Creating Outlines and Paths in Adobe Illistrator

One of the machines I have access to is a Wazer water-jet machine that uses a combination of water and an abrasive to cut through pretty much any material you desire under 3/4" in thickness.

After doing a bit of research on how to prepare the machine for cutting I realized I would need a template file to work off of to get a real experience with my own project instead of using the sample files.

I decided upon my side business logo, a basic design so easy to work off of. Now I couldn't directly drop this file into the Wazer program as it was a .png, and did not support .png files. It requires a file with a tool-path embedded in it to know where to cut. 

After doing a bit of searching online I found this tutorial which showed exactly how to convert an image into a traceable form in which I could send to the Wazer program.

Basically you import your image, select it, and under Objects > Image Trace > Expand it would trace the object outline and its ready to go to export and send to the Wazer program to get ready for cutting. If the image isn't black and white or easily traceable then you need to convert it to either a grey scale or black and white. You can do before clicking expand, under the Properties panel at the top go down till you find the Image Trace > Preset > Silhouette and this will convert it to black and white. Then click the Expand button below it.

You can see the trace lines more easily if you go to View > Outlines which will show you only the outlines of your image.

I came back the next day to laser cut it out to see if that worked fine like in the program. I placed it in the Voccell laser engraver's application and prepped it for cutting. I realized pretty quickly that I couldn't have everything cut so I figured out which parts I wanted to be engraved and which cut.

I am very pleased with the outcome!