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Illustrator CS5: Vector paths and rounded corners?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey,

I'm new to Illustrator - I've just about got the hang of importing rasters, tracing and manipulating shapes a little bit. But I'm stuck on a piece.
I've got a logo which has sharp edges. When I have it pocket cut with a CNC router, the cutter is a 2mm end mill, which leaves a rounded corner on every edge. That's not a problem.

The problem is that I want to create the male pieces to fit into cutout of the logo, i.e. make a profile cut of the same logo.
I have no idea how to do that. If I use the original design, when it makes a pocket cut, it'll cut around the outside edge which will be true to the original design with the sharp edges that won't fit into the pocket.

Screens/Photos to demonstrate what I mean:

The vector paths of the logo. (Screenshot not taken in Illustrator, but I do have my original ai file)
b4THk.png

The preview of what it will look like when cut with a 2mm end mill. Note the rounded corners instead of sharp edges.
plYmY.png

What it looks like cut out on a 100mm x 100mm piece (pocket cut)
DSC00397.jpg

Now, what I need to do is create the logo with the rounded corners so I can make pieces that will slot into the gaps.

Any ideas on how to do that? I tried using the Effects > Stylize > Offset path, but that didn't change the path; and trying to apply a round corners effect fails miserably.

The only ideas I have are: 1) use the one I have cut out as a stencil, draw it on paper and scan it in, then use Illustrator to turn the raster image into a vector; 2) put a paper behind the metal of the one I have cut and scan that (same thing as 1, but without penning it in) and then using Illustrator to trace it.


Better ideas please?
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post #2 of 7
use the pen tool. I believe it's shift you want
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle1337;12312102 
use the pen tool. I believe it's shift you want
Pen tool to do what? I can use it to redraw the whole thing from scratch, or edit/create new anchors, but I don't see how it will put a rounded corner unless I manually draw them all in (which will be undoubtedly inaccurate).
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post #4 of 7
What about creating this tool and then using subtract? I'm sure there are easier ways...

toold.jpg
Edited by mobius9 - 2/8/11 at 5:55pm
post #5 of 7
post #6 of 7
Just wanted to bump this. CS5: Filter > Stylize > Rounded corners (2mm radius)

That will probably do it. Draw a 2mm circle to compare results.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius9;12427683 
Just wanted to bump this. CS5: Filter > Stylize > Rounded corners (2mm radius)

That will probably do it. Draw a 2mm circle to compare results.
I tried that first. Didn't turn out so well.
In the end, I realised that the program I use for creating the machine toolpaths (Cut2D) can show the toolpath in the editing mode. So I created a 2mm circle on the corners of the toolpath and rounded off each corner manually. Took an entire day to do, but it worked.
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