View Full Version : Corel Draw, order/direction of vectors within shape

03-16-2014, 9:46 PM
Hi all, first post here. New owner of a Rayjet 300, having a great time exploring its capabilities.

I'm also relatively new to Corel Draw (using X6 on a Vista machine), as I had been using Illustrator previously. I'm learning it quickly and really enjoying it, however the answer to one issue continues to elude me, despite heavy google searching.

I know how to set the cut sequence by using Object Manager, but the problem I'm having is finding an easy/quick way to set the order of vectors that make up a specific shape/curve.

Let's say I make a square, but instead of using the square tool I connect 4 line segments together. I know that if I select all 4 segments and click "combine" that the machine will treat it as a single curve and cut it entirely before moving on to another shape. The problem is, unless I manually set the order of each segment within that shape in the Object Manager prior to combining it into a single curve, the laser may jump around cutting different segments of the shape rather than starting at one point and moving in a continuous path around the shape back to the start node. This issue also includes my having to manually set the vector direction of some segments using the shape tool's "reverse direction" function.

I've got to believe there's a way to select a collection of segments that make up a shape and tell Corel to combine them in such a way that it picks a start node, puts the segments in order from that node and sets them all in the appropriate direction, so the resulting cut is a smooth motion. I used a square as an example but I'm making much more complex shapes where manual ordering would prove quite arduous.

Any help would be greatly appreciated; my sincere thanks in advance!

Ronald Erickson
03-16-2014, 10:12 PM
Rather than use combine, you could use the smart fill tool to create a new object. In your example, once you create a square with four line segments (and they dont need to be connected, just overlapping), fill the square with the smart fill tool to create a single object formed by the connected lines.

Once you have a new object (with one start and stop point) you can remove the original lines. Even easier is to create a new layer, make it the active layer, then use the smart fill so the new object is created in the new layer. Then, you can hide the original layer and disable printing and editing so you can preserve the original lines in whatever order they may be in.

03-16-2014, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. I just played a bit with the Smart Fill tool as you directed, and already I can see how it will solve this issue. It's too late for me to go play with it on the laser itself, but I certainly will tomorrow.

Many thanks for the help and guidance, Ron!

Henri Sallinen
03-17-2014, 3:58 AM
You could also use the "weld"-command instead of the combine-command. This will weld the selected shapes in to one. There is still a small problem with the weld command and that is, that allthough the object is a single object in the object manager, the welded lines are still not connected and you can't fill this shape. For the shape to be fillable, you have to use the Shape Tool (f10) to join the line ends together. So not the perfect solution.. The "boundary" tool, almost next to "weld" could also help you on this one.

- Henri

Nicolas Silva
03-17-2014, 8:30 AM
Y<snip>. The "boundary" tool, almost next to "weld" could also help you on this one.

- Henri
I've had good success using the boundary tool but I see some very useful advise here. Thank you all!

Mike Lassiter
03-17-2014, 10:59 AM
You should become familiar with the shape tool. Many times an "object" is many individual line segments. Combining all of those segments will make them "one object" but they are still individual paths. You would need to use the shape tool and click on the object to see nodes. At the bottom of work area you will see how many nodes the object has and if it has more than 1 path that will also show. You want a closed shape generally speaking that is continuous and unbroken. You can select multiple paths and then combine them into one but then you need to look at the nodes and join lines together to make multiple lines become a single line. When you select 2 lines using the shape tool go to the object properties tab and right click on the highlighted objects. Click combine, which changes them into a single object. Now using the shape tool you will need to find where the objects need to be joined by finding small triangles that are at the ends of individual segments and hold the shift key down and left click on each triangle (2 - one at the end of each segment) to select both nodes. Now right click and select "join". Now you have joined 2 line segments into a single segment.

Also you can select a node on a open or closed object and right click and you will see reverse path (I think it's called). If a open line object you will see the small triangles pointing the same direction, which is the direction of the line and the direction the line will be cut by the laser. Click on one and reverse the path and the triangle will change direction and now the laser will travel the opposite direction on that line. You can control individual paths doing this so that the laser will end at a object segment then the next object going up the list in object manager will be the next to process. Then using the shape tool and object path control which direction the laser will go segment by segment. I have done this and cut lasering time enormously, however - this is time consuming and something you don't want to do for every file you work with. Laser driver is suppose to work by using closest paths according to ULS but my experience doesn't show this. Laser Buzz dashes around circles to look like a rope would jump all over the design when I first got my laser. ULS advised I would ALWAYS get best results by using sort and enhance on vectors - but only by doing each of hundreds of segments one by one manually was I every able to get a systematic start here and go around the circular path without jumping all over the place. I cut 1/3 of the laser running time out by doing this and saved that part of the file separately so I could put it in other designs without having to do it every time. Too much time for 1-2 items to justify the time saved running the laser.