engraving template

Engraving Templates: Finding the right contour

Josh Stephens is the owner of Lasers Plus. Formerly, he was the lead applications expert for Trotec Laser. He has been in the industry for over seven years.

The transfer of the workpiece contours into your graphics program is a key factor in creating templates. There are several methods:

  • Measure: If the outline of your workpiece is a simple, geometric shape, measure the shape and trace it in your graphics program.
  • Scanning the workpiece: If your workpiece consists of complex angles and radii, scan the workpiece, then import the scanned file into your graphics program and simply trace the contours.
  • Trace and scan: If your workpiece is too bulky for your scanner, you can transfer the contours with a pen on a piece of paper and then scan it. When you import the scanned image into your graphics program, you can try to automatically convert the image using flash-vectorization. However, you should trace the contours yourself, as a large number of unnecessary nodes are embedded in the contour during the automatic conversion.

—Josh Stephens, Trotec Laser