Trying to Understand a Few Things

So… Made a great design for a MOM plaque for my wife for Mother’s Day with the kids’ names in it and some additional text. It was a fairly good size, 17.5 x 9.75. Made the design in Corel Draw and then exported it to SVG. Loaded it into GF interface and added a couple of small graphics from the GF library. Started printing and it looked GREAT! Then about 60% into it, GF stopped and I got the “Cannot finish print” error message. Looked on the forums and found that sometimes it needs to be rasterized because vector can overload it with the mathematical nodes. Did that and I’m trying it again. Which leads to my questions…

  1. Is there a way to tell if a design is too big in vector BEFORE trying o print it and it quits?
  2. Should all large engrave jobs just be rasterized to be safe?
  3. Why is the SD graphic setting look like the best way to emulate a vector engrave?
  4. Why do the settings for HD engrave have power 21? Is that due to a slower speed? Would the results have looked similar to the SD engrave? Not knowing this answer, I went with SD since the power, etc. looked similar to my prior attempt.

Sorry if these questions seem totally naive, but I really do want to understand. I’ve done a lot of vinyl cutting and I’m use to doing everything in vector only. Raster is the enemy in cutting. Rasterizing a vector image to make it work is a new concept for me.

Thanks in advance.

I think that is the best option for a complex (lots of nodes) design for an engraving.
Sorry, I don’t know Corel.
#1 - I use Inkscape (free) and I look at a design in outline view and use the node tool to get a look at complexity. I will also load a design into the UI just to see how the laser sees it and see if it gives me the options I need.

No apologies Bob, Lots of help available here, and no one is going to flame you. I rolled in here a few years back completely ignorant of both CNC and lasers, the community here taught me everything I needed to grasp it all. :sunglasses:

#4 - Yes the slower speed deposits more energy per unit time. Between power, speed, and lines per inch, there is a lot of adjustment available. Testing is the best way to understand the effects, and personally I always enjoyed the treasure hunt.


I’m not real knowledgeable about this, but it seems odd to me that it would stop in the middle of a print for that reason. I think the overload (all the nodes thing) would occur right away and refuse to load or print, not halfway through. Sort of like it either does or doesn’t…nothing in between.


That is correct. If the job starts, it should complete.

I have pushed vector design complexity to what I feel is the limit - around 23,000 nodes iirc edit: 38,000 nodes. It wouldn’t upload beyond that (gives an error, not time-out). Prints just fine (multiple times.)

Here’s the 38,000 node design that prints just fine. It takes 9 seconds to upload/process/render:


Given the fact that it did stop in the middle, should I contact support to have them look at the logs to see if they can figure out what happened?

My opinions:

  1. If it uploads and processes to where you can hit print, it should print. You will get an error if the file is too complex.
  2. I personally do not agree with that approach, but I have never had issues with complex vector engraves.
  3. “SD Graphic” is for high-contrast designs, vectors are meant for solid B&W(:chess_pawn:) engrave, so it is best suited.
  4. The intent is to provide fine detail for images with lower contrast, like photographs, but in many cases, the PG HD settings are not useful.

(:chess_pawn:) there has been some indication that vector engraves can be more than B&W, but that is not officially documented or supported.

Yes, if you can note the time (and timezone) of the issue.

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This was the design I was using. Not sure how to count the nodes, but when I looked at them and it didn’t look like any more than 10K. I guess I’ll wait to see if support can identify anything.

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That design wouldn’t require more than 1500-2000 nodes. A direct bitmap trace in Inkscape was only 1690.

This is looking like a glitch of some kind, not a file issue - and it printed fine the 2nd time anyway.

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Sounds like you got the right answer. Corel does have some oddities to work around but if it loaded and started it should have completed (as mentioned).
One thing I can guarantee to save you some forgetful issues with Corel, though, is this checkbox on the save as SVG prompt.
If not checked as shown, it is advised to make it so.


Thanks, I’ll double check that.

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