Tutorials Laser

Materials that may or may not be cut on the Epilog laser

Using Photos and Edge Detection

If you have complex contours that you don't want to do point-to-point measurements and sketches of, you can take a picture of the object, trace it to output a DXF, and cut. If you are doing multiple objects, you should do each object separately and combine on the E8 canvas at the end. This makes it so you can move, rearrange, and adjust individual images without having to go back to the beginning of tracing.

Picture

Try to take on a flat surface with contrasting color. Use flash if needed. Have camera substantially far enough away that distortion is not significant (i.e. ensure straight lines appear straight in the photo).

Trace

You can import the image into SolidWorks and trace in a sketch and use these edges to output the DXF that will go to the laser cutter. This is probably the easiest option.

Alternatively, if you don't have access to SolidWorks or just want to have a flashback to elementary school, you can pop open the picture in Paint. Darken any areas you want to keep and lighten any areas you don't. You'll run this through Adobe Illustrator (on the computer next to the laser cutter), which will pull out the edges and output them as a DXF. The downside to this is that you may not get the smoothest contours. The upside is you can do it anywhere, and look like a boss for getting something done in Paint.

In Illustrator, you will want to open the Trace Options menu and probably bump up the minimum size detected object to the maximum, mess with the threshold, and turn on Ignore Whites (gets rid of the border of the image that is otherwise detected).

Cut

Lay out your parts on the canvas of E8 and then print away. Make sure your scaling is correct. It's smart to check by cutting out of paper on the Paper cut profile.


Material Types


User Manual


In-Depth Tutorial


How to Process a Photo for Engraving on Wood

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