View Full Version : Cutting jig and aligning the engraving in Corel.

Neville Stewart
04-23-2016, 10:27 AM
I have to engrave a large amount of wine stoppers and plan on cutting a jig out of cardboard to sit them in. They are flat on bottom and top. The hard part for me is creating and aligning the graphic in the middle of for example 40 of them at a time. Up to now I haven't needed to evenly distribute the circles I'll use to cut the holes but I'd like to evenly space them and center the text in them by using the SW and not copy, paste, eyeball as I usually do. This is entirely possible I presume?

Brian Lamb
04-23-2016, 10:46 AM
Corel has a option to set the copy function (ctrl D) to any specific amount in X and Y, so draw your circle, figure out the spacing, create a row of holes, say on a 2" spacing, then once you have the whole row, change your copy dimension yo a Y-2.0, select the whole row and copy it as many times as you want. You can locate down to the .001" this way.

Mike Null
04-23-2016, 11:09 AM
I use 1/4" acrylic for my jig. Cardboard would concern me a bit. I engrave two different liquor bottle caps and I set them in the holes in the acrylic for perfect positioning every time.

Kev Williams
04-23-2016, 12:15 PM
Is the engraving on each one identical, or different? If the same it's REAL easy. If not, it's still easy--

I use cardboard a lot, taping it to the table help keep it flat and in place...

First, find the cardboard ;)--- do a test cut to see that your stopper will fit. A snick loose is better than a snick tight (my opinion)-

Once you get the cut size to your liking, figure out how many you want to do at once. Best layout depends on a few factors-
-are they going to be close enough together that a full X-sweep won't waste time in the dead space between parts, or would it be faster to engrave each part individually? (do a time test, I just ran a bunch of parts that I would've sworn would go faster individually, but running a full sweep netted a 6-minute per part time vs almost 11 minutes!)
-if full sweep works, then determine how many you're comfortable with running side to side--
-if individual, how many colors does your driver accomodate? 6, 8, 15, unlimited? If 8 fr' instance, then set up for 8 pieces across, etc...
-how many rows?

You can actually fill the whole machine, but if your machine is like mine, it seems to engrave better in some areas than others- if so, pick your machine's best area and fill it!

So lets say 8 pieces across and 6 pieces down. 48 pieces is a good run... Lets say your stoppers are 1" diameter, so lets figure you want them 1.5" apart. And lets just start in the upper left corner...
--I'm using an 18 x 12 table for this example...

Take your test cut, make it red outline, and place it 1.5" across and 1.5" down. Set your 'nudge' and your 'X-copy' to 1.5"


IF your text is the same, type in next to the circle...then draw a box around both to group them-


--then press C and E on the keyboard, this centers the text in the cut-


Now, with them still grouped, press CTRL then D to copy across, 7 times.
When you're done, change X copy to zero and Y copy to MINUS 1.5"-


Now, draw a box to group the first 8, then hit CTRL-D 7 times to make 8 rows down:


NOW all you have to do is send the red circles ONLY to your laser and cut the holes out of the cardboard,
after which you send the text only and start engraving- :)

I've done 600 stainless tags at once like this in my Triumph. Since the machine cut the holes, it WILL place the engraving perfectly!

IF you have to change the text in each piece, that requires some extra doing obviously. Me, I've never been able to successfully figure out Corel's matrix capabilities, too cumbersome. I use Gravostyle, which works fantastic. When done, I just export the results to Corel-- If you can work with Corel for this, great! But if I have to manually type different things for the pieces, I do have a procedure that works for me...

First, make your circle copies, without text:

Then, I type the text needed in each circle- anywhere, as it doesn't matter at this point:


From here, I place my index and middle fingers on the C and E keys on the keyboard, then box each circle and its text, and press C-E... Once you get rolling, "boxCE boxCE boxCE" starts going pretty fast!


NOTE, you must draw the cuts first so they're at the back of the page, and the text centers to the cuts. If the cuts come after the text, then the cuts will center to the text!

Hope this helps!

Neville Stewart
04-23-2016, 12:33 PM
All the same and let me say thanks to all, and above and beyond there Kev.

Gary Hair
04-23-2016, 12:50 PM
Step and repeat is so much easier than copy past and nudge. Plus, it maintains layers where copy and paste don't.

Ruben Salcedo
04-24-2016, 3:41 AM
As Kev, I also use cardboard a lot for one up use or for reusable ones too.

I like cardboard because is inexpensive and easy and fast to cut, I specially like it to construct jigs for odd shaped items of which I can create a more dimensional jigs by adding several sheets and glue them together, I just use Elmer's wood glue and it dries very quickly and strong, to make these jigs I basically do what Kev does, bellow you can see some I have done previously.