The first step to any successful endeavour is in the preparation. So in order to print from Adobe Illustrator, to Trotec’s JobControl X software, it is important to set up your Illustrator document correctly.
Firstly open Adobe Illustrator and navigate to “File” and then click on “New”
Next step is to make sure the new document settings are the same as shown above.
NOTE: Your width and height of the document may change depending on your needs. But if the incorrect values are entered, you can change them later.
If you receive this message when you select RGB as your color mode, this means the value shown in the next step does not match the value you have chosen.
The next step is to check that the correct color mode is selected for your document. This is done by once again clicking “File” then navigating down to “Document Color Mode”. Make sure this is set to “RGB Color”. This will ensure that the RGB colors in your artwork match up with the RGB values in JobControl’s material database.
On the right hand side of your screen, you will find the “Swatches” button. The default is a CMYK swatch, which we will not use for this tutorial. For ease of use with a Trotec laser running JobControl, you will need to convert this to a RGB swatch.
To change to an RGB swatch palette, firstly click the “Drop Down Menu” button, which is located next to the “Swatch” button. This is on the right hand side of the screen, pictured above.
Hover your mouse over “Open Swatch Library”. This should open a new menu window.
Next, hover your mouse over “Default Swatches”, this again will open a new menu window. In the new window, click “Basic RGB”. This will now create a new color palette inside Adobe Illustrator and all the color values will be in RGB format.
Now that we have the new RGB color palette, we will not be needing the old CMYK palette. If you right hand click on the original CMYK swatch palette and press “Close Tab Group” this will close the CMYK palette leaving you with just the RGB palette.
You can now drag and drop the RGB color palette into the side menu, to use at any time. This is very convenient as you can minimize it to work on your artwork, but when needed, click it again to use it.
Now create a shape in the document window and use the RGB color palette to color the line of the shape.
NOTE: For this example I used RGB Red (R:255, G:0, B:0).
Next with the same shape selected, change the “Stroke Width” to 0.025 pt as shown above. This is done by clicking the “Stroke” button on the right hand side. This will allow your shape to be detected by JobControl X as a vector cutting path.
NOTE: Line width is extremely important, if your line width is larger than 0.025 pt, JobControl will consider it an engraving line. If you want to engrave the line, set this value larger and set the RGB value to black (R:0, G:0, B:0).
Print the file as you normally would with Trotec engraver as your printing device. The Illustrator document should show up in your print queue and be detected as a cut line in JobControl.
If you do not see the cut line appear in the JobControl document, make sure the colors you are using are set to cut in JobControl’s material database.
Catch ya next time!