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Re: [PPLetterpress] Laser cutting questions

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  • Bryan Hutcheson
    Katie Most cad programs will read asci encoded eps files as long as everything is converted to outlines. I used to layout extensive dies for clamshell
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 16, 2003
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      Katie

      Most cad programs will read asci encoded eps files as long as everything is
      converted to outlines. I used to layout extensive dies for clamshell
      packaging in illustrator... convert them over to pc or unix based cad
      programs that would render 3-d mold guidelines. We would also then take
      those 3-d images and re-import them into photoshop. Its easy to go back and
      forth... Anyone running a cad program should have the option of importing
      vector eps files...


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Silver MayKitten
      I have used sign cutting laser tables for cutting wood blocks with good effect. Modern signmaking software allows excellent control of countour and depth of
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 16, 2003
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        I have used sign cutting laser tables for cutting wood
        blocks with good effect. Modern signmaking software
        allows excellent control of countour and depth of cut.

        NOTE: The quality of the printing from the finished
        block will depend upon the quality of the surface of
        the block prior to cutting. You must use hardwood.

        As to application:

        Type: down to 8 pt. Futura Book good to excellent
        Line drawings: Will hold lies to 0.3 mm
        Halftones: Forget it if finer than 32.5 line

        MayKitten

        --- Katie Harper <knharper@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > I seem to remember a discussion awhile back about
        > some people who were
        > experimenting with laser cutting as a way to get
        > relief plates, as opposed
        > to polymer. I'm wondering if a)it works for
        > letterpress; b)it's at all cost
        > effective, and c) can laser cutters read the usual
        > types of graphics files
        > that service bureaus can, ie, Quark, Illustrator,
        > etc.? I'm told that some
        > laser cutters work from a CAD environment, and there
        > is not much available
        > in CAD software for Mac, is there?
        >
        > Thanks for any help/advice.
        >
        > Katie Harper
        > Ars Brevis Press
        > Cincinnati, OH
        > 513-233-9588
        > http://www.arsbrevispress.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >


        =====
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        Strange are the shadows that round you come creeping,
        Still through the clouds is the glint of a star!

        From the book, Charge of the Goddess
        BY: Doreen Valiente

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      • joefreedman
        ... Katie, We have a couple laser cutters including one 50 watt machine that cuts through 1/4 cherry hardwood very easily. I did at one point try imaging a
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 16, 2003
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          >I seem to remember a discussion awhile back about some people who were
          >experimenting with laser cutting as a way to get relief plates, as opposed
          >to polymer. I'm wondering if a)it works for letterpress; b)it's at all cost

          Katie,

          We have a couple laser cutters including one 50 watt machine that
          cuts through 1/4 cherry hardwood very easily. I did at one point try
          imaging a photopolymer plate on the laser with not great results. If
          your goal is just to find an alternative to photopolymer I don't
          think lasers are the way to go. It is much faster to make a negative
          and plate than using a cutting laser. And the quality will be better
          on a well made plate.

          There are two modes that the lasers use: vector and raster. Vector
          drives the laser around the edge usually for cutting through a
          material while raster is used for engraving. Raster is capable of
          1000 dpi but quality is very dependent on speed. The slower it goes
          the better the quality. Some files can take up to an hour to image
          for only 18 or 20 square inches. Usually we find a compromise point
          between absolute edge resolution and timeliness.

          Lasers are great for digital diecuts and complicated, repetitive
          cuts. We mostly work from Freehand/Illustrator files but most shops
          should be able to handle Corel and cad files as well. You can see
          some of our stuff showing fineness of cuts at our website:

          http://www.sarabande.com

          Best

          Joe
        • Fritz Klinke
          I don t know the details, but flexo printers use such a system for cutting relief plates in rubber. I just talked to one this past week who called for
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 16, 2003
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            I don't know the details, but flexo printers use such a system for cutting
            relief plates in rubber. I just talked to one this past week who called for
            assistance with their Vandercook, as even though the plates are cut direct
            from a computer file, errors still creep in and it is far better to catch
            errors at the plate stage than to be on press, or print the job and then
            find the mistake.

            Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics
            1314 Greene Street, P.O. Box 467
            Silverton, Colorado 81433 USA
            970-387-0212, fax 970-387-0127
            nagraph@...

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Katie Harper" <knharper@...>
            To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 5:17 PM
            Subject: [PPLetterpress] Laser cutting questions




            I seem to remember a discussion awhile back about some people who were
            experimenting with laser cutting as a way to get relief plates, as opposed
            to polymer. I'm wondering if a)it works for letterpress; b)it's at all cost
            effective, and c) can laser cutters read the usual types of graphics files
            that service bureaus can, ie, Quark, Illustrator, etc.? I'm told that some
            laser cutters work from a CAD environment, and there is not much available
            in CAD software for Mac, is there?

            Thanks for any help/advice.

            Katie Harper
            Ars Brevis Press
            Cincinnati, OH
            513-233-9588
            http://www.arsbrevispress.com
          • David Goodrich
            The laser process doesn t seem like a practical alternative to photopolymer for creating new text plates from computer files, but it sounds as if it could be
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 16, 2003
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              The laser process doesn't seem like a practical alternative to photopolymer
              for creating new text plates from computer files, but it sounds as if it
              could be perfect for producing replicas of missing letters or additional
              sorts for wood type fonts. Has anyone used it for this?
              Are there shops where something like this could be jobbed out? I would not
              want to invest in laser equipment to produce a handful of letters.

              David Goodrich

              >I seem to remember a discussion awhile back about some people who were
              >experimenting with laser cutting as a way to get relief plates, as opposed
              >to polymer. I'm wondering if a)it works for letterpress; b)it's at all cost

              Katie,

              We have a couple laser cutters including one 50 watt machine that
              cuts through 1/4 cherry hardwood very easily. I did at one point try
              imaging a photopolymer plate on the laser with not great results. If
              your goal is just to find an alternative to photopolymer I don't
              think lasers are the way to go. It is much faster to make a negative
              and plate than using a cutting laser. And the quality will be better
              on a well made plate.

              There are two modes that the lasers use: vector and raster. Vector
              drives the laser around the edge usually for cutting through a
              material while raster is used for engraving. Raster is capable of
              1000 dpi but quality is very dependent on speed. The slower it goes
              the better the quality. Some files can take up to an hour to image
              for only 18 or 20 square inches. Usually we find a compromise point
              between absolute edge resolution and timeliness.

              Lasers are great for digital diecuts and complicated, repetitive
              cuts. We mostly work from Freehand/Illustrator files but most shops
              should be able to handle Corel and cad files as well. You can see
              some of our stuff showing fineness of cuts at our website:

              http://www.sarabande.com

              Best

              Joe



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            • Gerald Lange
              Hi David When we had originally discussed this that was a suggestion of mine. I think it would work well for this purpose. But as others have mentioned it is
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 16, 2003
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                Hi David

                When we had originally discussed this that was a suggestion of mine. I
                think it would work well for this purpose. But as others have mentioned
                it is quite expensive. There is one at an institution I work for and we
                are billed something like $80 per hour for usage (which is probably
                cheap?). And these don't exactly cut all that fast. I doubt you could
                invest in laser cutting equipment unless you were daddy warbucks or
                something. Prices are somewhat astronomical and they are high
                maintenance. There are signage shops and the like that use these and I
                suspect that jobbing the work out wouldn't hurt too much ($$$)?

                But given the costs I wouldn't think you'd want to create an entire font
                though it might work well as a way to replace missing characters that
                you just can't live without. Its really just a matter of getting the
                finished piece to type high. Laser cutters don't cut all that deep, or
                perhaps I should say it this way, the deeper the laser has to cut the
                slower it goes.

                We would do the outlines (which the laser follows) in Illustrator and
                those would be imported into Corel, which is the software that ran the
                lasers. I was thinking of making my door sign with this stuff but never
                got around to it.

                Gerald

                David Goodrich wrote:

                >The laser process doesn't seem like a practical alternative to photopolymer
                >for creating new text plates from computer files, but it sounds as if it
                >could be perfect for producing replicas of missing letters or additional
                >sorts for wood type fonts. Has anyone used it for this?
                >Are there shops where something like this could be jobbed out? I would not
                >want to invest in laser equipment to produce a handful of letters.
                >
                >David Goodrich
                >
                >
                >
                >>I seem to remember a discussion awhile back about some people who were
                >>experimenting with laser cutting as a way to get relief plates, as opposed
                >>to polymer. I'm wondering if a)it works for letterpress; b)it's at all cost
                >>
                >>
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • joefreedman
                Gerald, ... Our rate is much cheaper but I m not sure about sign guys in general. I think $75 to $80 is about right. ... You still need an outline. If the
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 17, 2003
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                  Gerald,

                  >it is quite expensive. There is one at an institution I work for and we
                  >are billed something like $80 per hour for usage (which is probably

                  Our rate is much cheaper but I'm not sure about sign guys in general.
                  I think $75 to $80 is about right.

                  >But given the costs I wouldn't think you'd want to create an entire font
                  >though it might work well as a way to replace missing characters that

                  You still need an outline. If the letter was completely missing you'd
                  have to recreate it keeping the overall weight of the alphabet in
                  mind. Once the outline is done you could make a vector cut very
                  quickly (well under 3 minutes per letter) out of 1/4 inch maple.
                  Perhaps this could be mounted to a block so its type high. If you
                  were to raster the same letter it would take much longer--maybe 15 or
                  20 minutes per letter.

                  There are computer driven engraving machines that might do a better
                  job. Roland makes one and some Sherline milling machines are also cad
                  file driven.


                  Joe
                • Gerald Lange
                  Joe If you are making this available as a service would you like me to place entries in the Links section and the Database? Like your website, and the free
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 17, 2003
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                    Joe

                    If you are making this available as a service would you like me to
                    place entries in the Links section and the Database?

                    Like your website, and the free font Rant!!!

                    Gerald



                    > Our rate is much cheaper but I'm not sure about sign guys in general.
                    > I think $75 to $80 is about right.
                    >
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