View Full Version : Hello

Gerald Johs
06-11-2016, 7:04 PM
Hello everyone, I've been watching this forum for sometime now. I have owned a cnc machine for about 5 years and want to add a laser. Thinking about getting a Trotec Speedy 300. I see most people use corel draw. With my cnc background and vectric software, can I use Aspire for designing software? What file format do you send to the laser machine?


Michael Hunter
06-11-2016, 8:10 PM
Trotec and the other "big name" makers use a "printer driver" to communicate with the machine.
This means that (in theory) a wide range of software could be used, though in practice you could hit unexpected difficulties!

In particular, the difference between "cutting" and "engraving" is determined by the cut lines being a defined width (and on some machines, colour).
With Corel this is easy - red hairlines get cut and everything else gets engraved (rastered).

I know that when I bought my Epilog (2004 - a long time ago) there were problems with AutoCad drawings, which meant a special setup and some "interesting" results.
Hopefully things will have moved on since then! Meanwhile I quickly found that running everything through Corel saved an awful lot of grief.

Kev Williams
06-11-2016, 9:22 PM
'With Corel this is easy - red hairlines get cut and everything else gets rastered'... with all due respect, this may be confusing to someone about to learn how to use Corel.

Please note that all available colors can be used for raster engraving OR cutting. For someone about to learn Corel, this is important.

The different colors are for determining the order your engraving and cutting gets processed. Red as a cut color has been adopted as "typical" simply because its the second color after black in most print drivers.

That said, Corel is popular because it's the perfect 'vehicle' for laser engraving. It's actually a very complicated program, but learning the basics is pretty easy. Some people prefer Adobe Illustrator. I've never used, or even seen a screenshot of it. I do use ancient versions of CasMate, and Gravostyle (necessary for my CNC machines) Between the three, I can usually get anything done I want as to graphics and text layouts. But Corel is nearly always the last link in the layout chain. The only exception is when using my Chinese laser, which uses its own proprietary software (PHCad in my case). But all work is finalized in Corel, then dumped into PHCad with one button click, then the machine settings are made, then the job sent to the laser.

Corel won't run your CNC machines, but you'll likely find its graphics and text capabilities will really compliment them... :)

Bert Kemp
06-11-2016, 9:37 PM
+1 Kev also use different color cut lines for vector engraving, like outlining letters and then something else I might want to cut a little deeper.

David Somers
06-12-2016, 1:07 AM

Aspire will work fine. Or at least it does with my Chinese laser if I export the vector in a format that the laser software (RDWorks) will take. If you already know Aspire well try using it. If you find it has some limitations then you can quickly buy and download Corel. The only caution I would have in this approach is if you are a business who needs the laser to be functional and producing right away. If that is the case, rather than playing around I might just do Corel, learn as much as you can while the laser is on its way and just use that. If you are not in a rush to start try Aspire first. Lastly, folks on this forum are pretty conversant with Corel and lasers so you will find more direct help here for that combo than if you ask about issues with Aspire and the laser.

Just remember, with Aspire or VcarvePro you need to stop when you have developed your vector drawing. No need to go further. Just export it in a format the Trotec will take.

PS....I use Aspire as well on my CNC. I use Corel on my laser. But I already had a fairly good handle on Corel from previously owning it.