New to the forum, and not yet got my Wazer (it’s Sunday, I will be chasing my supplier tomorrow!)
I’m awaiting delivery of my Wazer, but I would love to get up and running with files/design/whatever beforehand - is this possible? Or will I only get a code to access this software once my Wazer actually arrives?
Have I understood it correctly that to create Wazer cutting files, we have to upload DXF or SWG files to the online program to download the cutting file?
This is what I was told, but so many people are questioning whether I have this right, I am doubting myself! A couple of questions I’ve had - what if the site is down? What if the creator goes out of business?
Following on from this, are there things I need to look out for in my own design software?
I am getting Affinitiy Designer for my iPad Pro, and was looking at getting CorelDraw for my MacBook (we have a laser cutter at my studio, which users CorelLaser so I am familiar with CorelDraw for vector based). There’s also a Mac based version of Affinity Designer, however I don’t know if this will suffice - there’s a big difference in price though - £50 vs £600.
I have lots of questions, but I will stick to this one for now! Thanks
I am Dawn, I am a UK based artist working with kiln formed glass.
If i remember correctly, you register your WAZER Serial Number and set up an account to access WAM. But you can create all the DXFs you want with whatever CAD system you have…
Hello @DawnWazer thanks for joining the WAZER Forum, and welcome!
Anyone is welcome to create a WAM account at anytime. You do not need to own a WAZER to create an account! However, in order to finalize the gcode, or complete the final step in WAM, you will need to verify your WAM account by linking the software serial number. If you do not have the software serial number yet, do not worry - feel free to create a WAM account at this link!
Clicking the question mark at each step of WAM is a great introduction to the software!
In order to begin setting up your cut in WAM, you will need the cut designed on your preference of CAD Software, and exported as a DXF or SVG File. These are the only files compatible with WAM. Furthermore, all of the lines drawn in the design must be a poly-line.
What is a polyline? It is essentially a path of nodes, or connect the dots. Each dot/node contains lots of valuable information! If not converted to nodes & paths, the image remains in pixels - pixels are not compatible with WAM due to the nature of a pixel giving an undefined edge.
For more in-depth information on SVG and polyline vs pixel, I recommend checking out the article found here!
If you would like to use DXF exports, we have a few software export guides found here.
As for the accessibility of WAM, WAZER plans to keep the website up and operational for as long as possible! There may be workarounds to the WAM software, but I do not recommend using them as they break Warranty and Support Services.
Thank you, I’lll double check about Affinity Designer, I may still go for CorelDraw as I have less of a learning curve with that…
Thank you for your reply, Will take a look at these links in the next couple of days.
I’ve used a three different lots of laser software, all of which required vector based files (I think one ten years ago now so memory a little vague! - used .EPS, but CorelLaser I think works with SVG (it can import from a few sources though)
I’ve not heard the term poly-line, but am familiar with paths and nodes, so hopefully the learning curve won’t be too steep!
I have no plans to try and workaround the software, happy to use WAM
Thanks for your response! Excited now, it’s coming next week.
I’ve downloaded / bought a lot of SVG for glass cuts.
Here are my lessons learned.
- SVG built to look nice, doesn’t mean it will cut nice.
1a) They can have overlapping lines, use shapes that WAM won’t interpret, as well as have erroneous points that are not visible, but the machine will try and pierce.
- I suggest you use a cad program of some sort so you can see each shape, and have ultimate control over what the drawing is.
- Scale matters, there is kerf (the width of the water “blade”) so you can’t scale things down infinity, there is a minimum radius.
- I have MUCH better luck by ensuring I use poly-lines, and I control the start stop points on the line. The WAM software (so far) has always used my line start/stop as it’s start/stop cut point.
- Tabs are placed (by default) in software on line start/stops. So, if you pick a good spot, you won’t have to mess with the tabs in WAM
- SUPER dense full bed cuts, will make WAM take a LONG time. (In excess of 5 minutes sometimes.) So, try and ensure you’re not using 10,000 poly lines for your shapes.
- Some CAD software has nice tools for maximizing glass/material usage. (auto places all your shapes to maximize material usage) This is great and all, but I would still suggest you keep one shape per cut (for production runs like I do) because then modifying it later is a pain.
- Save master cad files without offsets, clearly labeled, and scaled for the right use to save you time and repeatability.
- If you are in question of what it’s going to cut use the https://ncviewer.com/ to simulate the movements to ensure it isn’t going to make bad cuts.
- If you can save your master shape as a block/group or whatever, it makes it quick and easy to re-apply inner/outer cuts/scale.
Hopefully all of that makes sense.
Just trying to save you some time/effort/lumps.
I’d also say, if you’re good at cutting glass, then the waterjets use is shapes that just can’t be cut by hand, and it’s easier than using the ring saw.
*think sand dollars, inside cuts, pierces, etc. Water jet is the only practical way.
- small radius circles
The reason for getting the Wazer is to cut those shapes that are hard such as smaller circles, and of course inner lines, etc. I can ace a big circle, but small ones are so hit and miss. I don’t have a ring saw.
I am UK based, so I have no idea what a sand-dollar is though ;-).
Hi, thank you for all your helpful information. I still need to get my head around what exactly poly-line means in terms of design.
On one laser cutter I’ve used, all cuts had to be ‘closed’ I think the term is, no loose ends - a continuous line. If you got this wrong, it couldn’t cut.
On the one we have at the studio, which uses and adapted version of CorelDraw called CorelLaser, that seemed to be a lot more ‘relaxed’, it worked it a totally different way.
I think I need to find my software to more fully understand some of your tips but thank you so much for taking the time to go through in detail.
I am to use the Wazer in a combination of ways - some of my glass art, whilst not production line, is small batch, so some of it will be simply to make my life easier, and more efficient use of glass and time (Such as small rounds for decorations, a lot of offcuts when hand cutting circles, plus plenty to go wrong especially with coloured opaques.
Then there are the shapes I can’t cut anyway, such as hearts or doughnuts for workshops, as I do a lot of teaching.
I then would really like to explore really more complex designs as well for higher end pieces
that would be one off designs.
Once again thank you for your help