Using Inkscape with the Laser Cutter

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The preferred method for creating files for the Laser Cutter is Inkscape It can be downloaded here: Inkscape. In addition, Knox Makers has a bundle of Inkscape extensions for use with our machine. They can be downloaded here: KM-LASER. In order to use the Laser Cutter, a member must be authorized through the Laser Operation Class

Inkscape Basics

This tutorial shows how to make simple shape in Inkscape. It is the same tutorial that is used in the Laser Operation Class. The extensions and instructions are unique to the Knox Makers system.

Creating a shape

  1. Open a new file in Inkscape.
  2. Go to Edit > Preferences and select Geometric Bounding Box (first time only)
  3. Create a shape (square, circle, or star button)
  4. Choose select tool (arrow button)
  5. Select your shape
  6. Set X and Y positions to 0 (Video)
  7. Set width and height (click padlock button to keep image proportional)
  8. Go to Extensions > KM LASER > HERSHEY TEXT
  9. Type the text into the box and click Apply
  10. Use the X and Y positions to center your text in your shape

Setting the color of your shape to determine the level of engraving

  1. On the bottom, to the right of the color bar is a small arrow ( < ). Click this and select KM-Laser by Color
    • Clicking palate color will select object's fill color. Shift+clicking palette will set the object's stroke color.
  2. Set your shape to black stroke with no fill.
  3. Set your text to light blue stroke with no fill.
    • When using the By Color option the following stroke colors translate to the labeled actions:
Color Action
#000000 Cut
#ff0000 Cut
#0000ff Engrave (Heavy)
#00ffff Engrave (Light)

Creating Path to Gcode

(Video tutorial)

  1. Make sure none of your items are selected. (You be sure by going to Edit > Select All and then Edit > Deselect)
  2. Go to Extensions > KM LASER > Output: GCode File
  3. Under tab File Options, choose your path (first time only) and filename
  4. Under tab Preset Values, choose your Material and select Power: By Color
  5. Click Apply
  6. When it is finished outputting, the window will not close, but a green box will be on your picture.

Uploading your file

  1. Go to goldfinger.knoxmakers.org
  2. Choose your account (or create one if you haven't yet)
  3. Upload your file to your account


KM Laser Extension

The KM Laser Extension has a few tools to use to make some fun projects.

Hatch Fill

This extension allows you to fill in any closed figure in your design with lines or crossed lines. This is useful when you want to engrave an entire area within your design. This extension is based on part of the eggbot extensions.

Video: KMLaser Hatch Fill

Hershey Text

Hershey Text produces single-stroke text that is appropriate for cnc engraving or plotters. This extension is based on part of the eggbot extensions.

Video: KMLaser Hershey Text

Tabbed Box Maker

This extension creates the paths necessary to cut out tabbed boxes. This extension is based of the extension you can find here.

Video: KM Laser Tabbed Box Maker