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Warp: Warp describe the
movement created by heat onto an original flat surface causing the
material to bend and flex in a permanent position. When heat is applied
to certain materials or small sections are cut, some warping may be
evident. Call QuickSmart Production Personnel for technical advice /
suitability before designing your signage.
Nodes are also control points. In effect, nodes can be manipulated to
change the incoming and outgoing directions of lines and curves. See
Ezine. Drawing lines and Curves
Go to our online
to choose a colour for your signage.
Go to our online signs and laser cut
LASER CUTTING HELP & Tutorial Pages with
lots about how to laser cut.
Path Direction, lift and
drop are very important when laser cutting and determine the
differences in cutting quality.
Born amongst CAD (computer aided
drawing), CNC routers and Sign Plotters, Laser cutting is latest
technology manufacturing and requires certain understandings to achieve
1. Path Direction and Minimum Nesting
2. Depth Controls
3. Material Knowledge
4. Lift and Drop (Start Points)
In this article we will describe the better 'set up' procedures to
achieve path control when laser cutting.
Below describes the better method for cutting out a letter A from 3mm
Anodized Aluminium. See also our Ezine on
The letter or
shape to be cut must follow a path of direction. You can not
effectively process independent lines or curves that do not
have 'joining' or control points that indicates the next
movement. In effect, all lines and curves must lead to
Using a Graphics Program, find the the path direction of
nodes. Occasionally the path will be incorrect in original
Select the image and break apart all node editing points and
master control points.
Reversing Direction Paths
Reverse the path direction to suit a 'smooth flow' path that
a machine head can logically follow to suit the total
project to be cut. E.g.. Do not have a letter move from one
far side to extreme other side to cut single letters or
lines. This may create heat and warp problems with
Achieve a smooth work flow for the entire letter.
Additionally, this 'follow path' will assist any
quotations for cutting. Precise times can be calculated
(Processing Time / Plasma use). This allows greater
Lift and Drop
Set any internal cuts, angles or reversing of path
directions. Use 'Bring to Front' or 'Take to Back' commands
in this step. Once internal paths have been set correctly,
combine the letter or shape into a single object. This will
ensure accurate cutting and shelling (Shelling is known as
the remaining uncut sections from sheet material).
Adding Start Points
Avoid unnecessary errors in cutting by adding additional
paths such as Start Blast Points, Figure 8 turn points and
tolerance for bevels, knockouts and shelling..
To ensure crisp corners and that heat is not over placed on
sharp corners, set a path direction past the corner, then
program the direction path to come back to corner along the
same axis as the new leading edge angle
Achieving sharper corners
Occasionally we set our graphic path direction past the
corner points in a figure 8 configuration so that the laser
beam path comes back around past the end point of the
corner. This method is particularly useful when cutting at a
high speed for softer materials and avoid a slight rounding
of the edges.
Did you know we
also have Ezine's on drawing with computer programs such as CorelDraw