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AI Design questions welcome!

Illustrator software related questions and tips can be posted to this topic.
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FreeDXF.com
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AI Design questions welcome!

Postby FreeDXF.com » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:04 pm

Hello all,

I just wanted to extend my design skill knowledge to anyone out there that is interested in learning how to create custom dxf files utilizing Adobe Illustrator. Please let me know if you have any questions about how to create great looking DXF files utilizing the Adobe Illustrator software. You can either respond to this post or email me your questions directly. Thanks!

Sincerely,
Jason Henry
Cascade Metal Designs
http://www.customdxffiles.com
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Loyd
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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby Loyd » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:34 am

Jason, I wouldn't mind learning how to do that. I think you ought to have some sort of classes/tutorial on your website and those of us who benefit from it could donate to the cause.
I would be willing to do something like that. I don't have illustrator.
Just a thot! You do great work.
Loyd
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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby djs » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:13 am

i would love to learn more with illustrator............................... would also like to learn more on corel but can't afford that software too.........


djs

pdjcutandfab
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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby pdjcutandfab » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:43 pm

I would also like to learn about Adobe Illustrator

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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby JJ13 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:33 pm

Jason,

Thank you for the offer to help us noobs. I will start with a basic question. What tools in illustrator should I master first? What tools in the software do you use the most?

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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby FreeDXF.com » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:00 pm

Merry Christmas everyone,

I am glad to see all the posts regarding the design side of the business. I think the problem with most DXF files that are created using adobe illustrator arises from the belzier curve technology that exists within the Adobe Illustrator software. When you utilize the pen tool for tracing your images in Adobe Illustrator the resulting lines and curves geometry is a result of the Belzier algorithems and when this gets exported into a DXF file it is not fully understood. The creation of the DXF files will actually recreate the lines that were drawn in Illustrator and break them into understandable and simpler geometry such a lines and arcs. This resulting DXF files with often times not work well with some cutting software and due to the large number of nodes and files size will often time not even load correctly. I will often times spend money to have a good friend of my optimize my raw "Adobe Illustrator" drawn DXF files. He utilizes a program called CimCad that can actuallty automate the process of reducing the node counts and simplfy the raw DXF files. Also, if you want to get good at designing DXF files using the Adobe Illustrator program you will need to focus on learning how to use the pen tool and the Belzier curve technology. Hope this helps!

Let me know if you have any other additional design questions.

Sincerely,
Jason Henry
Cascade Metal Designs
http://www.customdxffiles.com
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FreeDXF.com
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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby FreeDXF.com » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:16 pm

I also wanted to add that if you are just starting out with learning how to design for your new CNC cutting system that there really isn't any program that I know of that will create good clean cutting DXF files at the touch of a button. There are a few programs that are good at transforming black and white images into good DXF files though. If you want to convert a full color image I think that you would be better off learning how to trace your images by hand in either the Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator programs. Tracing an image sounds easy but it can take a good long while to learn how to be fast and proficient at it. I just saw a post about offering a design course or lessons via my website. In time I will likely create an instructional tutorial that would help get people started in learning how to design DXF files for their CNC cutting systems. I will definently let everyone know when it becomes available. Let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks!

Sincerely,
Jason Henry
Cascade Metal Designs
http://www.customdxffiles.com
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plain ol Bill
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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby plain ol Bill » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:15 pm

Hi Jason - I was wondering if you use a tablet in your design work or stick with a mouse. I am considering a tablet and was just wondering what you used for an entry device. Thanks.
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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby FreeDXF.com » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:02 pm

Plain ol Bill,


I utilize both a mouse and tablet. For large design work or intensive work I prefer a programmable drawing tablet to a standarized mouse. However, small changes on the fly can be done quickly with a mouse if need be. Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks!

JH
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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby Complete_Loser » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:47 pm

I have had great luck with WinPCSign Pro for drawing and vectorizing black and white images.
You want it done cheap and fast, it wont be right.
You want it done right and fast, it wont be cheap.

You want it done right and cheap.., come back in a year..

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Re: AI Design questions welcome!

Postby vega_winnfield » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:22 pm

Hi Jason. when I live trace a black and white image in Illustrator and export as a DXF file to my cad software, (torchmate) It comes up with double lines and is very time consuming in the cad program to sort out. Was wondering if there is something I could do to avoid the double lines in illustrator. Thanks, Vega.

ronsii
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Re: AI Design questions welcome!

Postby ronsii » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:08 pm

If I remember correctly the TM program is making the two sets of lines as I had this problem quite a bit when using their program for the first time, I think it has some thing to do with with clicking the type of path button(male,female,line)...Hard to remember without the machine in front of me.

Unless you are talking about the TM driver program???? Than I am not sure :?

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Re: AI Design questions welcome!

Postby vega_winnfield » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:21 pm

Tracing a solid image. thanks, Vega

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Re: AI Design questions welcome!

Postby rachey » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:17 am

Hello! Stumbled across this forum while trying to figure out how to do designs with Illustrator for our new plasma cutting table, anyways no one here has ever worked with one of these before so if i could have some help as to where even to start. We do not have any autoCAD software or anything of that sort, all we have is adobe products. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!! We just want to be able to cut out signs as of right now, nothing to complicated. Thanks in advance!!! :D

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Re: Design questions welcome!

Postby aicomp » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:00 pm

jasonsmetaldesign wrote:Plain ol Bill,


I utilize both a mouse and tablet. For large design work or intensive work I prefer a programmable drawing tablet to a standarized mouse. However, small changes on the fly can be done quickly with a mouse if need be. Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks!

JH

Hi Jason,
What tablet do you use? I am looking at a Wacom Intuos 4 .
Thanks,
Mike
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hooked
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Re: AI Design questions welcome!

Postby hooked » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:46 pm

hello jason,
im new here on the form and ive been reading all your input and others on softwear and drawing pads, do you have a fav softwear ? im old school draftsman, and have soildworks for cad at work! so the hole drawing pad and transfering to dxf is new to me. i see most of you use coreldraw here on plasma spider, is this the best choice for a purchase? thanks in advance, Kyle

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Re: AI Design questions welcome!

Postby Gamelord » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:58 am

I use both CorelDraw and Illustrator. It is hard to say which one is better, they both have their advantages. I grew up with Corel and have been using it for about 11 years now (since version 3 on a win95 computer) so I am partial to Corel. Corel is also much cheaper than AI. I have found that exporting to DFX seems to be better and more consistent in Corel, but I imagine that the same could be done in Illustrator once you figure out the quirks. I export directly to DFX from Corel, and then import it into my TorchmateCad software where I create my toolpaths, then export / import into my torchmate cutting software.

Although Corel is cheaper, Adobe is the standard for the printing industry. If I was to learn from scratch I would probably want to learn on Illustrator first, then move to Corel only when I had to.

Thing to remember whenever making a drawing from another images is that the quality of your image is most important. The better and bigger your image is, the easier it is to trace/draw.

First thing you need to learn with either program is what the different tools do. Get use to the pick tool (how to select and move objects), the Node tools (how to add, delete, move, connect, break apart nodes), the pen tools (freehand, belzier, line tool, circle, square, etc...) then get use to layers and how objects are stacked on top of one another.

Those tools you will use 90% of the time. Once you get those down pat, the rest can be added as you go.

Sorry to hijack, this is an awesome thread.
Once you take flight, your eyes will forever be turned to the sky." "Lack of appreciation is the worlds biggest crime."

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Re: AI Design questions welcome!

Postby Gamelord » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:02 am

As for double cutting, this is usually caused when you create a tool path. When you create the tool path, it creates a line that is either inside or outside the original line (depending on male or female tool path). When you export it to your cutter, it will export BOTH the tool path and the original, then your cutter will cut both lines, it will look like it is going over it twice, but it is really cutting the outside line, then cutting the smaller inside line. To get rid of this, once you create your tool path, you need to delete the original line, then when you export your drawing, only the tool path will export and your cutter will only cut once.

So why create the tool path??? If precision and duplication of the original drawing is not that important, you don't need to. You can just send the DFX straight to your cutter and go. The tool path does two things, first and most important, it will create a path for your cutter that is inside (female) or outside (male) of your original, the offset (distance your tool path is from the original drawing) will compensate for the kerf (width of your cutters cut). If you need a square that is exactly 1 inch circle, and your cutter cuts a 1/8" wide cut, you would want to set your offset to be 1/16" (half the width of the cutters kerf). Now when your cutter cuts the circle, the edge of the cut will leave a 1" circle. Without this, your circle would end up being 1 1/8" diameter instead of 1". The second advantage is the lead in-lead out. You can set your starting point of the cut inside the circle and then lead-in to the actual cut line, moving your pierce point inside the cut area so you don't mess up the edge of the circle or your piece being cut out. The lead-out also moves the torch away from the edge before stopping to do the same.

Hope that helps.
Once you take flight, your eyes will forever be turned to the sky." "Lack of appreciation is the worlds biggest crime."

Torchmate 6x14 w/THC Downdraft
Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 101
Corel Draw / Adobe Illustrator
Torchmate CAD


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