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Thread: Laser Newbie: Any Tips on Laser Cutting & Etching at the Same Time?

  1. #1

    Laser Newbie: Any Tips on Laser Cutting & Etching at the Same Time?

    I suppose some will see this as a stupid question, but I confess my ignorance.

    I should explain that I'm not a TOTAL newb. I have a wonderful little Epilog CO-2 Zing laser (30 watt) with which I've been cutting material for more than two years. However, I've finally gotten to the point where I want to cut and etch the same workpiece simultaneaously.

    I assume this is pretty easy, and I'm a quick study, but I wondered if anyone had any tips and/or vids or such that might help me get up to speed faster. I'm also certain that the Epilog laser owner's manual will be very helpful on this too (haven't looked yet). My schedule is always slammed and rushed, so any tips etc. that might speed up my learning curve would be most helpful.

    You folks are among the coolest and most knowledgeable peeps on the web, so I always come here first.

    Thanks in advance for any responses.

    Thanks,
    Scott
    Last edited by Scott Memmer; 08-25-2021 at 10:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,764
    I'd start by reading the manual and then use the Search function on here. Wonderful tool, now I will let Kev take over... Oh and consider being a paying member, a $6 donation will get you started.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  3. #3
    The laser will perform the raster first then the vector. You can set it to reverse that order but it cannot do both simultaneously.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5

  4. #4
    Your engraving program has x-amount of colors to choose from, the typical 6 colors are black, red, blue, green, yellow and cyan. While ALL colors can be set (usually) to raster, vector, or raster-then-vector, red is the 'accepted default' color among most laser users for vector cutting, all other colors are used for engraving, you use different colors for graphics or text requiring different power/speed settings. To APPLY the colors, you paint your objects in Corel or AI or whatever graphics program you're using is to paint your onscreen text/graphics the color you want. Black is the obvious first choice for raster engraving, red for vector cutting. (the colors you use are all personal choice)

    The easiest explanation I can come up with on how to vector cut after engraving in the same job, is to paint the to-be-rastered graphics black, then paint the to-be-cut lines red (usually the outline of the graphic(s) and any holes within)

    Here I've drawn a simple square/circle with a hole graphic- I've painted it yellow instead of black, simply so you can see the RED outlines.
    Note my engraving setup, where I have the yellow set to raster engrave, and the red to vector cut...
    r-v.jpg
    sent to the machine, it will simply raster the yellow, then cut the red.
    You just need to do the same
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  5. #5
    I don't know if the Zing is like the Epilog Mini, but on the mini you can only vector hairlines and only raster everything else. The mini's driver allows you to specify a job as raster, vector, or both. If you set it for raster and send it hairlines, nothing happens. Likewise, set for vector and send vectors that are thicker than hairline (e.g., 5 point lines) or bitmaps, nothing happens. Set for both and, if there are any non-hairlines, those will get rastered first, and then any hairlines will get vectored. Whether you select raster, vector, or both, you can optionally enable color mapping. Without color mapping (and without using one of the optional dither, 3D, or stamp modes), the laser driver doesn't care what color the artwork is: all hairlines are vectored at a specified vector setting, and everything else is rastered at a specified raster setting. With color mapping enabled, you can specify speed, power, frequency, and air assist on/off, as well as whether to raster, vector, or both, for any six colors of your choosing. Give it anything that isn't among those six colors and it will use the same setting that would be used if color mapping weren't enabled.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Your engraving program has x-amount of colors to choose from, the typical 6 colors are black, red, blue, green, yellow and cyan. While ALL colors can be set (usually) to raster, vector, or raster-then-vector, red is the 'accepted default' color among most laser users for vector cutting, all other colors are used for engraving, you use different colors for graphics or text requiring different power/speed settings. To APPLY the colors, you paint your objects in Corel or AI or whatever graphics program you're using is to paint your onscreen text/graphics the color you want. Black is the obvious first choice for raster engraving, red for vector cutting. (the colors you use are all personal choice)

    The easiest explanation I can come up with on how to vector cut after engraving in the same job, is to paint the to-be-rastered graphics black, then paint the to-be-cut lines red (usually the outline of the graphic(s) and any holes within)

    Here I've drawn a simple square/circle with a hole graphic- I've painted it yellow instead of black, simply so you can see the RED outlines.
    Note my engraving setup, where I have the yellow set to raster engrave, and the red to vector cut...
    r-v.jpg
    sent to the machine, it will simply raster the yellow, then cut the red.
    You just need to do the same
    Kev, thanks, they said you'd be along. Appreciate it.

    If I have a few basic questions, would it be okay if I PM'd you, or would it be better for all member to just post it here in this thread?

    Thanks Much,
    Scott

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Monaghan View Post
    I don't know if the Zing is like the Epilog Mini, but on the mini you can only vector hairlines and only raster everything else. The mini's driver allows you to specify a job as raster, vector, or both. If you set it for raster and send it hairlines, nothing happens. Likewise, set for vector and send vectors that are thicker than hairline (e.g., 5 point lines) or bitmaps, nothing happens. Set for both and, if there are any non-hairlines, those will get rastered first, and then any hairlines will get vectored. Whether you select raster, vector, or both, you can optionally enable color mapping. Without color mapping (and without using one of the optional dither, 3D, or stamp modes), the laser driver doesn't care what color the artwork is: all hairlines are vectored at a specified vector setting, and everything else is rastered at a specified raster setting. With color mapping enabled, you can specify speed, power, frequency, and air assist on/off, as well as whether to raster, vector, or both, for any six colors of your choosing. Give it anything that isn't among those six colors and it will use the same setting that would be used if color mapping weren't enabled.
    Glen, thanks for this. Much appreciated.

    Be Well,
    Scott

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    I'd start by reading the manual and then use the Search function on here. Wonderful tool, now I will let Kev take over... Oh and consider being a paying member, a $6 donation will get you started.
    Bill, thank you.

  9. #9
    TO ANYONE: RE: WANTING TO DONATE TO THIS FORUM!

    Bill George mentioned above about supporting the Forum with a $6.00 donation. I would LOVE to do this, but like a dummy never realized I could. However, I can't find on the site where to site.

    Would someone take a moment to tell me where to click on the site to make a donation? I'm thrilled to do this.

    Thanks so much, Bill. This Forum has been a life-saver for years for me.

    sm

  10. #10
    Scott--

    at the top of the page (all pages) is the Sawmill creek logo, with a 'ribbon' below, 'WHAT'S NEW - FORUMS - ARTICLES - BLOGS - DONATE -
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Scott--

    at the top of the page (all pages) is the Sawmill creek logo, with a 'ribbon' below, 'WHAT'S NEW - FORUMS - ARTICLES - BLOGS - DONATE -
    Hah! I'm moving so fast today I blew right past it.

    Just clicked and gave $20.00.

    I belong to several dozen forums and this one is the best of the best, probably in my best two.

    Thanks for the heads' up, Kev. Wish I'd known sooner.

    Have a great weekend,

    Scott

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