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One thing a lot of people seem to want to do with the laser cutter at Hack Oldham is to cut out words and letters, Often people want to merge the letters together so that they form one complete shape rather than individual letters.  Below I’ll explain how to do this using the free vector drawing program Inkscape.

If you don’t already have it you can download Inkscape here.

Once you have Inkscape installed on your computer, open it up and you’ll be presented with a blank document

1.  Click on the Text Icon on the left hand menu

2. Enter the text you would like to cut out

3.  Use the “space between” letters option at the top of the screen to bring the letters closer together.

4. Make sure that the letters overlap

5. Click the “Select and transform” tool

6. Then drag across your word so that all the letters are selected

7. Choose “Path” then “Union” from the main menu to merge all the letters in to one shape.

8. Click “File”, “Save As” and save your file as a .DXF file (Desktop Cutting Plotter)

9.  From the options box that pops up make sure “Use LWPOLYLINE type of output” is check and if you have made your text a specific size make sure the base unit is correct.

10. You should now be able to open the file created in your laser cutting software.

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