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Adobe Illustrator File

File Extension(s): .ai
Type: 2D graphics
Software: Adobe Illustrator, LaserCut 5.3 (import)

AI is the native Adobe Illustrator file format. Adobe Illustrator has been around since 1988, and the file format has been updated many times over the years. When saving in the AI file format, Adobe Illustrator offers a selection of legacy AI file formats.

Illustrator 10

The Adobe Illustrator 10 file format is compatible with the LaserCut 5.3 software for our laser cutter.

Some things to bear in mind:

  • If a vector shape has a fill colour in Adobe Illustrator, it will show as an outline in the LaserCut software. In other words: it doesn't matter if you're using outlines or fill in Adobe Illustrator
  • All line and fill colours will convert to black in the LaserCut software
  • If you have various stroke/fill colours in Adobe Illustrator and would like to keep those colours in LaserCut (for example, for different laser power settings, or if you have cut and engraved elements in one single file): export your Adobe Illustrator file into DXF format (R14)

Instructions to prepare files for the LaserCut software:

  • make sure all elements are in vector format
  • any text should be converted into vector paths ("Object" > "Expand...")
  • use the "Save as..." command from the menu and select "Adobe Illustrator (ai)". After pressing the Save button, Illustrator display another dialog box with more options
  • Version: "Illustrator 10"; deselect all other options
  • in LaserCut 5.3, select "File" > "Import" and open the .ai file

If your imported file looks different in LaserCut than it does in Adobe Illustrator (or if it doesn't import at all), check if your Adobe Illustrator file contains clipping masks or compound paths as they could create problems. (Groups and layers are usually fine – though it's probably best if you keep your file as simple as possible).