K40 Whisperer – Vector Colors and Text

In K40 Whisperer the red and blue vector paths in SVG files are converted to vector cut and vector engrave paths respectively.  A few people have experienced problems getting the red and blue lines to come into K40 Whisperer properly.  Here are a few of the common pitfalls that people encounter when reading SVG files into K40 Whisperer.

1. Blue and red colors in images are not converted to vectors.

If there is an image in the SVG file that contains blue or red the colors in the image are not recognized as a vector cut or engrave feature because the colored portion of an image is raster data not SVG path data.  K40 Whisperer does not convert raster images to paths. If you want to convert a raster image to vector engrave or cut paths you can use the bitmap trace feature in Inkscape  to convert bitmap image to paths before sending the SVG file to K40 Whisperer.  The trace bitmap feature in Inkscape is located in the menu bar under “Path”-“Trace Bitmap”.

2. Fill colors are not interpreted as vectors; only the stroke colors for objects are converted to vector cut/engrave paths.

Shapes/lines in SVG files have fill colors and stroke colors.  Only the stroke colors are interpreted as vector cut/engrave features.  K40 Whisperer does not try to convert the filled portion of a shape to a vector path.

3. Text is a special kind of object usually defined by fill color.  Text stroke color needs to be set in order to be interpreted as vector data.

Although text may look like strokes (depending on the font) generally standard fonts consist of outlines that are filled with a color.  So if you want to vector cut/engrave a standard font you need to change the stroke color for the font, then you can vector cut/engrave the outline of the font.   If you don’t want to cut/engrave the outline of characters you will need to use a special font that consists of strokes not outlines, these fonts are commonly referred to as stick fonts.  There are a variety of stick fonts available in the Inkscape Extension for Hershey Text.  To access the Hershey Text fonts in Inkscape go to “Extensions”-“Render”-“Hershey Text…”.  You can use the dialog that opens to create the text then change the stroke color to red/blue to engrave/cut.

K40 Whisperer will convert text to paths for you when the design is loaded.  However if the font used in a design is not installed on the computer running K40 Whisperer.  The intended font may be swapped out for another font automatically.  This can dramatically change a design in some cases.  To avoid the possibility of the design changing when it is brought to a new computer you can convert the text to paths in Inkscape.  To convert the text to paths in Inkscape use the menu options “Path”-“Object to Path”.  After the text is converted to paths the font will no longer be referenced and the design will be defined by the shape of the original font.