Good Files Make the Magic Happen - Unite Pathfinder Tool

The Pathfinder tool in Illustrator is a great tool for preparing files for laser cutting. To view the pathfinder window (pictured below, go to window - pathfinder)

Using adobe illustrator pathfinder tool for prepping/preparing files for laser cutting.

The Pathfinder tool includes several different shape modes. Today we’ll cover the unite tool, which is the very first box in the pathfinder menu. We’ll cover the other shape modes over the next couple weeks.

SHAPE MODES:

UNITE /// MINUS FRONT /// INTERSECT /// EXCLUDE

UNITE TOOL

The unite tool is a great tool for connecting vector shapes in Illustrator. Make the vector shapes that you want to connect, select them and then select the unite tool. This will eliminate any overlapping lines, allowing you to create desired shapes without any unnecessary lines. If overlapping lines are left in your design file, the laser will cut each line!

We use the unite tool frequently when creating files for the laser! For example, if we’re create a custom drink stirrer, we would create the text and outline it. (You can learn more about outlining text in Illustrator here!) We also offset the text slightly in this situation to thicken it. A good rule of thumb is that you want your cutting area to be at least as thick as the material thickness. Our drink stirrers are cut out of 1/8” acrylic, so our text needs to be at least .125” thick. Once we outline the text and offset it, we create the base for the drink stirrer. This one is .18” x 6” tall. We then select everything and click unite. Now we have a clean file that’s ready for the laser!

 
 

Valentine's Day Card Pop Up - 2019

Our 2019 Valentine’s Day Card Pop Up has come to an end! We are so grateful for all of the Houston based artists, illustrators and designers that participated.

 
Laser Cut Co First 2019 Valentine’s Day Card Pop Up - Grid Background with Red Glitter letters
 

Participating Artists include:

Nathalie Mathys /// Hydria Illustrations /// Molly Martin /// Shannon Walthall Frazee /// Kelsea Buddo /// Linda Tran /// Drew Graves /// Samar Babar /// Eduardo Martinez /// Estefania Garcia /// Nikki Mihalik /// Carla Sue /// Mikole Montgomery /// Emily Solis /// Victoria Rosa /// Laura Rabb /// Marlo Saucedo /// Steph Avolos /// Ginny Bivens + Norah Villarreal /// Jason Tabor /// Andonnia Maiben /// Diliberto Photo /// Yang Jiang /// Natalie Bishop /// Papel Mazapan ///Haley Powers /// Jasmin Diaz

Material Spotlight - Mirrored Acrylic

We stock a variety of materials at LCC including acrylic, wood, cardboard, MDF, mat board, etc. This is the first post in our series of Material Spotlights. Each Material Spotlight will feature a different material and all of the details about it!

Mirrored acrylic is the perfect for signage, invites, event backdrops and more! It’s definitely a customer favorite (specifically the gold mirror). We have 3 different types of mirrored acrylic - gold, silver, and rose gold. We stock 1/8” thick mirrored acrylic, but it is also available in other thicknesses (1/4” and 1/2”).

Mirrored Acrylic Options - Gold Mirror, Silver Mirror, Rose Gold Mirror for laser cutting

Mirrored acrylic is NOT double sided like most other acrylics, instead it has a light grey backing. This is what creates the mirrored effect.

 
MirroredAcrylic2.jpg
 

Typically after cutting/engraving mirrored acrylic, the light grey side will have a few light black smoke marks on it - these can be removed with a damp cloth.

When we engraved mirrored acrylic, we actually flip the design/text and engrave on the back (grey) side of the piece. When we engrave, we’re actually engraving the grey, reflective coating off, which gives the text or design more contrast on the mirrored side.

 
EngravingMirroredAcrylic.jpg
 

When you received your mirrored pieces, they will have a protective mask on the mirrored side, which helps to keep the surface clean/scratch free until you’re ready to use your pieces. If you’re installing a sign with mirrored acrylic, we recommend keeping the protective mask on the surface until you’ve installed everything. Mirrored acrylic CAN scratch.

 
Laser Cut Mirrored Acrylic with Protective masking being peeled off
 

Still have questions about mirrored acrylic? Contact us!