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Author Topic: Newbie struggling  (Read 2982 times)

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Offline pinkpanther1

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Newbie struggling
« on: August 02, 2017, 03:55:06 PM »
Hi Guys 
I am a newbie and feel a little inadequate asking but here goes .
I have a chinese laser cutter and I am trying to design a simple door number sign to engrave on slate.
I have my clipart's and i have inputted a number and the street name via the add the text icon.
I have been selecting it all and attempting to trace to bit map but it doesn't seem to like it at all .
I know i need a dxf file for the machine to read it but god only knows how to do it .

Also is there a way to make a template once i get it working as much of my work will be repeated apart from different clips and text , but the will all remain in the same place if that makes any sense :(
Cheers guys

Offline brynn

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Re: Newbie struggling
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 07:37:29 PM »
Welcome to the forum!

Can you show us the clipart that you want to auto trace?  Sometimes you can create a good cutting file from an auto trace.  But I'd say that's probably the exception.  Most of the time you'll still need to work on the trace result, to make it appropriate for cutting.  Maybe only a little work.  But it's also possible the best result would come from "manually" tracing the image - which is usually a lot of work (compared to the idea of a magical trace engine).

(Actually I'm curious where people are getting this idea, that you can simply import any image, and a trace engine will magically make it ready to cut.  But we sure get a lot of people who have that idea.)

Anyway, here's the general process

1 -- import the clipart
2 -- trace it (Whether you trace "by hand" using the Pen/Bezier tool, or auto-trace using Path menu > Trace Bitmap, depends in the image and the kind of results you want.)
3 -- type the text
4 -- select the text and do Path menu > Union
5 -- arrange the text and the trace results
6 -- Document Properties > Page tab > Page size > Custom size > Resize page to content (this automatically makes the page the same size as your drawing - it allows you to set a margin too) (You could start the other way around, with setting the page size first, if you want.  Then you have to take a couple of extra steps to center the paths on the page.)
7 -- File menu > Save as > DXF

Your laser cutter will cut slate?  By "slate", I'm thinking of a certain kind of rock or mineral.  But I guess I've heard blackboards called slate before.  So maybe it's like a soft rock?  But still, it seems like it would take a pretty powerful laser to cut it.

Oh right, and your question about a template.  If you need a template, you certainly can make one.  I'm not sure if it would be necessary, unless you mean that you will be cutting always the same size of image.  Are you going into the business of making door number signs?  Or if you will be cutting always the same image (from the clipart), then you could trace the clipart only once, and make it part of the template.)

Here's a tutorial for making a template:  http://libregraphicsworld.org/blog/entry/using-templates-in-inkscape

Offline pinkpanther1

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Re: Newbie struggling
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 01:43:58 PM »
yes door number signs and coasters etc
I want a template so it is multiple up especially for the coasters 100mm x 100 mm
my bed is 500 x 300 so i can fit 15on at once it i can do it ?

Offline pinkpanther1

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Re: Newbie struggling
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 01:46:00 PM »
this is the simple thing i can't do :(

Offline brynn

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Re: Newbie struggling
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 02:57:11 PM »
my bed is 500 x 300 so i can fit 15on at once it i can do it ?

Yes, that sounds possible.  Did you see the link I gave for a tutorial for making a template?

I don't understand your question  about your last message.  (I realize it went immediately into moderation, and that you might not realize, if it's not what you meant to post.) (Btw, you're finished with moderation, and from now, all your messages will post immediately.)

So what simple thing is it, that you can't do?

Offline pinkpanther1

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Re: Newbie struggling
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 11:28:11 AM »
i want to engrave this on slate but it doesn't transfer over correctly
its like they are all different types of images or something

Offline brynn

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Re: Newbie struggling
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 02:14:04 PM »
Hhm, could you explain what you mean about them being different types of images?  Does the machine show you a preview?  If so, can the machine make a screenshot of its display, so that you can show it to us?  Somehow or other, we need to understand the problem, before we can answer.

Also, please provide the SVG file.

Is the image you showed (finalblack.png) an exported PNG from Inkscape?  Is that showing before or after using Trace Bitmap?  If after, you probably still have a lot of work to do, before it's ready for the machine.  I can't tell for sure what needs to be done, from looking at the PNG.  I need to see the SVG file, to be sure.

But if that's the trace result, obviously you'll want to delete the rectangles around the little people, right?  Or do you want to etch the rectangles into the slate?  They look too tall and skinny, actually.  I wonder if something happened to take them out of proportion.  Or is that how they are supposed to be?  You'd probably want to make equal spaces between them, I guess.  Can you really etch that much detail into slate?  It seems like those tiny details would be easy chip out.

The numbers appear to be made of straight segments.  Is that on purpose?  Also, I guess they need to be centered?

Actually I wrote a tutorial for this.  It's written more for people who have made their own hand sketch, which they scan into their computer.  But it works for nice clean line images like you showed too.  It doesn't cover everything which it appears you need to do.  But it will get you started, and we can still answer questions, if you can't figure something out.

https://forum.inkscapecommunity.com/index.php?action=articles;sa=view;article=46