View Full Version : Adobe Illustrator

Ralph Balloqui
10-19-2007, 2:35 AM
I was wondering does anyone use adobe illustrator with their laser?

Doug Griffith
10-19-2007, 10:03 AM

Epilog laser with Illustrator CS.


John Keeton
10-19-2007, 5:03 PM

I am very new to this and just in the research phase. Hope to purchase in the spring, but in my surfing around it seems that Illustrator is more favored in the graphics world generally, but doesn't seem to be popular for engravers. Do you find that it functions well for you and were you familiar with Corel when you made the choice?

Doug Griffith
10-20-2007, 11:09 AM
I've been using Illusrator (on a Mac) heavily since it came out in '87 so being able to use it with a laser cutter was a major decision when making the laser plunge.

Illustrator and Macs were tightly knit into the professional graphics world until Adobe migrated to Windows and fonts and the file system became more accessible to service bureaus. Corel running on a PC has always been a cheaper and more accessible solution for users. Developers know this and focus their resources on it because of it's larger consumer base (as well as a more open architecture). This is a big reason why most proprietary software is developed for PCs. Drivers for hardware such as laser cutters are in the same boat. This all my opinion and is not meant to start a Mac vs. PC, Illustrator vs. Corel bash.

I'm happy using Illustrator with a laser. There are a few idiosyncracies though. Post #556953 will shed some light. It really depends on what software you know best. Corel also has a much larger base of people using it with their laser cutters. The help they can provide should weigh heavily in your decision. Unless you're a pro Illustrator user, I'd probably go with Corel on a PC.


Doug Bergstrom
10-22-2007, 8:04 AM
I have been in the prepress and graphics industry for years using Macs and PC's and I agree with Doug. Until the latest version of Corel (X3) Corel was never used much in the graphics industry. Now we use both but mainly for our laser. We find the laser is easier to run from Corel but still do most of our work in Illustrator. I believe it is mostly out of habit and ease for us after years of using illustrator it is tough to learn new software when you need to get the job out the door. If you are mainly using a plotter, laser, CNC or staying in shop for most of your projects I would say learn Corel. If you are designing or printing then either learn to export to Illustrator efficiently or get Illustrator. If your looking for a complete graphics package the new Adobe Creative Suite with Illustrator, In Design, Photoshop, Flash, and Dreamweaver is tough to beat. Good Luck!

Marc Myer
10-22-2007, 3:17 PM
I use Illustrator daily, and have learned some Corel for use with my laser.
But I'd like to ask for some tips on output of Illustrator jobs. On some jobs, I can't seem to make the print setup work right, and end up running the jobs through Corel to output.

Is there a rule of thumb you follow to ensure that every job will output reliably?

Doug Griffith
10-23-2007, 11:55 AM
Here's a few things I do on my Epilog:

I go through the print setup every time and do not trust saved settings.

For cutting:
I generally flatten the file. Select all and expand. Select all and outline type. Select all and make each element transparent with a .001 line. Using pathfinder tools, unite or knock out overlapping and masked elements. Remove all compound paths which are now unecessary. Remove redundant points.

For etching:
try rasterizing complex elements in place (ie. gradient mesh) also expand placed elements to embed into the actual file.

I work in Illustrator on a Mac. To laser, I transfer the finished file to the PC hooked up to the laser, then copy and paste what I created on the Mac into a fresh Windows version Illustrator document. I work in file sizes that match the size of my laser.

If I'm only cutting, I use the vector only driver.

I separate etch and cut items onto separate layers.

Sometimes I sort cutting using layers.

I'm sure there's more...


John Keeton
10-25-2007, 8:40 PM
Enjoyed the input over the last few posts. I made the first of many decisions and ordered Corel X3 and the Unleash dvd training book. Just got them in today so no progress yet. Hope to spend some time over the next few days - but bow season is in, the rut has started, and my attention has been diverted!!