CorelDRAW Tips: Establishing Hairlines to be Cut with a Laser

Avoid cutting problems when processing signage, name tags, and other items by setting the default line width in CorelDRAW.

I often design signage, name tags, and other products that require cutting out from an acrylic sheet. My laser recognizes thin lines as lines to be cut rather than rastered. In CorelDRAW, I always select “Hairline” for cut lines. I set “Hairline” as the default for all lines I draw.

To set the default line width, make sure no object or text is selected; use the Pick tool to select Outline Pen>Outline Pen. Make sure Graphics is the only box checked. Next, the Outline Pen box comes up – select the line width you want as the default. Make sure the Scale with Object box is not checked. The reason is that if you change the size of the object you are drawing, such as a sign, you don’t want the cut line to change size or it may be too thick to cut.

If you are creating or recreating a graphic, such as a logo, that has varying line widths that need to remain proportional regardless of the final size of the graphic to be lasered, the Scale with Object box should be checked. You must do this for every line width you want to scale. If there are multiple objects with the same line width that must be scaled, you can group them, set the line width, and check the Scale with Object box for the whole group at once. If you have multiple objects with different-width lines, group them by intended width, then change the line width, and check the line width and check the Scale with Object box. Do this for each line width.

As the line width thickens on an object you are working with, notice some other line settings impact the look of the object you are drawing. Check the line’s Corners, Line Caps, and Position settings. Your corners can be Mitered, Round, or Beveled. If you want to ensure your objects always have a sharp corner, you only need to set Corners to Round; the other two settings won’t affect this.

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Julia Schroeder

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