Affinity Designer Software: 50% off

High quality, affordable design software is hard to come by. Open source is a good option but often has ragged edges and an odd UI. Subscription software can be world class but the ongoing cost can really add up; you really need to use it a lot to justify the expense.

Buying high quality, affordable software is my preference but the options are limited. For many years my default was Corel Draw: Student & Home Edition. However, a few years ago I came to appreciate the Affinity suite of software which is remarkably powerful and occasionally cheap.

Affinity is having their periodic 50% off sale on all their software. I’m writing this note only to highlight their Affinity Design which has Windows, MacOS, and iPadOS versions. While it supports many file formats, SVG is why I’m writing this post. A free trial. You buy it and you own it, this is not a subscription. And now 50% off.

Curious? Check out the Affinity Designer YouTube channel.

Try it for free or buy it at half price, learn more here.

(I’m not one to promote things I don’t personally value or don’t use myself.)


Just curious (I haven’t taken any of the laser training classes yet), does this work with the lasers at Asmbly? I’m new to laser cutting of any sort, but it would be fun to be able to practice on my own until I can make a class fit with my schedule. :slight_smile:

The software you use for design work does not have to be the same one you use at the space to drive the machine. We don’t have Affinity on any of our computers at the space, but as long as you can save your file in a common vector format like svg or pdf, then you can always import it in the software that drives the lasers! We use Lightburn for our two big lasers, and Illustrator or Corel for our two small lasers.

1 Like

Affinity Design does work with the Big Lasers because unlike the ULS lasers they aren’t driven by plug-ins to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc. Instead the Big Lasers are driven by Lightburn which imports a wide variety of file formats. You design in the 2D design package you’re comfortable with, import to Lightburn, then define and execute your cuts from there.

With Affinity Design I prefer to export SVG into Lightburn.

Learn more about Lightburn here.

And just to be clear, those same file formats work for Illustrator and Corel on the small lasers which are driven by ULS controllers. Since “printing” isn’t occurring from Affinity in this case, there isn’t any difference among the big or small lasers here.

So are you saying the files are imported to AI/Corel and then you have to know those packages and how to “print” to the ULS?

I’m saying the software on the computers hooked up to our lasers is different – we do not have Affinity on site. Using Affinity for design work would be suitable for any of our lasers regardless of what software controls the laser. How you send the work to the laser from the software we have on site is covered in their respective classes – Big Lasers Class (Tarkin and Dorian using Lightburn) and Small Lasers Class (Blue and Pearl using either Corel Draw or Illustrator).

TL;dr – do your design work in the program that works best for you! It doesn’t have to match the software driving the laser. :awesome:

Best advice of all that’s been said!

Yup, that’s the most important thing to note! I was trying to make that point clear with my first sentence on this thread regarding design software not having to match laser printing software. For instance, anyone doing actual graphic design work would absolutely not want to use Lightburn. It’s a fantastic tool for driving the laser (so nice to have your settings saved in the file) but terrible for doing actual design.

There is a right tool for every job. When it comes to design work for laser cutting, the first measure of rightness would be “is it capable of doing the thing”, which any vector design software checks the box on (I don’t think a program can call itself vector design software and not export in svg or pdf which is the main thing you need). So from there, it’s simply a personal choice balancing price, functionality, preference, etc.

Just a quick note that the new free upgrade to Affinity Designer 2.4 supports DXF.

1 Like

50% off again and this time for their Universal License: macOS, Windows, iPad.

1 Like

I bought version 1 of the whole suite when it was half off just because I want to vote with my dollars and I want to see their business model succeed. Some people don’t need (or want!) their graphics suite to update constantly and bill just as often!

I was disappointed that I couldn’t install V1 on Mac since I only bought the PC version, but I think this sale will get me to upgrade/buy it again.

Thanks for sharing Travis!

1 Like

@DanHawn you can upgrade from V1 for even less.

1 Like

It was less than $65 bucks!

Finally a decent vector program for my mac! They added some much needed features. Definitely worth the cost.