Protohaven Member Forum

Making Laser Cutter Files

I am involved in creating some shadow puppets (for the Little Gray Cat musical) and the artist is using Adobe Illustrator. What is the line width he should use for the cut line? And is it still red?

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@flounder stroke weight should be 0.001 pt for Illustrator. It can be RGB red, but doesn’t have to be because you can pick other colors for cut in the laser software. Should be in RGB mode however.

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stroke weight should be 0.001 pt

Has this been genuinely tested or is this just conventional wisdom? I’ve not played with illustrator files but with DXF files the software doesn’t even look at the stroke width information when they are imported so you may as well use whatever width is most usefully visible while you’re editing.

@Xuth I cut AI files on the rabbit lasers at PH regularly - it works.

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I’m sure it works. That isn’t my question. Has anyone tried using a stroke size of 0.1 or 1 pt or even 10pt to see if it works also? Because at 0.001 pt you have a bunch of lines that are very difficult to see in the file that you’re editing. (I don’t use illustrator or anything that can generate illustrator files. I only use inkscape and for the files I generate it doesn’t matter what size of stroke I use).

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I know 0.1 pt works, but not sure about thicker stroke weights.

I’ve been using a .5 stroke in Illustrator without issue.

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Stroke weight should be as narrow as possible. If you’re really savvy you can experiment with making the stroke width slightly less than the kerf, but that requires mad focusing skills. I do everything with thinnest stroke possible and hope for the best.

As an aside, this is another reason to use DXF instead of AI or SVG files. Good DXF exporters let you set a default stroke width for all the lines so that one time you used 10pt instead of 1pt is no big deal.

The point of my comment was that rdworks fully ignores the stroke width when it imports the files.

I think we’re in the process of switching away from rdworks to another package.

In both rdworks (by experiment) and lightburn (from my understanding of the documentation and my now limited experience), the stroke width is ignored when vector files are imported.

Interesting. On the Epilog software (several years ago), wide-width lines were sometimes treated as graphics to be etched.