Raster vs vector for engrave


I’m still new to the GF, but I know that I need to use a vector program to cut, but are there any pros or cons to using a vector vs a bitmap/raster for engraving? Ultimately I would think the head would just go line by line like an inkjet printer, so it wouldn’t matter if the artwork started as vector vs bitmap/raster, but does it? Is either any more accurate or faster? I saw this thread, but I’m not sure that speaks to this specifically: Using vector for engraving instead of raster


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You’re not wrong about the line by line aspect.

Vector doesn’t support any sort of power variation. You either engrave the shape or don’t at some set power. This is why you can’t 3-d engrave a vector shape. (aka “vary power” setting for non-PG materials)

If you need subtlety, with shading and detail, raster is the only way to get to that point.

That being said, if you have a fully shaded detailed vector illustration, simply export it as a raster and import it back into your svg (presumably to be aligned with cut lines) and your vector gradients etc will all be preserved.

Make sense?


Ah, good to know, makes sense, thank you. What if you have something simple that you want to engrave and it is not a 3D engrave and you really do want it engraved all at one depth, then it presumably could be done with vector vs raster just the same, but at that point is there any benefit to one vs the other?

Vectors are small files? That’s an advantage, I suppose. More precise control over size in your favorite vector program? Easy one-stop editing and sending to GF in SVG? No loss of fidelity as you scale up?

I’d go with vector in most cases like your describing for those reasons. To be fair this is also the list of “advantages of vectors over raster for print application” as well, which makes sense.

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Makes sense, thank you.

One advantage of engraving vectors is that each color is a separate operation. This can give you some intresting options. This can also be a pain as you need to limit your colors.


Raster is WYSIWIG, leading to possibly less unexpected results, until you are very comfortable with what you are doing… although, screwing up is how you get comfortable with what you’re doing. :man_shrugging:t2:


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