Masking software?

qa

#1

I’ve never used a cutting tool like the glowforge, but I purchased one. Now that they are delayed, is it possible to get the masking software that I could use to mask an image I want to have professionally laser cut?


#2

Not sure I understand the request. Don’t know what you meant by masking S/W.

The way it works is this: All images to be laser cut are generated with the user’s own S/W. There are many commercial and free, design and image generation S/W packages available but Glowforge does not provide them. Once the image is developed by the user and converted to a compatible format the user will use a browser based interface to upload the image to a site (cloud based servers) that Glowforge controls. The image is then interpreted by Glowforge’s proprietary S/W into commands that only the Glowforge laser cutter understands. Other laser cutters use completely different commands and formats. None of that S/W is useful or relevant to other laser cutters.


#3

Welcome @novakstuff to the forum. Yes, if you could explain what you mean by “masking software”, that would help. There are many topics in the forum devoted to software that is used to design an object you want cut or engraved by a laser, including some helpful video tutorials to get you started.


#4

OP is probably asking for tracing software since there’s mention of wanting to cut an image.

If it’s something you plan to do often, the amount of control offered by Illustrator will be hard to beat. Just be sure to pay Adobe their monthly rental fee.

I haven’t touched Inkscape since v0.49 or therebouts, but according to the recent YouTube tutorials, it’s now got some tracing function.

Once a bitmap is traced, the results are vector outlines that tend to be more laser-cutting friendly.


#5

Yeah, the newer versions of inkscape have a tracing function that works pretty well, and has a bunch of controls for separating the thing you want from the background. It’s at least worth trying out. (I’ve used it to convert some jpg files to dxf for 3D printing, although for some 3D software you need an additional extension because inkscape’s dxf files may contain overly-complex stuff.)