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Vision: Make Path and Break Path Functions

Jan 8, 18 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Vision Tips: Make Path and Break Path Functions

When importing an image, sometimes you may need to edit the image or apply different tool paths.  However, if the image or object is not grouped, then the only way to get it into pieces is to Break Path which breaks it all down.  From there, you can edit, delete, etc., and when finished you can Make Path to make it into 1 piece again.

After bringing this border in from clipart, I then Break Path to edit it.

From here, I delete some of the inner rectangles, then Make path to make it back into 1 piece.  It is not enough to just group it if you want to do a fill between the rectangles, that’s another reason to use Make Path.

— Vision Engraving and Routing Systems, December 2017

Vision: 10 Benefits of Rotary Engravers

Dec 11, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Vision: 10 Benefits of Rotary Engravers

  1. Rotary engraving is environmentally friendly, creating no fumes or residues other than chips, which are removed by a simple vacuum. Laser systems burn material and require extraction systems within your facility. When burning any type of plastic, lacquered or painted products, a charcoal and particulates filter should be used to collect hazardous fumes and dust.
  2. Rotary engravers allow for the use of different sized cutting tools. This allows you to engrave in fine detail with a small cutter, and engrave large areas quickly with a larger tool.
  3. Allow for beveled-edge cutouts.
  4. Rotary Engravers allow you to engrave onto PVC, which is toxic when lasered.
  5. Our Vision Rotary Engravers will drill holes and automatically insert braille beads to easily create ADA compliant signs.
  6. With a rotary engraver you are able to engrave on uneven or warped surfaces with a nosecone to create uniform engraving over your entire item.
  7. Rotary engravers give you the ability to mark metals, including stainless steel, without the extra time and expense of applying a chemical coating.
  8. Rotary engraving plastic materials can cost 20-50% less per sheet than laser materials (based on current engraving plastic catalog prices).
  9. Rotary engravers are typically less expensive to purchase and maintain than a laser engraver. No specialized cleaning, critical alignment, or periodic recharging is required.
  10. Rotary machines form facets when engraving, creating depth and richness in the look of the finished product.

-Vision Engraving & Routing Systems 

Laser Cut Thanksgiving Turkey Napkin Rings

Dec 4, 17 • Tips, Front PageNo Comments

Thanksgiving Turkey Napkin Rings

This tutorial demonstrates how to cut and engrave on wood veneer: Trolase thins 0.5mm and Trolase 3.2mm thick.  Engraving materials available at Trotec. Browse our product range at www.trotec-materials.com

Preparation

Required Material:

  • Wood veneer
  • TroLase Thins with double-sided adhesive tape
  • TroLase – thickness: 3.2mm
  • Find all materials

Machine used:

  • Speedy 400 120 watt
  • 2″ lens
  • Vacuum table with honeycomb cutting tabletop or acrylic cutting grid

For this application sample you can use any laser machine from the Speedy laser enagraver series.

Tip:

If you are cutting only, we suggest leaving the clear film over the laminate material.


Step by Step

Step 1: Import design file into Software

Create a design of your own, or use the template provided. Send it to the laser with the recommended laser parameters given. Parameters can vary depending on the machine used, available laser power, as well as material thickness.

Print settings:

Process Resolution Cut line
Standard 500 dpi none
Halftone Others
color enhanced geometries, inner geometries first
 

Step 2: Cutting and engraving on Wood veneer and TroLase

Place the wood veneer onto the lasers honeycomb cutting table, and cover the additional work area to produce a stronger vacuum. Remember that the parameters can differ, so adjust accordingly.

LASER PARAMETERS:

Laser process Color Process Power (%) Speed (%)
Engraving Wood veneer Black Engraving 80 100
Cutting Wood veneer Red Cutting 90 1.3
TroLase 3.2 mm Red Cutting 85 1.2
Cutting TroLase Thins 0.5 mm Red Cutting 100 1.5
Engraving TroLase Thins 0.5 mm Black Engraving 40 25
ppi/Hz Passes Air Assist Z-Offset Advanced
500 1 off None
1000 1 on None
1000 1 on -2 mm None
1000 1 on None
500 1 off None
 

Step 3: Assembling Napkin Ring

Remove the adhesive film off the back of the TroLase Thins and fasten to the wood veneer. Next, arrange the colored laminate pieces into the wood veneer cutouts, and your turkey rings are complete.

 

Getting Started with Vision: Solutions to Common Engraving Problems

Oct 16, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Vision: Common Engraving Problems Answered 

There are many common questions that arise when someone is just starting out in the engraving business or learning to engrave on a new material.  Below are a few of the most common engraving issues, and solutions to these problems.

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Question 1. “Why is the engraving on my item slanted?”

There are a few things that could be causing your engraving to come out slanted on your item. First, check your material for squareness. If your piece is not cut with right angles it may not be aligning to the table correctly. Next, check to see that the material is aligned properly against the edge guided. If your material is aligned to the guides properly, make sure it is not moving during the engraving process, you may want to try using multi mat or hold fixture to securely hold your material.

Always inspect the job before removing it from the table. You may be able to salvage it, or you may be able to analyze the problem to avoid repeating it.

Question 2. “Why do I get ‘shadowing’ when I engrave certain materials?”

There are a few things to try if you get a ‘shadowing’ effect while engraving. If your material came with a protective film cover, leave it on while engraving. This will keep the nosecone from scratching the material. You can also try switching from a metal nosecone to a plastic nosecone which is less likely to leave marks on the material.

Ensure your nosecone is not damaged. Any burrs or roughness can cause it to scratch the material. If your nosecone appears to be damaged, try using an emery cloth to polish it, or replace it with a new one.

Try reducing the spindle spring pressure on your machine. Excessive down pressure will leave a rub mark on almost any plastic material.

Question 3. “Why are there ‘tails’ and ‘swirls’ in the corners of my engraving?”

If you are getting swirls in the corners of your engraving your cutter speed may be too fast in relation to your XY speed. Slow your spindle speed down, or increase your table speed.

Using a worn or damaged cutter may also cause  tails or swirls in your engraving. You can have it re-sharpened or replace it.

Question 4. “Why is my text engraving poorly?”

Your letter quality may be poor if you are using too fast of an engraving speed. Try slowing down your engraving and spindle speeds to improve letter quality.

If you are using diamond drag engraving, your down pressure may be set too high. Reduce the pressure and the engraving quality should improve.

Also be sure that your cutter is not dull or damaged, and your material is secured firmly to the table. If your material moves during the engraving process the letters can become warped and distorted.

— Vision Engraving & Routing Systems 

CorelDraw x8 Tips & Tricks: INSTALLING FONTS

Sep 25, 17 • Tips, Front PageNo Comments

CorelDraw x8 Tips & Tricks: INSTALLING FONTS

Using different fonts allows you to quickly and easily customize a design.   Watch the video below to learn how to find and install fonts onto your computer so that you can use them in CorelDraw X8.

Tips & Tricks: How to Make Font Folders for Vision Software

Jul 31, 17 • Tips, Front PageNo Comments

Tips & Tricks: How to Make Font Folders for Vision Software

Sometimes it’s helpful to have a folder that has only the fonts you use.  This is how to do that:

Open the Vision software and click on Text Tools, then click on Frame Text Compose.

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Click on the Font Detective, then Options, then Add Group.

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For this example we used Trophy Fonts for the name, but you can name the folder what you need it to be.  If you are just putting a few fonts in the folder, it’s easier to check “which is initially empty” and click OK.

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Make sure the new folder is showing in the window, click Options again, then Edit Group.

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From here, the desired fonts for the new folder can be picked.  Choose the folder that has the fonts you want and just add desired fonts to the new folder.  When you’re done, just click OK, then Select.

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The new Font folder will be in your list with the new fonts ready to use.

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— Vision Admin, Vision Engravers

Vision 1612 Pro: Making of a Fidget Spinner

Jun 26, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Vision 1612 Pro: Making of a Fidget Spinner

Watch as we use the 1612 Pro Engraver to create a reverse engrave acrylic spinner. You can also download the cut file to engrave your own Vision Spinner.

Vision Tips & Tricks: Common Shortcut/Hot Keys in the Vision Software

Jun 12, 17 • Tips, Front PageNo Comments

Vision Tips & Tricks: Common Shortcut/Hot Keys in the Vision Software

 

Shortcuts or Hot Keys are key combinations on the keyboard that when pressed perform certain functions in the software. For instance, pressing the control button and the “A” button at the same time will perform the “Select All” function selecting everything on the workspace. This is commonly written in shorthand as CTRL+A. Shortcuts make navigating through the Vision software faster. Below is a list of commonly used shortcuts in the Vision software.

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If you search through the Vision software help files you will find a thorough list of shortcuts, hot keys and function keys.

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VISION Tips and Tricks: Text to Path

May 22, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

VISION Tips and Tricks: Text to Path

Text to Path will let you wrap text to shapes and lines.

***The Text to Path feature is included in Vision Expert and Vision Pro engraving and routing software packages, it is not included in the Vision Express package***

Start with typing out the text that you want and also create your shape/line to use.

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Select both the text and the shape, then the Text to Path icon on the top will light up, left click on the icon.

***If the Text to Path icon is not on your toolbar, you can find it by going to Transform on the top ribbon, then scroll down to Text to Path***

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The upper left top row allows you to place the text where on the shape you want (top, bottom, right, left) and the bottom row lets you place the text on the path of the shape (inside, outside, on, etc.).   You can adjust the space between the text and the path by entering a positive or negative number in the Text to path distance field.

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To make a change, click Apply, and when finished, click on Close.

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In order to be able to move the text, Group the shape and the text, move it, Ungroup it, and now you can position them as you need to.

— Vision Engraving & Routing Systems, 3/8/2017

How to Change Kerning in Vision Software

Feb 13, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Vision Software Tips and Tricks

How to change kerning in Vision Software

The Kern is the spacing between characters in Text.  This needs to be adjusted according to what tool and tool path you are using for text engraving so that characters are not too close and overlap, and in general for appearance.

This first section is for changing the kerning in non-V9 text.

You can adjust the kerning before or after you type out text.  For this example we’ll type out text then change the kerning.  Type out your text, highlight all of the text (left click and hold at 1 end of text and drag over or use Control A), go to Kern (at the top) and use either the little arrow keys to the right of the box or type in a number).  When done, just deselect to get out of text mode and apply tool path.

 

This section is for changing kerning in V9 text.

You can adjust the kerning before or after you type out text.  For this example we’ll type out text then change the kerning.  Go into text mode, then click on Toolbar Mode (the line), and then click on Character.

Type out your text, highlight all of the text (left click and hold at 1 end of text and drag over or use Control A), go to Kern (at the top) and use either the little arrow keys to the right of the box or type in a number).  When done, just deselect to get out of text mode and apply tool path.

 

Type out your text, highlight all of the text (left click and hold at 1 end of text and drag over or use Control A), go to Kern (at the top) and use either the little arrow keys to the right of the box or type in a number).  When done, just deselect to get out of text mode and apply tool path.

 

Now we can add an online tool path using a .060 FLX cutter at a depth of .010.

As you can see, this will not work because the letters are hitting each other so we need to adjust the kerning.  First, delete the toolpath, then go back into text mode, highlight the text, adjust the kerning to 107, and reapply the tool path.

When adjusting kern or anything else in text mode (font height, etc.), just remember to highlight what you want changed, whether that is all the text or just between 2 characters etc.

How to “Undo” in Vision Software

There are various ways to undo in the vision software:

  1. Click the “Undo” icon:
  2.  Use the window’s shortcut Control+Z
  3. b3

  4.  Go to Edit>Undo from the dropdown menu

 b4

 

 

– Vision Engraving & Routing Systems, Admin