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Preferred CorelDraw Settings.

Workspace Setup

Turn off Color Management

Tools > Color Management

ensure Settings drop down is set to "Color Management Off"

Set Page Size

Tools > Options > Document > Page > Size

set size to 24" Wide x 18 inches High (or metric equivalents of 609.6 mm x 457.2 mm, but it's easier to do in inches)

Set Rulers to match LASER guides (not really needed but it makes it easier for me)

Tools > Options > Guidelines > Rulers

set orign - horizontal to 0, vertical to 18 inches or 457.2 mm

If you are designing for a flat surface, anything within the 24" x 18" page will be within the positional range of the LASER.

If you're doing a design that will be wrapped around a glass or the like, and this will need the "Rotary Fixture", then there are some limitations in the area you can use, but this setup will cover most options.

Actual Design

There are 2 different modes in which the LASER will operate, and the operating mode is determined by the pen colour and pen width.

Vector Mode (outline)

RED hairline width pen = cut fine line

BLUE hairline width pen = engrave fine line

Raster Mode (paint fill)

BLACK = full power area engrave

As you reduce the black density, the power the LASER tube supplies is reduced by a similar amount. Unfortunately, the item being engraved will determine how it reacts to a lower power, and it most certainly isn't a linear relationship.

BLACK 50% will produce a 50% coverage of the area by interrupting the beam and cross hatching the area like a photo in the news paper.

BLACK 10% will provide a 10% coverage, etc.

For vectoring work (cut fine line or engrave fine line), if you're working with software other than CorelDRAW, then a line thickness of 0.001 inches (0.025 mm) works well. Anything thicker than about 0.008 inches (0.2 mm) will be interperated by the LASER drive software as a Raster Mode line, and the system will not cut or engrave the fine line.

Any other colours and or pen width should be ignored by the LASER driver, but if you could ensure that there are no other colours used on printable layers, then it will make my life easier.

If it's a design to be etched on glass, then we have found that restricting your artwork to 70% BLACK for the areas to be etched and WHITE for the areas that are to be left unetched, produces the best results.

If possible, subtle variations of BLACK percentage should be avoided. The LASER and glass combination does not have a very linear gray scale, so any subtle shading achieved by varying the BLACK percentage will certainly not achieve the shading result that you expect. The composition of the glass will also change the final outcome. Getting this right can quickly add a lot of extra cost to your set-up charges as the only way to see if it's right is to do a "print" (aka LASER etch run) on an identical piece of glassware, and if it's not right, adjust the files and try again. Each test run will add an $8-$10 charge to your set-up cost.

Saving

When you save the CorelDRAW file, you can save it as any version up to X5, but if you have used any fonts in the file that have not been converted to curves, then if possible, save the file with embedded fonts, or include a copy of the relevant font file(s).

If you have any questions, drop me an email via the contact page.

Thanks, James.


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