Utilizing the layer feature in Inkscape can save you many steps if you are using the same shape with different designs. To get an excellent introduction to Layers in Inkscape, check out @Jules doc:
As an example, I use these USB keys to illustrate the use of layers (similar programs have layer palettes as well and can be used the same way).
They’re all produced using 1 file, with multiple layers. Each design takes up one layer.
- To start, measure the USB key and draw the rectangle. Best put it somewhere in the middle of the page, i.e. ending up in the middle of the .
- I use a guide line in Inkscape (pull from the left side ruler) to mark where the top comes off the USB key. Sometimes it makes a difference how you place the design.
- Add a 2nd layer for your 1st engrave and name it accordingly.
- Import your engrave file, size and place.
- Turn off the eye on your layers palette when design is complete.
- Add a 3rd layer and repeat steps.
- As you can see on the Layers palette, I have 16 layers in the file.
- In order to prepare one for print, I have all eyes closed on the Layers palette, except for the template one and a single engrave layer.
- File, Save as a plain svg. When you pull the file in the GFIU it will ignore all the other layers.
The first time you run a print, you need to make a jig for the USB key.
- Carefully put a piece of cardstock or cardboard precisely in one corner of the honeycomb tray, so that you can put it exactly in that corner again next time.
- Upload the USB key file with only the template and one engrave layer visible.
- Do not move the item. Where it lands, will be its permanent place after you create the jig.
- Set focus height for your cardstock or cardboard.
- Set the Engrave step to ignore.
- set the outline to Cut.
- Print job.
Now that you have your jig, place a masked USB key inside the cut line - it should just fit.
- Switch the outline from Cut to Ignore.
- Switch the Engrave from Ignore back to engrave.
Next time you want to print one, upload any one of your designs, by toggling the open and closed eyes and don’t forget to set the cut outline to Ignore once it is loaded. I leave it in there just so you know it looks right.
p.s. After the lid calibration changed things, I figured I better start a new jig as the alignment changed. In the file, I opened all layers; highlighted them all at once and moved them to a new spot using the same card stock.
Any questions? Ask away!