Project 30: Designing for the laserAugust 9, 2011
Caution: the descriptions on this page are from my brain and are by no means a technical explanation. If you need more detail holler in the comments and I’ll find someone smarter to answer you.
The most important thing to know when designing for the laser is the difference between a raster and a vector. If you have always worked in Photoshop then you have always worked with rasters. The laser interprets any raster image as something that will be etched, not cut. The reason for this is that there are no clean edges in a raster. See the graphic above? The edge of a raster image is made of lots of little boxy pixels. A vector image is made of lines.
So to design for the laser you need to download a program that can create vectors. I chose Inkscape, then spent most of the evening Googling for my specific questions because their help files assume you’re an engineer.
I’m going to spend the rest of the day drawing circles of various sizes for my knitting needle gauge. When I check in tomorrow my design will hopefully be done and I’ll be on my way to the laser. Wish me luck!