Avoiding Sharp corners for acrylic (How to do it)

Hi There,

It’s me again, after few experiences with acrylic, I’ve noticed that when I round the corners, the acrylic doesn’t tend to “glue” and saves you some time having to “force it out”.

So, basically, when you create your design, go to the very sharp corner, select the vertex and apply a round corner very tiny just so the laser passed there smoothly and not as a corner having to “sharp turn”.

This will not change the design, just changes the way the laser will pass through that specific part of it. (as per image).

If it’s not clear how it is done, please leave a message and I can maybe create a video showing it!

PS.: I’m using Adobe Illustrator 2018.

Happy forging everyone! :slight_smile:


Chamfers are just one type of edge/corner treatment, specifically a straight line across at an angle.
Fillets or Radius are the rounded version.

Both are in the “Corners” tool in AI.


Live Corners looks like an amazing feature! Sadly, my CS3 version doesn’t have it, so I’ve been adding two new nodes and rounding the end point. Tedious.

There’s a slightly less tedious way to do it in Inkscape that might translate to Illustrator… let me find the link, I know I posted it a while back.

Aha, here we go:

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I believe it was FSL that I saw was working on their laser’s software to eliminate corners altogether to avoid the ‘hot spots’ that happen when the laser stops to change direction in corners. Their solution was to add a tiny ‘loop’ to the line so there’s not a hard stop. Would still result in a 90º (or whatever) corner, but the actual movement of the laser head was a smooth non-stop path. Hard to explain in text form.

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Definitely would work for exterior cuts (in the waste). Not so good on the interior cuts :slight_smile:

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I’m not 100% sure about CS3, but I’m pretty sure you can do it this way in that version…

Starting with a simple square:

Select the square path, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners

This will pop up a dialog box asking for a radius. Enter your radius.

Then this will give you rounded corners…

However, it’s only an appearance. If you look at the square in outline mode, you’ll see that they are still squared off at 90 degrees.

So, you’ll need to go to Object > Expand Appearance, which will expand the rounded corner appearance into the actual path.


I found it in Illustrator CS3.

Effect > Stylize > Round Corners

…and then Object > Expand Appearance for each adjusted object to make the curves effect the actual vector. (Thanks @jbmanning5)


Just remember that you’ll need to expand the appearance for it to actually change the path. Illustrator does a lot of things through appearances (dashed lines, mitered corners, etc) , which works fine for print but doesn’t actually alter the path, and lasers follow the path.

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