Advice making temple door frame

I want to split this image into three sections so that I can cut the columns and the top piece separately to go around my classroom door at school. I’m hoping to use the laser and that inexpensive brown pressed wood board that I can’t remember the name of that we talked about in class.

Advice on what program to use to make chopping the image up easily?
I’d also like to add the more detailed image to the top piece mimicking a specific temple, so I need to be able to cut/paste over the top of that.

I’ve been baby-exposed to so many different programs since I joined, I have no idea which ones would be the easiest for this project.



1 Like

Photoshop I’d imagine. It’s installed on the CA computers and easily does what you want by just learning about layers. There’s fancier techniques you can do to achieve the same result but layering and selective deleting is going to work just as well.

Then you just do the save file dance to convert to vector in Inkscape and save as svg then convert to ai by opening in illustrator and saving as a ai file which you can import into Rd works.

1 Like

To make your shopping easier, I think the wood you’re referring to is MDF.

Like agvet said, you could split them up in Photoshop pretty easily, or if you want to work in Illustrator you can split objects up with the Line Segment Tool and Shape Builder Tool. YouTube and Adobe both have tutorials on it. It depends on how comfortable you are with either program; personally I suck at Illustrator, but it plays nicer with RDWorks and converting files 1000 times gives me a headache, so I just use it.

Unless you have a higher-res image, I think that pediment carving image might be a little too low-resolution to scale up with much detail. You could definitely trace it in Illustrator if you’re willing to do a bunch of work/cleanup, though.

My wife, mom, and sister are all teachers so I know you are hilariously underpaid and likely have negative free time, so if you need a more detailed explanation let me know. I’m not sure how much laser experience you’ve got, so I don’t want to be presumptuous.

1 Like

Hard board. Avail tempered (stronger) and untempered. Smooth one side or both. I would recommend tempered smooth one side for cost and durability.

Trade name Masonite.

I would do it all in inkscape, but splitting the image is trickier.

1 Like

If one has the image as a SVG file then inkscape would do the trick. any raster based images try gimp or photoshop.

Inkscape did a pretty good trace with minimal detail loss. (95.0 KB)


That’s really impressive, actually. I’ve never used Inkscape, but Adobe’s tracing is not the best if the path has a lot of curves.

I’ve never been pleased with AI’s tracing at all. Which is a shame because I’d love to skip the svg --> AI conversion step but AI just doesn’t seem to produce as good a result no matter how much finagling or tutorials I read on their tracer.

My husband and I have both been fighting with this and I just can’t get it to work.
At the suggestion of @talkers and others, we hunted down a better image that was already vector, and I decided to skip the detail work inside the top of the temple.

I thought we had it separated and chopped. I resized everything to fit my door frame.
Then, when I tried to import it into RDWorks, all I got was a green x in the center of the screen.

We played with it in Inkscape and Adobe and something else my fried brain can’t remember, and nothing is working.

This is the file with everything sized the way it needs to be. The black rectangle in the middle is the door.

This is the temple top sized and chopped in half since I discovered it is too big for the Thunder’s bed. I tried to chop it with Adobe. The big white rectangle is the size of my wood and the smaller grey is the size of the print bed [so I could make sure of my placement.

This is my attempt to just mess with half

These are the columns, which I tried to chop and arrange most logically.

And these are the columns split so that they will fit the bed.

Does anyone have any advice on making this work?
I want to cut around the very outside edge and “etch” the lines of the interior. The shades of brown are only there because they were in the original vector image.

I honestly am not that picky about what image gets used. We were just looking for one that was already vector.

Thanks for all your advice and help.

I sent Sarah some files last night based on her original post. She will test them Tuesday.

1 Like

The Thunder laser documentation says I need to use RDWorks with the Thunder, but it also says it doesn’t support svg files.
Do I need to run it through AI first?
I’ve saved the different components as AI files so I can cut them separately, but I don’t know if that was necessary.

yes. open the svgs you have or the ones I gave you in AI. Save as an AI file, then you can open them in RDWorks.

The alternative is to use LightBurn instead of RDWorks. It is installed on all the laser machines. LightBurn supports SVGs.


I finally got the columns up!!
Thanks! Woohoo!!!