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Author Topic: Inkscape to laser cutter / engraver, vector lines disappear when set to .001pt  (Read 1152 times)

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Offline danielchow

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Hey everyone, my name is Daniel, I'm a teacher and my students use an Epilog Fusion 32 laser cutter in my courses and clubs (as well as 3D printers). We've been cutting and etching successfully from Inkscape to the laser. But every time I set a vector line to a stroke width of .001pt it disappears. I am not able to set the line to a thicker dimension b/c the machine looks for lines that are .001pt and knows to cut them instead of etch.

BTW if anyone is curious, we used onshape.com parametric CAD to design most of the vector lines and import the dxf/dwg file to inkscape to set which vector lines are cut and which are etched Also  use Inkscape to add raster graphics and text.

Thanks!

Offline brynn

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Welcome to the forum!

I'd probably handle this problem with an extra layer.  I'd draw everything out, as usual, with 1 px or more stroke width, so you can see what you're doing.  Then when it's ready to be sent to the cutter, I'd add the extra layer.

Select all > Duplicate > Move to the new layer > reduce stroke width to whatever it is.  Then simply hide the layer with the wider stroke widths.
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Offline danielchow

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Yea that is exactly what I have been doing, that is the proper way of doing it and I have been teaching it that way. For for students not in my class that just want a "bite" how to use the laser cutter, I don't have time to show them how to use layers or much else. Hoping to simplify it for them, and when they get more interested to learn more, I can take the time to show them how to use layers.

No other options I guess?

Thanks for the quick response!

Offline HeatherM

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How detailed are the files?  Outline View might solve the visibility problem if there aren't a lot of overlapping paths.  From the menu:  View/Display mode/Outline
Heather
http://imagesbyheatherm.wordpress.com/
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Occasionally use Illustrator CS5

Offline danielchow

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Not very detailed.

If you're interested, here is the .dxf file we're importing into Inkscape, setting the vector lines to .001 pt, the lines will disappear. This is a small bookmark project
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByGp3HjoWUQQM3lYY1duVDRsUEE

Also if interested, here is the public CAD doc I used to make it:
https://cad.onshape.com/documents/a993a1f8b294c42b8f50c4fe/w/02e2c789624bc13bcb9c3c67/e/4e2cf3b2a738f099d6e14225

Thank you, I will try your suggestion!

Offline brynn

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Oh yes, outline view is a good solution!  I always forget about that, because I rarely use it.

The only other thing would be draw everything out.  And then right before you send to the cutter, select all, change stroke width.
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Offline danielchow

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It WORKED!

From the top menu: View > Display Mode > Outline to show all your vector lines no matter their stroke width!

See attached, screenshot, thanks!  :clap1: :ur: :ty1:

Offline danielchow

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Ok slight problem LOL

When I move into outline view, the raster graphics disappears and only a box with its outline appears. But at least I can see the vector lines I set to a stroke of .001 pt. Of course te whole point of seeing the vector lines is to line up the raster graphics for etching.

Any way I can view both the raster graphic content and the vector lines no matter how thin I set the stroke to?

Yes I know I can use duplicate layers, and I have been. But you have to understand some of my younger students are total newbies!

Offline brynn

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Oh, I didn't realize you were manually tracing raster images.  No I don't think there is any way to see the imported raster images and outlines at the same time.

Newbies can learn!

Although.....somewhere in the back of my head,  a little bell is ringing....  Did I hear something about this....?  Oh, my old brain!  Let me give it some thought, and try to bring it into focus.  There might be something.
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Offline brynn

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Ah-HA!!!

Inkscape Preferences > Bitmaps > Render > Image in Outline Mode
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Offline HeatherM

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Nice one!  I didn't know that was an option.   :D
Heather
http://imagesbyheatherm.wordpress.com/
Mac OSX, Inkscape, eClips,
Occasionally use Illustrator CS5

Offline brynn

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It's relatively new.  Since I don't use Outline view very often....well, it's a small miracle I remembered at all, haha!  But I had seen it mentioned in the release notes of a new version, in the last couple of years.  If I recall, you use an older version, so  you might not have it.

Oh, that reminds me.  On my other forum, I removed the OS and Browser identification, and added 2 new items to the profile for Inkscape version and OS.  I didn't think I would continue with it, because I didn't think new members would find it.  But I've been surprised, and more than half of them do - I might guess 3/4.  Maybe I'll just do that right now.  You'll see there's a nice little option for it, which makes it look like a signature.  (Oops...this forum needs an upgrade anyway, so I'll start on it shortly  :-$)
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