View Full Version : Vector cutting

Ray Mighells
07-07-2006, 10:11 AM
Hi all, I've aquired a good start for library of patterns, 4 discs of Tattoo art, and 4 Dell books with CDs, thanks to this list, and I've ordered 2 discs from Laserbuzz. I've also made some pretty good animal patterns from book photos. My problem is when I try to do a cut out on the design perimeter to use as an applique my pattern gets butchered because of vector lines within the design. Is there an easy way to change the inside lines? I've installed the boundry line, then dragged the boundry off the pattern and erased the internal nodes and regrouped. This is less than desirable - must be a better way. Since I'm here, a couple more things. How do you post pictures here?? And, I've noticed a lost of the messages do not include the authors address. I'm sure there are more laser owners in my area than shown in the index list. I have a lot of laser ready wood I'm willing to share with anyone close enough to come and get it. I have white oak, black walnut, black cherry, brazilian cherry. The pieces are between 1/16 and 1/8" thick, 5.5" wide and 4 to 6' long. I salvaged this wood from a flooring mfg. most of it is sanded one side and is easy to glue up for additional thickness. Thanks for all replies.

Lee DeRaud
07-07-2006, 10:28 AM
Assuming (1) the design has a solid perimeter and (2) you're using Corel X3, try this:

1. Draw a box completely enclosing the design.
2. Apply the 'smart-fill' tool to the area between the design and the box: that gives you an object that is box-shaped with a design-shaped hole in it.
3. Move the object from step 2 off to the side and apply the 'smart-fill' tool to the hole: that gives you a single solid object the same shape as the perimeter of the design.
4. Set the object from step 3 off to the side, set it to 'no-fill' and the correct boundary for vector cutting, and you're ready to cut.

Oh, and there's a list of laser owners in a 'stick' post at the top of this forum, giving locations. (It's not sorted though, last time I checked.)

Joe Pelonio
07-07-2006, 12:17 PM
Another way: Ungroup, select just the outer perimeter, copy selection. Then export the whole image as a .tif or other bitmap. Import the bitmap, then paste the perimeter hairline onto it lined up perfectly. The image will engrave, the perimeter will cut.

Rodne Gold
07-07-2006, 2:47 PM
Doesn't your laser driver have an option for each colour to either raster , vector or both?
If so make your perimiter one colour , click vector only in your driver , and make the graphic another and click raster only in the driver.
Corel also has some extremely powerful search filters , you can use "find objects" and ask it to find all outlines of a certian colour that less than a certain width (most lasers use hairline or less as vector linbes), use "find all" to get the whole lot , deselect the perimeter and delete em.
To post a pic , when you reply , hit the "go advanced" button and use the attach files function.

Ray Mighells
07-08-2006, 3:04 PM
Thanks for the responses. I've been all morning trying to unravel this procedure. My patterns have a phantom frame that blocks the fill. I've tried to take out the frame without success. This also interferes with layering -- the shadow frame blocks out the under layer. I haven't been able to find a tutorial that covers this. This trial and error method of learning is a real headache. By the time I find something I can use, I've been through so many steps, I forgot how I got there. Thanks for the help, all suggestions welcome. (PS Lee, I especially like your action + result approach.)

Lee DeRaud
07-08-2006, 3:20 PM
My patterns have a phantom frame that blocks the fill. I've tried to take out the frame without success. This also interferes with layering -- the shadow frame blocks out the under layer.(rant mode = ON)
Arrgh!! I know the graphic arts pros will disagree with me, but I think the concept of "layers" (at least as implemented by CorelDraw) is the spawn of Satan. Every time I've ever had a problem with over-cuts, missing objects, or "phantom" vectors, it's because I was working with a multi-layer drawing. It might make sense in the printing/art world, but it confuses the laser and annoys the snot out of me.
(rant mode = OFF)

George M. Perzel
07-08-2006, 3:30 PM
Hi Ray;
Email me one of your patterns and I'll see what I can do. Also check your private mail.

Mitchell Andrus
07-08-2006, 3:46 PM
Not sure this will help.... I raster space in solid stock for inlays cut from wood veneer. The inlay fits with a very slight clearance. Here's how I do it. Your mileage may vary.

Make or import an object. Fill it with black.
Outline the object with a hairline (.001) red line. This is your vector line.
Convert outline to object (Arrange menu) and 'select' outline.
Cut/paste outline (vector file) to a new page. NOT A NEW LAYER.
Select filled object.
Change outline to 1/2 point (.0069), in black. This is your raster file.

The vectored part (.001 outline) will fit neatly into the rastered space now that it has a (.069) outline.

Two files. Done. This works with text, traced bitmaps, etc.


Dave Fifield
07-08-2006, 4:37 PM
Lee, I echo your sentiments exactly! Your turn of phrase made me chuckle! Thanks for the larf.

Dave F.

Hale Reider
07-08-2006, 9:13 PM
Gee guys, I really like using layers. They let me do all kinds of things I could not do otherwise, because I frequently run a family tree through the laser three or four times, doing a different process each time. I cut it out on the last operation. I have to keep track of what is going to cut or raster and which layer is on top of which, but that is getting pretty routine. I usually run print preview on everything to check what is going to happen first. The Xenetech machine I had showed the image on the machine screen. The Epilog 36EXT I now have does not have a screen like the Xenetech did, but I am getting along without it.

Hale Reider


Dave Jones
07-09-2006, 12:20 AM
Almost everything I do needs layers. I lay out templates and shapes on layers that are set to not print and use them to place the "good" stuff. I also use them for variations and modifications so I can go back to an earlier version if I don't like the results or need to copy something from the previous version.