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How to Design for Laser Engraving

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How to Design for Laser Engraving

For most graphic designers, designing artwork for laser engraving is a daunting process. It is even more so for novice designers, who often find it hard to produce quality artwork right off the bat. But the truth is, laser-engraved artwork is an extremely delicate process. Even highly skilled graphic designers find it a little hard to maintain the quality of laser-engraved artwork during printing.


To help ease the learning curve, we will go over the fundamental steps you should follow when designing for laser engraving using CorelDRAW. We'll take you through everything from selecting the font type and drawing various shapes or letters to exporting the completed artwork as a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file.

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What is laser engraving?

One of the most overlooked and important aspects of graphic design is preparing for laser engraving. Laser engraving, also known as deep etching or relief printing, is a process where an image is burned into a material such as wood, metal, or glass using lasers. The depth at which the image penetrates the material depends on factors like power density and time duration.


What is good about laser engraved images is that they are permanent and resistant to fading or weathering. What is even better is that they can be made in almost any color imaginable with varying degrees of opacity.


How to make a custom design for laser engraving

Laser engraving is an excellent way to add some pizzazz to your project. It can also be used as a branding technique, commonly praised for giving out clean, professional results.

Step 1: Using white paper and a black pen, draw some sketches of what you want to design for laser engraving. This step might seem unimportant, but it is crucial in saving the designer time. A rough sketch will act as a guide as you design the software. It also reduces the chances of changing the design midway.

Step 2: Open CorelDRAW. If you want to create your own design, select the dimensions for the artwork before proceeding to pick your favorite font. It is always recommended that you go over the color palette and the different tools you intend to use so that you can be familiar with where everything is.

Step 3: Create your artwork in vector format. You want it to be clear of any gradients, patterns, textures, etc. These things make it difficult for the laser beam's intensity level to reach its full potential on the material being engraved (e.g., wood). Try using solid colors instead of images or photos.

Step 4: After creating the artwork and you are satisfied with the design, proceed to export the document. You can do this by clicking on the file button then click on export as SVG while keeping all objects. The SVG format retains the quality of graphic content when being used for laser engraving or for sharing artwork on the internet.


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