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Laser Cutter Basics: Preparing a file

user Illustrator (recommended by me) or CorelDraw (recommended by some others).

  • set up a document that's 48" x 24", RGB mode. here's is a illustrator template file
  • if building 3d things set grid-size matching your material's thickness
  • use RGB RED for vector cuts (all the way thru the material)
  • use RGB BLUE for vector engraves (part way thru the material)
  • use BLACK for raster engrave (part way through, laser moves back-forth across)
  • if working with images, "live trace", "live paint"  are your friends; if working with anything "pathfinder" is your friend.  look them up in Illustrator!

Google SketchUp/3D Warehouse, Origami and the Laser Cutter

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Some ideas for working with the laser cutter.

  • Download and install Google SketchUp
  • Build your own thing, or download some components from the 3d warehouse
  • If a flat cut (like gears), then view your model from the top, export a vector file (.eps), and
  • open the file in illustrator. Make the file conform to laser-cutter standards; cut
  • If building a 3d structure, consider using finger joints, OR, use a clever origrami program like 
  • Pepakura to UNFOLD your model; then export a vector file (.eps) from Pepakura, open in
  • Illustrator and make conform to laser-cutter standards