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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
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  4.  Go to Edit>Undo from the dropdown menu

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– Vision Engraving & Routing Systems, Admin

Vision Software Tips: How To Nest Letters/Objects in Vision Pro

Nov 28, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Vision Software Tips: How To Nest Letters/Objects in Vision Pro

(Only available in Vision Pro)

 

The nesting feature in the Vision software can help you be more efficient with material and time when cutting out letters/objects.

 

For this example we are using text and shapes that we are going to cut out using a 1/16” endmill.  Type out your text, add your shapes, select the text, click on Arrange at the top, then click on Text To Graphics (to break the text down to individual pieces), then deselect.

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Now select all the text and shapes, click on Arrange, and then Nesting.  Starting from the left on the toolbar, pick the corner and direction you want the nesting to work from, 90 degrees to allow for some rotation when possible, distance for margin (from the plate edge), 1/8” space between parts, .050 for error, and then Apply.  The group of icons circled in red are something you can try out later.

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After hitting Apply, all your objects are fit together to be more efficient for the material.

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Now apply tool paths to everything and run it.

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So with just a few clicks of the mouse, you can be efficient in material and time.

– Vision Software Admin, 2016

REDUCE YOUR TAXES: Tax Benefit for 2016, Section 179 Deduction

Oct 17, 16 • Front Page, News, TipsNo Comments

REDUCE YOUR TAXES: Tax Benefit for 2016, Section 179 Deduction

2016 is flying by and before you know it 2016 will come to an end. However, for many companies this is one of the busiest times of the year.  Production is in full demand!   Now is the time to purchase new and/or additional equipment for your business! Not only can it benefit production time but also provides BIG SAVINGS!   The “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015” (PATH Act) expanded the Section 179 deduction limit to $500,000, and made it permanent.  This means up to $500, 000 in qualifying new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software, may be expensed this year if it is placed into service by the end of the day, December 31, 2016.

The PATH Act also reinstated the 50% Bonus Depreciation, and extended it through 2019. Businesses of all sizes will be able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and put in service during 2016 and 2017; even after the Section 179 deduction is taken, and all in the first year!

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LIMITS OF SECTIONS 179

Section 179 does come with limits – there are caps to the total amount written off ($500,000 for 2016), and limits to the total amount of the equipment purchased ($2,000,000 in 2016). The deduction begins to phase out dollar-for-dollar after $2,000,000 is spent by a given business, so this makes it a true small and medium-sized business deduction.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR SECTION 179

All businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $2,000,000 in new or used business equipment during tax year 2016 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction.

Most tangible goods including “off-the-shelf” software qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment and/or software purchased or financed must be placed into service between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

The deduction begins to phase out if more than $2,000,000 of equipment is purchased – in fact, the deduction decreases on a dollar for dollar scale after that, making Section 179 a deduction specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

2016 is flying by and before you know it 2016 will come to an end. However, for many companies this is one of the busiest times of the year.  Production is in full demand!   Now is the time to purchase new and/or additional equipment for your business! Not only can it benefit production time but also provides BIG SAVINGS!   The “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015” (PATH Act) expanded the Section 179 deduction limit to $500,000, and made it permanent.  This means up to $500, 000 in qualifying new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software, may be expensed this year if it is placed into service by the end of the day, December 31, 2016.

The PATH Act also reinstated the 50% Bonus Depreciation, and extended it through 2019. Businesses of all sizes will be able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and put in service during 2016 and 2017; even after the Section 179 deduction is taken, and all in the first year!

LIMITS OF SECTIONS 179

Section 179 does come with limits – there are caps to the total amount written off ($500,000 for 2016), and limits to the total amount of the equipment purchased ($2,000,000 in 2016). The deduction begins to phase out dollar-for-dollar after $2,000,000 is spent by a given business, so this makes it a true small and medium-sized business deduction.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR SECTION 179

All businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $2,000,000 in new or used business equipment during tax year 2016 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction.

Most tangible goods including “off-the-shelf” software qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment and/or software purchased or financed must be placed into service between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

The deduction begins to phase out if more than $2,000,000 of equipment is purchased – in fact, the deduction decreases on a dollar for dollar scale after that, making Section 179 a deduction specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

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Application Tip of the Week: Creating Multi-Tile Murals

Sep 12, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Application Tip of the Week: Creating Multi-Tile Murals

Not very long ago, commissioning a personalized, multi-tile wall mural was a costly undertaking reserved for the relatively wealthy. Today, however, thanks to CO2 laser technology, one-of-a-kind engraved murals are available at prices nearly anyone can afford.

Creating multi-tile murals on your Universal laser system is fast, easy and fun. In this easy-to-understand, step-by-step tutorial we will show you how to quickly and easily create beautiful, multi-tile murals using CorelDRAW and your Universal laser engraving system. We think you will find the process to be both rewarding and profitable.

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GETTING STARTED

1.1: Before you start creating a mural, there are some important choices you must make:

  • Choose a suitable photograph or artwork to engrave;
  • Choose the type of material to engrave, such as marble, granite, acrylic, wood or laser tile;
  • Choose the engraving tile size and finished mural size.

1.2: Some important questions to ask yourself:

Is the image a good candidate for engraving? Getting high-quality images and artwork from customers has always been a challenge for engravers. The image your customer provides must be capable of 250 dpi resolution at the actual size in which you plan to engrave it.

At what distance will the observer typically be located when viewing the tiled mural?

If the viewer will be standing just a few feet away, a smaller engraving tile size should suffice; if the viewer will be standing farther away, a larger size tile may be more appropriate.

Will the mural be located indoors or will it be exposed to the elements?

If the mural is to be located indoors, you can safely engrave on materials such as soft acrylic (invert the image and engrave on the back side of the acrylic to provide scratch protection), wood and even mat board. However, if the mural is to be located outdoors, you may want to consider using granite, marble, travertine or other lasting materials to provide long-term protection from the elements.

Okay… you’ve made your choices… now it’s time to create the mural!

DOWNLOAD THE TIP SHEET FOR STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS.