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How to Get Started with CorelDraw for Laser Cutting?

use CorelDraw in laser cutting

Wenting Wang |

What is CorelDraw?

Depending on the brand and type of controller in your machine, you can use a variety of software. First you need to distinguish between laser design software and laser control software. They are usually used together and designed to do different things. For laser cutting or engraving, you need CAD software to design the shape that needs to be cut or carved, CAM software to translate the design into commands that the laser machine can understand, and control software to send the generated program code to the laser. Sometimes you don't need separate software to perform each operation. For example, software like LightBurn can do all three (CAD, CAM, and control) operations. Laser design software is used to create graphics that can later be cut on a laser cutter. And the laser control software CAM is used to convert the graphic design into a set of commands that the laser controller can understand, and then into a list of coordinates so you can start carving your work.

The carving design software on the market are mainly CorelDraw, Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator, which are relatively popular. The full name of CorelDRAW is "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite", which is also known as "CDR", the software is a vector Graphics production tool launched by Canadian Corel company. After more than 20 years of development and transformation, CorelDRAW series has released 22 versions. Its perfect new necessary tools, powerful graphic design functions and a new appearance interface for designers to provide a wider creative space, open the door to new ideas, whether vector drawing or layout design, or website production or bitmap editing, this complete set of graphic design software can help you in accordance with your own style to design. As a pioneer of vector graphics design, CorelDRAW is good at turning basic lines and shapes into complex works of art. Create curves with a variety of general shape and drawing tools. Add creative effects to vector illustrations using effect tools such as outline, envelope, gradient, and mesh fill. Is an intelligent and efficient graphic design software, widely used in typesetting and printing, vector graphics editing and web design and other fields. CorelDRAW helps us quickly layout brochures, multi-page documents, etc. Use page rulers, grids, and guides to help us organize objects and place them exactly where we need them, greatly increasing creative freedom!


Benefits of using corelDraw Graphics Suites

CorelDRAW has been leading the graphic design, not only has advanced graphic design capabilities, but also has a wide range of user base, in the field of laser engraving, to process the figure how to design, this problem is the first step to solve. Laser engraving developers will generally develop a set of mapping software supporting the laser engraving machine, but its mapping ability is certainly not compared with CorelDRAW. CorelDRAW has a powerful drawing function, unlimited expansion of laser engraving machine functions.

CorelDraw can works with Adobe Illustrator, and its Graphics Suite version is a flexible option and has more additional features than the Essential and Standard versions. You can try the software for 15 days. After that, you must purchase an annual or one-time license to use it. It supports a wide list of file formats, including AI, PSD, PDF, SVG, DWG, DXF, EPS, and more. CorelDRAW website contains a valuable collection of resources to help you learn and master the software. It runs on both Windows and Mac operating systems and requires at least 4GB of RAM. For a clean user interface, you need to use a screen resolution of at least 1280 x 720 pixels. The software requires an Internet connection for installation and verification, but otherwise it works offline.

Laser engraving can be done in either vector mode or raster mode. Raster mode is essentially taking pixel based artwork made up of a series of individual dots and converting that to a burn. Vector mode, instead of having a set of dots, is line art described using mathematical expressions that can be scaled up and down without quality loss. This is similar to how modern fonts can be made larger without looking chunky.Gimp and Photoshop are both primarily raster focused products. CorelDraw, in contrast, is a vector focused product. Other vector programs include Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator. There are many cases where vector art is the preferred form for laser engraving. You can export laser cutting designs in popular vector file formats such as AI, EPS, SVG, EPS, EMF, DXF, DWG, SKP, and STEP. Since vector drawings are made by connecting different points using curves and straight lines, they are perfect for working with lasers, as laser cutting machines or engravers follow curved or straight cutting paths.

CorelDraw is a design software based on vector graph. Its functions can be broadly divided into two categories: drawing and typesetting. The interface design of the software is friendly and the operation is delicate and meticulous. It provides designers with a complete set of drawing tools, including circles, rectangles, polygons, squares, spirals, and with shaping tools, to make more changes to various basic, such as rounded rectangles, arcs, sectors, stars and so on. At the same time, it also provides special brush such as pressure pen, writing pen, spraying device, so as to make full use of the computer processing information, random control ability of high characteristics. 

The use of laser engraving machine is not difficult, difficult is to use what software drawing, in the field of handicraft engraving, laser engraving software with simple drawing function, can not design complex process graphics, it is necessary for us to use the powerful function of a general drawing software, to make up for the shortcomings of some aspects. CorelDRAW as a popular choice for carving enthusiasts, this kind of popularity is bound to bring convenience to people who use this software. 

CorelDRAW has rich available resources and a huge user base. There are various tutorials, books, materials and demonstrations. You will be able to learn at any time. Over the years, users have designed millions of graphic resources, which means that you don't need to carve and design them from scratch. CorelDRAW has extensive graphic format support. It supports importing dozens of formats of graphics, using it as engraving software is equivalent to the engraving machine supporting dozens of formats of graphics.


Basic system requirements for using CorelDraw

Operating System: Windows 11 or Windows 10 (64-bit)

Processor: Intel Core I3/5/7/9 or AMD Athlon 64


Hard disk: 2.5 GB available space

Supported input devices: mouse, tablet, or multi-touch screen

Screen resolution: 1280x720 (100%, 96dpi)

Web browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 or later

Others: Microsoft.NET Framework 4.7.2

A network connection is required for registration and updates


How do you prepare a photo for laser engraving in CorelDraw?

1.Stock Image of Robin. First import or open a file you would like to work with.

2.Select Image. Make sure your image is selected.

3.New Toolbar. Click the "Trace Bitmap" button.

4.High Quality Image.

5.Vectorize Image.

6.Vectored Image.

7.Move Vector Image.

8.Ungroup Image. 

CorelDraw is used to invert the photo, and only then is the picture manipulated. Here are the basic steps you need to do. Here are your steps:

  1. Import the photo
  2. Resample: Bitmaps> Resample>Make your resolution 300DPI and adjust size
  3. Convert to Greyscale: Bitmaps> mode>Greyscale
  4. Invert the photo : Effects>Adjust>Invert Colors


Final Thoughts

To do laser engraving or cutting, you need different kinds of software. These include design software (CAD), software to convert design into code (CAM), and control software to interface with the laser machine. Choosing the right software is equally important when choosing a laser cutting or engraving machine for your project.

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