September '21

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 68 of 102

A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z AT I O N 6 4 G R A P H I C S P R O S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M Y O U R L A S E R A T W O R K | B O B H A G E L M any lasers are designed to be used with almost any software application that allows you to print text or graphics to it. Most profes- sional laser operators use a vector graph- ics program as you can lay out and edit text, bitmap art (row of pixels), and vec- tor art (object oriented). Vector art soft- ware makes it fast and easy to lay out your text and graphics, as well as draw new artwork in color or black and white. They typically contain tools to turn bitmap art into vector art objects, which allows for quicker, more precise edit- ing. I highly recommend purchasing and learning a vector art program for your lasering projects. If you are new to engraving or set- ting up a vector graphics program for the first time for laser engraving, here is some insight into a few key items you will want to consider. Many laser engravers use CorelDRAW; however, much of this advice applies if you use Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer, or another program. I use CorelDRAW 2020 for this article. THE BASICS The page size you set up for your laser job should match the size of the product you are lasering. In your software, you may want to have presets for the most common items you will engrave. To begin with, set up a page size of your laser table. If you are engraving multiple items at the same time, lay them out on your table so your page size represents the entire table available to you. Sheet goods such as metal, wood, or plastic sheet may come in your table size or can be cut to fit your laser table. In CorelDRAW, on your top menu, go to Layout>Document Options and select Page Size. In the dropdown menu, select Custom and put in the page size you want to save. Press the SAVE icon and you will be asked to name the page size. You may want to save all of the most common object sizes you engrave. This page size will now be available on the SETTING UP YOUR GRAPHIC PROGRAM FOR LASERING WITH CORELDRAW My typical page layout with a page size equal to my table size. To the left, I had a very small Command Bar with the two distribute commands I used most often. (All im- ages courtesy Bob Hagel)

Articles in this issue

view archives of GRAPHICS PRO - September '21