Using Illustrator for Laser Cutting
- Set artboard to size of material (max 4′ x 8′)
- Allow 1/8″ margin for the border of the material.
- Have artwork drawn at actual size
- Set up file in RGB mode: File > Document Color Mode > RGB
RED laser cutting lines
- Set stroke weight to .01 inches
- Set red color to RGB 255,0,0
We have calibrated cut settings for all of or materials. Thicker materials take more time to cut through and straight lines cut faster than curved lines.
BLUE vector engraving/ scoring lines
- Set stroke weight to .01″
- Set blue color to RGB 0,0,255
BLACK raster engraving
If you are engraving thin vector lines, it is recommended to use vector engraving.
However, if you want to vector engrave a stroke in illustrator, you must expand the stroke and give them a black fill.
- To expand strokes, select them , then go to Object > Expand
- Set black color to RGB 0,0,0
- If you are engraving text, it must be converted to paths and outlined. To do this, select text and go to Type > Create Outlines
- Inserting an Image in a Drawing
- To insert an image, make sure it is 300 dpi and in black and white. File>Place
To convert an image into engravable vector lines, you can also use live tracing. To do this, select the image and go to Object > Live Trace
Live Paint Groups
The live paint function is an appearnce tool and can’t be used to set up a laser cutting/ engraving file. Press (cntl + Y) to view in outlines to see how the laser cutting machine will read the file. Release all live paint groups by going to Object > Live Paint > Release
Clipping Masks is an appearance tool and can’t be used to set up a laser cutting/ engraving file. Press (cntl + Y) to view in outlines to see how the laser cutting machine will read the file.