blauri68110

Please help! :) I want to cut stained glass patterns out of vinyl.

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Ok, so I am a noob when it comes to cutting vinyl and vectoring images.  I have yet to receive my cutter yet, which is supposed to come in tomorrow. I purchased a USCutter SC 31 inch.  My goal is to be able to take just about any image or pattern and turn it into a stained glass pattern, that I can then cut on the vinyl. I am wanting to avoid all of the work associated with a paper pattern where every glass piece has to be cut out by hand and then glued to the glass for glass cutting.

 

The patterns will all be line drawings, where each shape is enclosed by either the perimeter edge or the piece(s) surrounding it. So in terms of cutting that out of vinyl I would need to cut all the lines out of the image, or just the shapes (same difference). I would want to be able to weed out just the line part of the image and then pull individual pieces off a few at a time to be stuck and cut out of glass and then moved to their final destination onto a pattern duplicate where all the pieces are assembled in their respective locations.

 

I have been able to vectorize( not sure if thats what you call it) a few images with decent success. The main problem I keep encountering is being able to manipulate the width of my lines.  I start by importing my image into inkscape, if it is a pdf I copy it in bitmap, I then trace it using the default settings(for unscaled pre-made black and white patterns). After I trace it I want to resize it, which works  but I can never get to the size i originally wanted without the lines becoming too thick.  The minimum thickness is 1/16"(5-6px) or Max is 1/8"(10-12px).  I have used the "Inset and Outset" features of inkscape which works alot better if you need thicker lines but if you hit Inset more than once many of the lines become detached, and much detail is lost.  I also tried a different approach by using something called "rapid resizer" which will trace the pattern along the center of your image's lines and then give you the ability to change the line thickness, but it does a poor job and leaves alot of speckles that you will have to remove manually or have all this crap traced into the inkscape vector.  

 

I will attach a few photos of a panel I just finished last week using my current technique of cutting the pattern by hand out of paper on top of poster board and then glued to the glass and cut/grinded.  I will also attach an image I was manipulating earlier that I want 24 inches wide with lines between 1/16"-1/8".  I had to shrink a few to make them under 1000K

 

Thanks,

Brian 

post-91338-0-75627400-1424378112_thumb.j

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I'm not a big illustrator user but when you create your lines, just make the center line then apply a stroke to it making it thicker. (1/16"-1/8") That would be your gap between when you cut. When you have all your lines created, weld them together and that will give you the shapes you are looking for.

 

Not sure how well it would work on textured glass but maybe use static cling vinyl so that it is reusable.

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Inkscape can open PDF files, and there is a chance the image is already a vector. If not you can still do the trace on the image once loaded into Inkscape.

 

Once traced the image, you can add a stroke to the shape to make it thicker, however a stroke will not change how the image is cut. Once you get the stroke sized the way you want you'll want to duplicate it, then convert it to a path and then merge the new path and the old path and lastly remove the stroke from the merged path.

 

Although I don't think this will work quite the way you're hoping. Only option I can see would be to manually redraw/trace the image using only strokes. Then size the image, then adjust the stroke size, then convert the stroke to a path.

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" Dynamic Offset" in Inkscape will give you more control over the amount of increase or decrease of line width you are looking for.

Still may not yield completely satisfactory results but, will give you more control. It's located just below "Inset" and "Outset" in the Path menu.

 

Zoom in real tight and move the control node just a tiny bit.

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Only other option I can think of that, while more work will probably give you better results. Resize the image, break it apart, then manipulate each individual shape to get the desired gap between shapes.

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I'm not a big illustrator user but when you create your lines, just make the center line then apply a stroke to it making it thicker. (1/16"-1/8") That would be your gap between when you cut. When you have all your lines created, weld them together and that will give you the shapes you are looking for.

 

Not sure how well it would work on textured glass but maybe use static cling vinyl so that it is reusable.

 

I am only tracing pre-made patterns at the moment, and dont know how to do that yet either lol! The textured glass wont be a problem because all sheet glass has a smooth side so it can be scored and cut.

 

Inkscape can open PDF files, and there is a chance the image is already a vector. If not you can still do the trace on the image once loaded into Inkscape.

 

Once traced the image, you can add a stroke to the shape to make it thicker, however a stroke will not change how the image is cut. Once you get the stroke sized the way you want you'll want to duplicate it, then convert it to a path and then merge the new path and the old path and lastly remove the stroke from the merged path.

 

Although I don't think this will work quite the way you're hoping. Only option I can see would be to manually redraw/trace the image using only strokes. Then size the image, then adjust the stroke size, then convert the stroke to a path.

 

Im not quite following what you are saying since I have only used inkscape a few days now, but i have discovered the stroke option and realized that is not where the cut will go.  What I think you are saying is I might be able to add the stroke and then retrace the center of that line, leaving one line that the thickness can be manipulated? That would be perfect if it works right.  Do you know where I can find more detailed information on this subject? or maybe spell it out in simple people language, I am still learning with this software stuff but making good progress :)

 

 

" Dynamic Offset" in Inkscape will give you more control over the amount of increase or decrease of line width you are looking for.

Still may not yield completely satisfactory results but, will give you more control. It's located just below "Inset" and "Outset" in the Path menu.

 

Zoom in real tight and move the control node just a tiny bit.

 

I saw the dynamic offset button but had no idea how to use it, I clicked it and seemingly nothing happened so I just hit ctrl Z lol!

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Dynamic Offset. After you select your object and click Dynamic Offset in the menu, there will be a single control node created on

the outside boundary of your object. Left click and hold and move it a tiny amount to resize the lines in the image.

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There are pattern books for stained glass, Dover is one, has patterns already vectorized, and saved as an AI, and EPS files. Remember, all EPS files are not created equal. I cut a couple for a lady years ago, came out good. We even airbrushed some with candies, on plain glass. 

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If retracing the line is an option you want to pursue that would probably give you the best results. The Bezier tool or freehand lines tool can be used to trace the existing lines. Either tool you'll need to go back and node edit the line to get it exactly where you want. Adjust the stroke width to what you want. Save the file at this point and keep it in case you ever want to make the image again in a different size.

 

Size the image and the stroke widths to what you want, select all and from the menu bar, Path -> stroke to path. Then merge all the paths to form a single shape, select all, Path -> Union.

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If retracing the line is an option you want to pursue that would probably give you the best results. The Bezier tool or freehand lines tool can be used to trace the existing lines. Either tool you'll need to go back and node edit the line to get it exactly where you want. Adjust the stroke width to what you want. Save the file at this point and keep it in case you ever want to make the image again in a different size.

 

Size the image and the stroke widths to what you want, select all and from the menu bar, Path -> stroke to path. Then merge all the paths to form a single shape, select all, Path -> Union.

I dont really want to trace the image. That would probably take just as long as cutting it by hand.  Is there a way to add a stroke and then move the cut line to the edge of that added stroke? I thought thats what you were getting at, but I cant figure it out.. :wacko:  What I really need is a hairthin line traced down the center of the pattern image lines, that line could then be thickened/thinned as the image is resized because a 12" panel has the same line thickness as a 48" panel.  Everytime I resize that peacock image above to 24" wide my lines are always over 1/8" thats too big of a gap between glass pieces  :(

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Yeah, select the image and hold the shift key while selecting a color from the color bar at the bottom of the screen will add a stroke to the object. Adjust the size till you're happy then convert the stroke to path. The peacock image is a pretty complex one, I'd suggest a smaller simpler design to work out how the best way to do it would be. I really don't think there is an easy way to do what you're wanting to do.

 

Another option would be to draw the image on paper to the size you want then scan that image.

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Yeah, select the image and hold the shift key while selecting a color from the color bar at the bottom of the screen will add a stroke to the object. Adjust the size till you're happy then convert the stroke to path. The peacock image is a pretty complex one, I'd suggest a smaller simpler design to work out how the best way to do it would be. I really don't think there is an easy way to do what you're wanting to do.

 

Another option would be to draw the image on paper to the size you want then scan that image.

well even though i was planning on taking a break, i decided to give it one more try. I finally figured out how to do what you were saying I was forgetting to make a duplicate to fill in the holes that were being made after i convert path to stroke.  The first time I did it, the image has tons of nodes like 24k I copied in in bitmap and then retraced it and that cut the nodes down to 10.5k, is that too many?  here is the peacock i managed to get to 24inches and I think it may work as a pattern, do you see any issues with the cutting it on vinyl?

tiffanypeacock 24inwide.svg

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I don't know if it makes a difference, cause I don't do cut glass... could very well be something you can

correct when you are applying your vinyl to the glass? The red circles indicate ares that are either not cut through,

or overlapped, or other anomalies. I saw a good number of them over the entire feather area.

 

Nothing that good going-over with some node editing tools can't cure.

 

Good Luck as well... Though that appears to be a pretty ambitious piece, you are obviously skilled with the glass.

 

post-43059-0-25693400-1424399816_thumb.p

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yes, i did notice those few spots but a few minutes of touching it up isnt a problem, just dont want to spend hours tracing the image unless I really have to. I have a feeling this is going to work well and really allow me to spend more time with the glass than messing with patterns, and I might even make a sticker or two along the way :)

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I also found a few patters that were made with hair thin lines, tracing that, resizing it, adding stroke, path to stroke, then merging them with union works almost flawlessly. Its the patterns that have thick lines that are the major source of the problem. Those I may trace in a small scale and then blow them up if I have to. :) Thanks to everybody, much has been learned today!

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