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CorelDraw Tips: Creating A 3D Effect Using Drop Shadow

Aug 29, 16 • Tips, Front PageNo Comments

CorelDraw Tips: Creating A 3D Effect Using Drop Shadow

A three-dimensional, or 3D, object brings more realistic depth and perspective to an image.  There are a number of ways to achieve the 3D look in CorelDraw but today we will learn how to create this effect through Drop Shadow.  The Drop Shadow effect can be made by making an offset shadow behind an object to show that it is floating above the background.


  1. In the toolbox found on the left side of the screen, click the Drop Shadow tool
  2. Select the object.

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  1. Drag the cursor from the center or side of the object until the drop shadow is the desired size.

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  1. Specify the attributes on the Property bar.

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  • Drop Shadow Offset – To set the distance between the drop shadow and the object.
  • Drop Shadow Angle – To set the direction of the drop shadow.
  • Drop Shadow Opacity – To adjust the transparency of the drop shadow.
  • Shadow Feathering – To sharpen or soften the edges of the drop shadow.
  • Feathering Direction – To soften the shadows edges toward the inside of the shadow, toward the outside of the shadow, or both of the direction.
  • Feather Edge – To choose the feathering type.
  • Shadow Fade – To adjust the amount of fading at the edges of the drop shadow.
  • Shadow Stretch – To adjust the length of the drop shadow.
  • Transparency Operation – To choose how the color of the drop shadow blends with the color of the underlying object.
  • Shadow Color – To choose the color of the drop shadow.

A Drop Shadow can create great depth and dramatically change the appearance of an object when used correctly.  For best results, use a drop shadow on a white or light colored background.

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If you want to revert the image back to its original state you can remove in a few easy steps.


  1. Select an object’s drop shadow
  2. Click Effects -> Clear Drop Shadow


Jul 11, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments


ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Engravers Network Technology Showcase


Where: 637 107th St, Arlington, TX 76011

When:  August 8, 2016 from 1pm – 5pm and August 9, 2016 from 9am – 4pm (hourly appts)

For more information click here

CorelDRAW Training Seminar w/ Roger Wambolt


Where: 637 107th St., Arlington, TX

When:  August 19th and  August 20th, 2-Day Event!

Time: 9:00AM – 4:00PM each day

Cost: $175 per person (includes lunch)

For more information click here

VISION Training Seminar w/ Cliff Cabral


Location: Engravers Network ARLINGTON Facility, 637 107th Street, Arlington, Texas 76011

Vision for BEGINNERS

Day 1 – Thursday, August 25, 2016

1:30 p. m. – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $25


Vision for ADVANCED

Day 2 – Friday, August 26, 2016

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $50/includes lunch

For more information click here.

CorelDRAW X8: Setup for Universal Laser Systems

Jul 5, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

CorelDRAW X8: Setup for Universal Laser Systems

Discover the latest features in your graphic design software with the new CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8.  With advanced support for Windows 10, multi-monitor viewing and 4K displays, the suite lets first-time users, graphics pros, small business owners and design enthusiasts deliver professional results with speed and confidence.


Top new features include:

  • Multi-monitor, 4K and Real Time Stylus Support – NEW
  • Corel Font Manager – NEW
  • Show Objects – NEW
  • Copy Curve Segments – NEW
  • Gaussian Blur Feature – NEW
  • Healing Clone tool – NEW
  • Workspace customization – NEW
  • Startup assistance – NEW
  • Border and Grommet Dialog box – NEW
  • CorelDRAW & SDK Developer Community – NEW
  • Get More Docker – NEW
  • Royalty-free, quality content – NEW

Learn how to set up CorelDRAW X8 to work with your Universal Laser System: DOWNLOAD NOW!


Vision Tip of the Week: Cleaning Your Multi Mat

Jun 20, 16 • Tips, Front PageNo Comments

Vision Tip of the Week:  Cleaning Your Multi Mat

The Multi Mat for your Vision system eliminates the need for double stick tape, clamps, and vacuum tables.  It is produced with a special rubber coating on both sides and cleans easily for longer use.  To clean your Multi Mat we recommend using glass cleaner or dish soap and water along with paper towels.  Follow the step-by-step instructions below:

Clean Multimat

Step 1: Apply your cleaning solution to the Multi Mat.


Step 2: Wipe the chips in one direction.  The goal is to pull the chips off of the mat completely so avoid short, back and forth strokes.


Step 3: Be sure to keep both sides of the Multi Mat clean, as buildup on the bottom surface may allow the mat to slide across the table.


How to Install and Clean Your Multi Mat

Application Tips: VISION Firearm Marking Systems

May 23, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Application Tips: VISION Firearm Marking Systems

Vision Firearm Marking Systems provide significant advantage in terms of control, safety, and reliability.  Vision marking systems are effective tools for direct part marking for the purposes of traceability, branding, and product adornment, and offer a versatile solution for both short and long run production cycles.

  • More consistent depth of engraving vs. other marking methods
  • Multiple platforms for your specific needs
  • Increase production and streamline work flow with automatic serialization software
  •  Mark on curved, flat, round, coated or bare surfaces
  • Work with a variety of metals including iron, steel, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, and exotic metals and composites (i.e., titanium)
  • Our systems are backed by a dedicated & knowledgeable technical support team based in Phoenix AZ
  • Manufacturing rugged reliable systems in the USA for over 33 years

Firearms Marking with Vision Engraving & Routing Systems:
Learn more about Vision’s firearms marking systems.

Deep Marking On Stainless Steel:
Deep engraving into stainless steel using a VISION 2550 CNC Router with optional Unist Misting System and NSK High Frequency Spindle.

TherMark & CerMark

May 11, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Cermark Thermark

TherMark’s patented laser metal marking products offers a unique solution for creating permanent, high contrast, high resolution marks on a wide variety of surfaces, including most metals, ceramic, glass and many plastics. The revolutionary TherMark process uses precise lasers and marking materials scientifically formulated to permanently fuse to metals, plastics, ceramics, glass and other hard surfaces creating high-contrast, high-resolution marks.


Choosing the correct TherMark product for your marking needs depends on what your priorities and requirements are for both your mark and marking process. For some, the blackness of the mark is the determining factor, while for others a required production quota makes marking speed the most important consideration. In other situations, delivery method is a key factor.

TherMark’s LMM series laser marking materials are specifically engineered to create high quality black marks on a wide variety of metals. The contrast, resolution, and durability of these marks make TherMark materials ideal for Bar coding, 2D data matrices, product serialization, direct part marking, text labeling, part traceability, branding, and logos and decorative marking.



There is an appropriately formulated TherMark laser marking material for almost every metal surface. The process window for creating high quality marks may vary depending on substrate composition and/or thickness, application method, and laser type.

Metals that can be mark include stainless steel, brass, pewter, copper, chrome plating, galvanized steel, silver, nickel plating, aluminum, gold, anodized aluminum and titanium.

LMM6000 VS LMM14

LMM6000, a CerMark™ product, is one of TherMark’s two general purpose laser marking inks and is recommended for creating black marks on a variety of metals. LMM6000 has been specially designed to dry in a hard coat which can be handled prior to laser marking without rubbing off.

The following list is made up of substrates on which LMM6000 works well. This list is not exhaustive, however, so if your substrate does not appear on the list, this does not mean LMM6000 will not mark it.

Stainless Steel Stainless Steel – Bright Annealed Chrome Plating
Titanium Galvanized Steel Nickel Plating
Brass Aluminum Gold Plating
Copper Pewter Silver Plating


LMM14 is one of TherMark’s two general purpose laser marking inks and is recommended for creating a black mark on most metals. The combination of its flexible process window and wide range of applicable substrates makes LMM14 an extremely easy product to use.  LMM14 dries quickly as a light-gray powder coat and is extremely easy to wash after laser marking.

The following list is made up of substrates on which LMM14 works well. This list is not exhaustive, however, so if your substrate does not appear on the list, this does not mean LMM14 will not mark it.

Stainless Steel Chrome Plating
Stainless Steel – Bright Annealed Nickel Plating
Galvanized Steel Gold Plating
Brass Silver Plating
Aluminum Titanium
Copper Pewter



Power and speed are the two most important variables to control when using TherMark laser marking materials with any laser, but there are other relevant variables depending on which laser you are using, such as length of lens, PPI, DPI, frequency, or hatch spacing.

Click here to download the recommended settings chart!


Feb 15, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments


Vision CNC Routers and Engravers allows your shop to easily make unique, custom-made signage. Create a variety of sign styles, including 3D cutout letters, dimensional signs, and beautiful VISIONCNCROUTERprint-to-cut designs. In addition, Vision makes it easy to create ADA-compliant signs by using the Automatic Raster™ Braille Insertion Tool, which saves time by eliminating work that is normally done by hand.

  • Create ADA-compliant Braille signs, cutouts, dimensional letters, directional signage and much more with just one machine• Cut sign foam, plastics(including acrylicand PVC), metals (including stainless steel and ¼” aluminum), wood, and more• Choose from table sizes ranging from 6” x 8” up to 4’ x 8’

    • Optional Automatic Raster™ Braille Inserter

    • Manufacturing reliable CNC machines in the USA for over 33 years

Wood, Dibond, Carbon Fiber, Acrylic, Print-To-Cut & more.  One machine does it all!

Watch this short Zombie Sign Video on the 2550 CNC Router!

Learn more about the 2550 CNC Router!


Featured Machine of the Week: VISION VE810 Engraver

Jan 25, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments


Featured Machine of the Week: VISION VE810 Engraver

Looking for a way to increase productivity and profits?   Congratulations, your search is over.  Vision’s VE810 is the perfect engraver, whether a newbie or seasoned professional.  The VE810 small format engraver offers a 8” x 10” T-slot table, full featured front panel with independent Z-Axis and spindle control, and red laser pointer for easy job set up.  Add in the optional Self-Centering Deep Vise to engrave odd shape items up to 3 ¼” deep.

The VE 810 system offers:

  • Includes aluminum T-slot table with 1″ spindle clearance
  • State-of-the-art electronic control system
  • Full-featured front panel with independent Z-Axis and spindle controls
  • Ethernet connection
  • A limited 1-year warranty

 Sign making, Trophy & Plaques, Parts Marking, Badge Engraving,
ADA Braille Signs, Wood Engraving, Plastic Engraving, Metal Engraving, Tag Engraving, Control Panels and more!

Click here for a printable PDF overview sheet


VE810 Spec Sheet

Application Tip of the Week: Color Fill Acrylic

Jan 18, 16 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Application Tip of the Week:  Color Fill Acrylic

“Color can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” – Oscar WildeColor fill

A dash of color is a great way to increase the beauty and value of many of the products you engrave. Color adds the perfect finishing touch to almost any item and helps distinguish your engraving services from the competition.

Color can be added to engraved items made of wood, glass, Corian®, acrylic, marble and many other materials.

Download the tutorial to learn how to add color to acrylic.

– Courtesy of the Universal Laser Systems Training Staff

Corel Draw TIP OF THE WEEK: Trimming Text in CorelDRAW

Dec 14, 15 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Corel Draw TIP OF THE WEEK: Trimming Text in CorelDRAW

The Trim Command, or “cookie cutter” is one of the most versatile commands in CorelDRAW. In these lessons are examples of the Trim command used on various styles of Text. CorelDRAW can trim text with a single line, or virtually any shape.

Create a string of text, and draw a straight horizontal line through the word using the Freehand Tool.


With the Pick Tool, select the line. Using the TrimTool (Shaping Docker), trim the lettering.

Note: I used an extra wide line to make it more visible for the lettering. However, the line width does not affect the results. Try this with a line width of .333. The results are the same.


Select Break Apart from the Arrange menu. Don’t worry about about losing the centers of the letters. We’ll fix that later on. With the Pick Tool Select on the top of the ‘B’. The blue handles I’ve use in the example indicate that it is a separate object. Click on the top and bottom half of the letters and you will see the separate objects.


Marquee-select all of the bottom half-letters as shown in the example (dotted red line). Choose Combines from the arrange menu. Here are the results after combining the bottom of the letters. I also changed the bottom to blue to better see the results.  Here are the results after marquee-selecting the top halves, combining, and changing the fill color to orange.


Here are some options you can do. In this example, just move the two objects apart with the arrow keys or the Pick Tool.


In this example, click twice to get to the rotation handles and center marker.


Move the center marker to the new position indicated. Then rotate with the upper right cursor.


Here is the results after the center marker was move to the lower left of, and rotated 10 degrees.


I duplicated the bottom part, offset it and moved it to the back.


In this example, I grouped the two parts, and contoured with a .05 offset to the Outside.


Download the PDF for additional lessons on the Trim Command, or “cookie cutter” command using CorelDRAW.