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Mask cutting horror - Macromedia Freehand

I've been laying out the type for veterans' names to be engraved on a local vets' memorial under construction. I recently sent a test file to the lady cutting the masks for the sandblaster. The layout has been done in Mac Freehand 8. I converted the type to paths and saved as an EPS file which the mask-cutter thought would work. When she cut the mask from my file, the knife blade, instead of doing a continuous cut around the outlines of the letters, picked up and put down a number of times on each letter, creating tiny "burrs" poking ...

  1. #1

    Default Mask cutting horror

    I've been laying out the type for veterans' names to be engraved on a local
    vets' memorial under construction. I recently sent a test file to the lady
    cutting the masks for the sandblaster. The layout has been done in Mac Freehand
    8. I converted the type to paths and saved as an EPS file which the mask-cutter
    thought would work. When she cut the mask from my file, the knife blade,
    instead of doing a continuous cut around the outlines of the letters, picked up
    and put down a number of times on each letter, creating tiny "burrs" poking
    into the letters that would have to be cleaned up with an Xacto by hand. There
    are something like 25,000 half-inch-high characters on the memorial, so this
    would not be practical, especially with a deadline of having it done by this
    Memorial Day. Is anyone here familiar with this process and would you have a
    clue as to why the cutter would be behaving in this manner? I checked and the
    pickup points don't correspond to control points on the letters, so I'm
    completely clueless as to what in the file could be getting interpreted as an
    instruction to pick up and set the knife down again. Any help would be much
    appreciated.

    Bill Schuhle

    RubberBill Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mask cutting horror

    RubberBill wrote:
     

    Bill,

    It sound to me like someone has converted the EPS to a Windows Metafile, or
    some kind of CAD format. These formats don't use vector curves, they use a
    series of short, discrete line segments to draw paths.

    What flavor of EPS did you send? Perhaps she's working off the EPS Win
    preview instead of the Postscript info.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mask cutting horror

    I use Freehand to make signs all the time. My software imports Illustrator
    files. I just export to Illustrator 7 files and the sign software works
    great. See if she can import ai files.

    Jim


    Jobob Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mask cutting horror

    Judy,
     

    I think I saved it as a "Generic EPS", but I couldn't swear to that. What
    she really wanted was a .PLT file (which sounds like a plotter file to me),
    but I couldn't find any way, using FH, AI, Canvas, or CD to come up with
    such. I wonder if .DXF would be a close equivalent...
     
    info.

    That would normally be a 1-bit .BMP file, wouldn't it? I don't think you
    could do any plotting off of that, could you?

    And as far as the possibility that it was converted to a .WMF or CAD file
    format with curves composed of small straight line segments, that still
    wouldn't be an excuse for the cutter's knife to pick up and put down, would
    it? And it's only happening about three or four times per character, so I
    don't see a correlation there...

    Bill Schuhle


    Bill Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mask cutting horror

    Jim,
     

    That was going to be my next move. Wish me luck.

    Bill Schule


    Bill Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mask cutting horror

    Bill Schuhle wrote:
     

    Bill,

    Did you find a solution for this?

    Did you open the EPS in Illustrator to see what the paths are like?

    I was wondering if a 'split complex paths' in the Generic EPS routine had
    kicked in. If you had joined all of the letters in one line into a composite
    path, then Generic EPS would split the composite path into horizontal
    slices. I just tried it here, and it happened. I can post a screenshot, if
    you like.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mask cutting horror

     

    Still working on it, Judy.
     

    I did and they look identical to what they look like in FH.
     
    composite 

    Nice try, but nothing like that going on here ( I do know what you mean --
    I've seen it in clip art images).

    I talked with the mask-cutting lady today and sent her an AI7 file. Should
    hear tomorrow it that made any difference.

    Thanks for hangin' in here with me.

    Bill Schuhle


    Bill Guest

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