How to Join Letters to a shape for Laser Cutting

New Here ,
Oct 22, 2020

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We make sign art and other items at a small company. I wanted to get away from the complicated CAD program and use Illustrator since it can export as DXF and such anyways. I want to easily join letters to a shape to make a sign so that the letters are not free floating and fall apart after cutting.

I tried adding the letters to a shape and then "create outlines". What it seemed to do is make the shape a "cut line" as well so the laser ended up cutting the font off the shape. It appears just telling it to "join" does not overlap the letters and join them to the shape.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I am new to illustrator in this aspect. cut lines.jpg

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Correct answer by Jacob Bugge | Most Valuable Participant

Austin,

 

As Monika said, you will have to Type>Create Outlines first, then select everything and Pathfinder>Unite (and punch the holes in the lower part if not done already).

 

You are just leaving out the first step in her instruction.

 

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How to Join Letters to a shape for Laser Cutting

New Here ,
Oct 22, 2020

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We make sign art and other items at a small company. I wanted to get away from the complicated CAD program and use Illustrator since it can export as DXF and such anyways. I want to easily join letters to a shape to make a sign so that the letters are not free floating and fall apart after cutting.

I tried adding the letters to a shape and then "create outlines". What it seemed to do is make the shape a "cut line" as well so the laser ended up cutting the font off the shape. It appears just telling it to "join" does not overlap the letters and join them to the shape.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I am new to illustrator in this aspect. cut lines.jpg

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by Jacob Bugge | Most Valuable Participant

Austin,

 

As Monika said, you will have to Type>Create Outlines first, then select everything and Pathfinder>Unite (and punch the holes in the lower part if not done already).

 

You are just leaving out the first step in her instruction.

 

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Oct 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 22, 2020

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Exactly what did you do step by step?

You need to outline the text and then use the pathfinder panel to unite those shapes. And punch the holes.

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Oct 22, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 22, 2020

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First step is type text with the text tool. I then use the rectangle tool to make my platform for the text to sit on. I selected everything, went over to the pathfinder tool and hit "join" and nothing happened. The text is not joined to my platform. I guess I have to join them first then hit "create outlines" so that my laser knows what to cut out and what to leave. Why will it not join the font to the platform?

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Oct 22, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 22, 2020

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I was hitting "unite" actually not join. I went lower and hit group and it joined them. However, the laser wont know what to do with this. It has to now be convered to outlines. I right clicked and I see no option for my grouped item.

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Oct 22, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 22, 2020

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When I googled it, it said hit CTRL/Shift +O and it would turn it to outlines. It did but then it seperated the letters again from the shape.

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Oct 22, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 22, 2020

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Austin,

 

As Monika said, you will have to Type>Create Outlines first, then select everything and Pathfinder>Unite (and punch the holes in the lower part if not done already).

 

You are just leaving out the first step in her instruction.

 

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Oct 22, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 22, 2020

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I did it! Thanks for the help! Now to practice some more. I believe we might go purchase the new Adobe Suite. That was a lot easier than the CAD software we use.

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Oct 22, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 22, 2020

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For my part you are welcome, Austin; but Monika had already said it all.

 

"I believe we might go purchase the new Adobe Suite. That was a lot easier than the CAD software we use."

 

Are you using a trial or an older version? In the latter case I believe it will be fine for such work; and it can be a really good supplement to CAD.

 

And welcome to this friendly and helpful place.

 

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