View Full Version : VersaLaser and Inlays

Rod Williamson
05-04-2005, 10:01 AM
Question from a self confessed computer neophyte...

I do veneer inlays as decorative features in various types of projects and am growing tired of the amount of work to hand cut intricate inlay designs. I have scoured the archives and have read threads on the time saving techniques used by others on this forum regarding inlay processes and procedures.

I have worked with some basic computer programs...Photoshop (very primitive work), Print Shop, Microsoft Publisher and some other like programs. I have not done any work with Illustrator or other vectoring type programs.

I may try outsourcing these inlays, but may consider my own equipment to do this type of work.

OK, finally my questions. VersaLaser "seems" easy to use...scan or import a file, then simply engrave or cut the design. I work with veneers, usually less than 1/8" thickness and have read about the trials and tribulations of making these cuts correctly. Is it as simple as their web site makes it sound...draw a pattern, scan, import and cut? Do other machines work in similar fashion? Do I have to become proficient in vector type programs?

Alan Young
05-04-2005, 10:23 AM
Rod<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

I have done a little work with inlay but I cut my inlay out of 1/16 stock, but it is the same process. I use Corel Draw for all of my laser work sent to the engraver. It is not as hard to use as one might think. I am not sure about scan or import, basically you to need a vector image to work with so the laser can cut out the inlay piece. I lay it out and then engrave the relief using the raster engraving; I just use a solid fill. Then I cut the inlay with the vector lines and scale it up .001, this takes out the laser kerfs. I then glue in the inlay and sand with a surface sander. Now the trick to veneer is the depth of the relief, you would have to do a few tests to get the power and the speed to give you the depth you need so you do not have to do much sanding. By no means is this the only way or the only software to use. There was a post a while back where some one used a bitmap to do inlay but I have not tried it. All lasers work in similar fashion and as far as proficient in vector programs, the more you use it the better you get. By no means am I proficient in Corel Draw, I learned something new all the time. Good luck. You will enjoy a laser if you decide to get one.<o:p></o:p>


Mike Mackenzie
05-04-2005, 12:28 PM

Yes the Versa lasers are that easy to use. You will have to have vector artwork to cut with any laser system.

I would contact your local rep and get a demo using your materials you will see how easy it really is.

George M. Perzel
05-04-2005, 7:45 PM
Hi Rod;
I do a lot of wodd/veneer laser inlays and think its about the easiest thing to do with a laser since you get the male and female parts from the same image.
I have a Laserpro Mercury unit and should point out that all lasers are pretty easy to use once you learn the procedure for the particular machine.
Do a search on this forum under "inlay" and you shoulkd get a lot of input and info from previous posts.
Good luck

Roy Brewer
05-04-2005, 10:59 PM
Do I have to become proficient in vector type programs?

Yes you must become *good* with a vector based drawing program to do a good job with inlays. IMHO, inlays are one of the most advanced processes that most participate with a laser engraver; especially if you require high detail.

Many would be disappointed if I didn't throw Epilog into the ring for consideration. Their Mini18 competes "head to head" with the VersaLaser. You'd do well to get a demo from local distributors of both machines. You'll find http://www.epiloglaser.com (http://www.epiloglaser.com/) a wealth of information regardless of whose machine your purchase.

Rod Williamson
05-05-2005, 8:03 AM
Thanks for all the advice. I will follow up with Epilog and make sure I research other threads carefully. I might try to find some trial versions of programs that are used in vectoring.