What is the Best File Format for Laser Engraving?
The CO2 laser engraver has become the flagship machine for decorating, inscribing, and making custom designs on a variety of materials. You can engrave wood, acrylic, plastics, and a variety of other materials using a CO2 laser engraver.
If you are personalizing gift items for your laser engraving business, all you need is an affordable and trusted CO2 laser engraver to scale your business.
However, as crucial as finding the right machine is for your business, starting your first project with the right format for your laser engraving files is just as important. Many hobbyists and professionals use different file formats for different engraving and cutting applications, but SVG files offer scalable versatility that makes them the best file format for laser engraving. In this guide, we are going to reveal the benefits of choosing the SVG file format for laser engraving, the best laser engraving software, and where you can find your first laser engraving project files to get started.
What is an SVG File?
An SVG file includes information describing the shapes in an image. Since the format doesn’t describe the image’s contents by pixels like other regular formats, SVG files are lighter than PNG or JPG files. The format makes it possible to rescale the file without compromising on quality. That’s why SVG files are popular for creating laser engraving files.
SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. This is a vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation. In an SVG format, the file describes lines through a text format. Since SVG describes images with their shapes, you can rescale the file without affecting its quality. This file can mix various elements such as text, shapes, and visuals. Unlike GIF, PNG, or JPG formats, SVG adapts to any size. The format is particularly popular for creating logos, thanks to its XML schema.
Benefits of Using SVG Files for Laser Engraving
Here are some notable benefits of SVG files.
- Easy editing
- Compact size
SVG files are great for laser engraving because you can easily edit these files using common editing programs and a text editor. You can edit them just like other images through Illustrator or CorelDRAW without affecting their quality.
Another benefit of using SVG format for laser engraving files is that they come in handy when dealing with higher resolution screens. That's because you don't need to create SVGs at larger sizes to accommodate the difference, which is the case with other images.
Since they are resolution-independent, they maintain the same quality, unlike other file types such as PNG or JPG. A JPG file appears blurry when it's not large enough, but an SVG file will retain its quality.
How to Use SVG Files with a CO2 Laser Engraver
You can open SVG files just like any other XML file; using drawing software or a text editor. Some people simply open the file using a web browser if they don't want to edit it. One of the most efficient ways to create an SVG file is to use programs like Adobe Illustrator. However, you can use other programs such as InDesign and Photoshop. Other options include Microsoft Visio and ABViewer. However, a large majority of OMTech customers use CorelDRAW because of its extensive and rich features for excellent laser engraving performance.
You can use 2D software such as Illustrator for converting DXF files to SVG. Some online converters convert SVG files into PNG or JPG. But if you want to use SVG files for laser engraving, that won’t be necessary.
Best Software for Laser Engraving
Let's take a look at some of the popular software for laser engraving, which can help you use SVG files for your engraving projects.
Lightburn is a popular and interactive software for laser engraving through which you can import images in various graphic and image formats. This software is compatible with all three major operating systems; Linux, MacOS, and Windows.
- User-friendly and affordable.
- Boasts a wide range of image tracing features.
- Comes with a one-month free trial.
- Compatible with controllers such as Trocen and Ruida.
- The trial version has limited export options.
- Not compatible with our CO2 Desktop models.
It's a popular go-to software for laser engraving using SVG files. However, keep in mind that this software is only used for Fiber Laser Markers. If you are looking to laser mark on metals and hard plastics, this machine and software pairing is likely the best option.
- This software is compatible with a variety of image formats.
- EzCad supports more than 256 layers allowing users to work with major vector graphics.
- Offers amazing features such as node editing, curve welding, and cropping calculations.
- Boasts design and free flow graphic patterns.
- Comes with numerous control objects for communicating with external devices.
- Supports multiple languages.
- Some users may experience delays during laser engraving.
- Complications in changing the red light pointer or making adjustments.
RDWorks is often called the dark horse of laser engraving software. It offers support for vertical lines, drawing points, polyline, text, and curves. The software does a great job when creating and editing laser-engraving files. With its dedicated environment, it offers complete access to draw specific points.
- Provides support for CAD files.
- Less info-heavy as other programs.
- Supports a wide variety of points and drawing lines.
- Free download offered by the OMTech website.
- Previous versions are not as helpful as the current version.
- Some users report lagging issues on the Windows OS.
Popular SVG Downloads from OMTech
Whether you are a DIY crafter or run a small business, you can take your laser engraving passion to the next level. OMTech Laser gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment with SVG laser engraving files, available to purchase and download right now. Here are some amazing DIY craft kits to give you a boost of creativity on your next project:
- Laser Machine Keychain Bling
- Business Card Holder
- Happy Birthday Cake Topper
- National Park-themed sets
- Customized Earring Sets