-2011, 10:35 AM
What happens in YouTube STAYS in YouTube :p

Martin Boekers
05-04-2011, 12:53 PM
Wayne,

Welcome to the Creek, and yes, you can make a template from a scan using CorelDraw basic tools.

7. If you want to raster your template, change the line to .5 or 1 point instead of hairline (which will cut)

This is a basic skill that you will use all the time once you get used to it, for templates, designs, silhouetting photos, and also for editing text, traces or clipart converted to paths.

Take heart, this sounds worse than it is!

cheers, dee


The only thing I could add to this is I keep it as an vector line, then print the vector line to some scrap to position
you piece onto. Then raster it.

I do the vector line around all the borderless plates I do as it gives something to trim to and saves quite a bit of time
over rastering it.

Dee is our Sawmill Creek Queen:D

She has so much knowledge and always willing to share!

Martin Boekers
05-04-2011, 12:57 PM
I have first dibs on Dee if she ever decides to move closer to our nation's capitol... sorry, Dee, you've been spoken for (whether you like it or not... your husband will just have to deal with it).

Hey, Hey, Hey...... It seems you claimed dibs on Rodne to when he mentioned thoughts of moving stateside!

Trying to start a Laser Cartel are we?:D

Dan Hintz
05-04-2011, 1:19 PM
...tell your wife, Dan!
Now why would I go and ruin a good thing by telling HER?!

And You Tube it when you do . . . I want to watch!
Mike has a space for you to stay if you'd ever get up here for a visit... forget YouTube. (and I always knew there was a voyeur in you :p)

Hey, Hey, Hey...... It seems you claimed dibs on Rodne to when he mentioned thoughts of moving stateside!

Trying to start a Laser Cartel are we?:D
Don't hate... just because you're slow at claiming the good people :D

Belinda Williamson
05-04-2011, 7:09 PM
Mike has a space for you to stay if you'd ever get up here for a visit... forget YouTube. (and I always knew there was a voyeur in you :p)

Yeah, in the barn! His wife barely let YOU visit.

Wayne Grecco
05-04-2011, 8:47 PM
Thanks Everyone for your advise! I will give it a try! You guys are great!

Wayne

Wayne Grecco
05-04-2011, 10:11 PM
Thanks to all for your advise!

Wayne

Richard Rumancik
05-10-2011, 11:07 AM
I didn't see a lot of suggestions besides Dee's post so I thought I'd make a few comments.

Dee's method will work well when you need to generate an accurate contour of a part. But I will suggest that you do not go overboard trying to trace every feature of the item. It really isn't necessary in most cases and can actually end up giving you trouble if your item does not quite fit. Some manufactured items are very precise due to the method of manufacture (e.g. injection molded parts) but sometimes items can vary (e.g. assembled/riveted knives).

My suggestion is to use the minimum amount of constraint so that the part will fit with no "looseness" but minimize the chance of binding in the pocket. For example, if you were making a pocket to hold a badge with rounded corners, the pocket can have square corners with no lack of fixturing accuracy. This might be pretty obvious in this case, but sometimes people tend to put too much effort in trying to make the pocket exactly match the part not realizing it won't really help. You don't have to draw every bump and protrusion. The pocket really only has to pick up on a few points to define the part position.

(Of course, the first thing is that you need a good crisp scan. Sometimes it pays to calibrate the scanner take a flat part or even a piece of rectangular cardstock, measure it with digital caliper, scan it, and measure the scanned cardstock in Corel. If they are different you can calculate two compensation factors and stretch accordingly in Corel.)

I would also suggest that a pair of digital calipers can also help create the pocket dimensions. For example, if you believe the length or diameter of the item will be fairly constant, measure a few, take an average, and use that number for the boundary in CorelDraw as opposed to the "trace" dimensions. Scanners can have distortion and there is error in the scan as scanners have very limited depth of focus. Plus you get shadows that distort the image.

If there are only a few parts I sometimes use corrugated for the top layer. It is compliant in case the pocket is not exact, or you can fix the pocket with an X-acto. But it will wear out and might not suitable for hundreds or thousands of parts.

In some cases when there is batch-to-batch variation you can make the pocket in two pieces, with an adjustable piece held in place with screws. Then you can tweak the fixture on-the-fly. For high production and for inconsistent parts, one fixture section with a spring might be warranted. (You can even laser cut a flat spring out of plastic sheet.)

Also, you might consider adding a finger-hole to assist in unloading parts. In the example attached I don't think it was really necessary as the part was higher than the pocket and easy to grasp. But for flat parts a finger-hole is advantageous.