View Full Version : Software for Epilog?

Joe Shinall
02-20-2017, 3:25 PM
Hopefully within the next 2 weeks I will be setting up my Epilog Mini 35 I bought used about a couple weeks ago. I have heard about Corel Draw but also have a friend that uses Adobe Illustrator with his laser.

Can I get some recommendations on an easy, cost efficient software? Doesn't have to be like dirt cheap, just not looking at paying out the ying yang for something. The Corel looks to be about 400 bucks but I can get the home and student version since I'm in school but don't know what the difference is between the pro and student and can't tell from the site.


John Noell
02-20-2017, 3:32 PM
The vast majority use Corel so getting help is easier and there are plenty of tutorials. My understanding is that the home/student version lacks support for VBA macros. Probably not a major issue for you. If you are planning to be in business, the cost of Corel should not be a major barrier. You will probably spend a LOT of hours using it. It plays very nice with the Epilog driver (efficiency -> productivity) Yes, you can use Illustrator but, IMHO (as I have both) you will find it easier to get support if you go Corel. If you already know one or the other, that's different. There is a LOT to learn about laser engraving and having to start from scratch on the graphics software means there is a somewhat stiff learning curve to get past.

Gary Hair
02-20-2017, 3:37 PM
I'd recommend Corel, the full version. the vast majority of people with a laser use Corel so your available resources for help are way better than they would be with Illustrator. If you know Illustrator already then stick with that as it would work fine, but if you have to learn either one go with Corel. The H&S version has a few limitations compared to the full version, the primary one being macros - they are not usable with H&S. You also can't upgrade H&S, you pay for the version you are buying and that's all you get. Lastly, if you are intending to do this in any form of a business, you should have the full version instead of the H&S - that's not intended for business use.

Scott Shepherd
02-20-2017, 3:54 PM
Every person that I've ever talked to that runs lasers with Illustrator has had issues. They are normally strange things that happen and almost all the manufactures have the same attitude "Oh, you're using Illustrator? That's the problem then. Most people use CorelDraw. Have a nice day, sorry we couldn't help you".

I'm an Illustrator user, every day, but we don't run our CO2 lasers off anything but CorelDraw.

Joe Shinall
02-20-2017, 4:24 PM
Noticing a trend here lol. Didn't think about the fact that most use corel so the support would be a good thing. I will be using it for personal use, not business. I make Christmas presents and stuff throughout the year that would be nice to personalize and my wife makes all kinds of crafts. If the added support is worth it, I'd rather pay for the Pro version and not skimp out.

Gary Hair
02-20-2017, 5:50 PM
You won't get any different support with full vs H&S and the features they share are identical, you just lose a few features with H&S. Since you are using it for personal use, and are a student, then H&S may be right for you.

Doug Griffith
02-20-2017, 8:21 PM
I've used Illustrator since day one many years ago. Never a problem. The machine is an Epilog Mini 45.

David Somers
02-20-2017, 9:54 PM
Joe.....I would tend to vote for Corel as well, if only for the shear number of people using it who you can turn to. But, in the art world, Adobe tends to be it. If you have a bit of experience with either that is where I would head just so you arent introducing a new learning curve. Otherwise I might tend towards Corel.

I assume you are looking at Corel 8? If yes, make sure the Epi plays well with it. There are some issues with Corel 8 and the Corel Plug in used by Chinese lasers. That isnt an issue for you with an Epi, but check to be certain. Also, you can cut your costs if need be by dropping down from Version 8 of Corel to 7, 6 or even lower. They are all available. Be sure you are not getting an illegitimate copy too. Corel will not support those and you wont be able to upgrade from them. Also, with an H&S copy you do not get upgrade rights if that matters to you.

Have fun with the Epi!!!


Doug Fisher
02-20-2017, 10:08 PM
This review on Amazon was very helpful to me and led me to ultimately decide to not buy the Home and Student version of Corel. It points out a couple of things not yet mentioned in this thread.


At some point Inkscape will aggravate me enough to buy the full version of Corel. ;)

Joe Shinall
02-20-2017, 10:14 PM
Good to know David, I will contact Epilog and see what their input is on the version working with the laser I have. It's an 06 model, so I may have to drop back like you said. I think I'm going to do the full version and just spend the money to make sure I have everything I need.

John Lifer
02-21-2017, 8:03 AM
The education version, not h&s, different, is about half the cost of the STD full version and is a full version, just not for commercial.....

John Lifer
02-21-2017, 8:05 AM
Oh, don't get X8, most say X7.