Alignment tools for software

So i was trying to do some work for a friend, but I cant quite get the drawing to line up well. Not sure if that is a big deal, but I like straight lines in my materials when I’m done cutting. Is there a tool in the software that lets me snap things to 90 degrees or straighten them out for this kind of thing.

You can rotate vectors (not bitmap images) through 45° increments by holding down the SHIFT key while rotating the handle at the top. (The lollipop handle.)

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good to know thanks. I’m currently trying to figure out how to turn a png file of my company logo into an svg to cut out of acrylic. Its proving rather difficult. Any tips on what software to use to do something like that. the simple svg online conversion keeps messing it up.

Well, my go-to favorite is Illustrator, but if you don’t want to spring for that (on-going pricey) then Inkscape works as a freeware alternative.

Are you wanting to vectorize it? You might want to try the Auto-Trace function in Inkscape. That turns the pixels into cutting lines.

You can also do that in the Trace function in the GFUI, if it is not too complex a logo. (It’s a lot of manual clicking to place lines, so if it’s too complex, you’re better off doing an auto-trace in outside design software.) :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ll try the auto trace from inkscape. I’ve been meddling with it, but its been a bit of a learning curve as i only have my mouse touch pad to work with.

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Either a mouse (2 button & scroll wheel at least) or a drawing tablet & pen like a Wacom will work much better for the hand work cleaning up traces.


Sometimes when you do autotrace it’s easier to get a lousy one and then edit the nodes by hand than it is to juke the settings endlessly to make the trace happen right.


^^^ :+1:

There is a little trick I learned many years ago about getting lines horizontal or vertical. Whoda thunk it but the pixels on your screen are in rectangular array. So when a line is near horizontal the pixels try to keep up going 10 or so before jumping to the next row. The result looks like the line gets thicker and thinner first little short bits and then longer and longer as you approach horizontal. When there are no bumps then you are there and going further just makes them shorter and shorter again.

As this is a nature of your screen and not software it works anywhere :slight_smile:

I use this technique constantly when placing engravings, though for joints I will always use the software to ensure my lines are straight. This technique will always be off by fractions of a degree due precisely to the fact that pixels are rectangles, meaning that there are multiple angles a line can bisect a vertical or horizontal array of pixels. If precision matters always use a design tool :wink:

I only mention this since there are so many posts on this forum about adjusting for the tenth on a mm kerf and being off by a fraction of a degree would be just as bad.

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I use a similar technique when finding the centre of circles that I need to drop a guide line over.
Big zoom, and find the top, short line that should be the curve, and drop it onto the middle of that one.