Guides/Illustrator for Laser Cutting

From London Hackspace Wiki
< Guides
Revision as of 10:36, 24 June 2015 by Giac0m0 (talk | contribs) (Added guidance explaining how importing AI files to Inkscape can reduce setup time on the LaserCut software)
Jump to: navigation, search


It seems to work well if you export to DXF with these settings:

  • DXF Format
    • AutoCad Version = R13/LT95
  • 1:1 Scale (1 Mm = 1 Unit)
  • Preserve Appearance

A reminder that all text should be converted to outlines and double/triple check that only one outline exists (if the stroke was also converted to an outline/compound path). Object menu -> Expand. Then the word must be ungrouped.

Pre-setting engrave/cut lines before Import to LaserCut v5.3

A direct export from Illustrator will import into LaserCut with every line as a cut line, on a single layer. If you want to prepare your design with raster lines, engraving and ordering of cuts, you'll need to follow these steps:

  • Using Illustrator:
    • Use a colour palette that the LaserCut corresponds it's layers. The first four colours/layers in LaserCut are Black (0,0,0), Red (255,0,0), Blue (0,0,255) and Green (0,255,0)
    • Select all the cuts and engraves and rasters into the same colour. Red for cut, black for engrave etc.
    • Make sure your line thickness is 0.01mm across the whole design.
    • Remove all layers that aren't visible, guides and end points not necessary to the design.
    • Save As an Illustrator file (any Illustrator version, Inkscape will import it.
  • Moving to Inkscape:
    • Open the Illustrator file.
    • Select all, right click and ungroup.
    • Bring up Fill and Stroke and check all lines are 0.01mm. At that size they won't be visible in Inkscape, so make them 0.4mm to check the colours and the designs. Set the lines back to 0.01mm before exporting.
    • File/Save As Desktop Cutting Plotter (AutoCAD DXF R14) .DXF
  • Moving to LaserCut
    • Import the DXF file
    • Check the coloured layers and reorder them so the engraves go first and the cuts are in the correct order.

To Do

  • Prepare an Illustrator Palette with the LaserCut colours only available
  • Link to a Inkscape Palette with the LaserCut colours only available