Laser Cutter Warm-up with Adobe Illustrator.

Make a new document.  File > New  This menu will pop-up.  Choose Profile > Print

Change the following:
Size: Letter
Width: 11 in
Height: 8.5 in
Units: Inches
Orientation: Portrait or Landscape
Color Mode: RGB


Arrange your text to the desired layout.  Start with your initials. 

Engrave: Assign the Fill color to absolute Black.  When the laser cutter sees absolute Black, it engraves that area.

Select all of your text elements and Expand them. Object > Expand

Select all the expanded elements and Unite them, so that now they are all one object.  Open the Pathfinder, select elements, and choose Unite*If it worked, when you select one character, it will select all of your text.

Select the new text element, copy it, and paste in back.  Edit > Copy   Edit > Paste in Back.
With the text still selected change fill color so you see the change, then offset the path. *I choose blue just so I can see the change.

Object > Path > Offset Path  I set the Path Offset to 0.1 in, yours will be different.  Check the Preview Box to see the thickness. 

Setting up the perimeter for cutting.  Select the offset path and assign it an absolute Red (255, 0, 0) and give it a thickness of 0.005 pt and the Fill Color to White.


Double click on the red swatch and  the Swatch Options will appear. 

Draw or scribble a rough path with the pencil (or Paintbrush). Now, with your path still selected, select the Smooth tool, click and drag across your selected path to smooth it out.
How to make Smooth Lines in Illustrator
Repeat until you reach and acceptable result:
How to make Smooth Lines in Illustrator
How to make Smooth Lines in Illustrator
Ok that looks pretty smooth, done. Notice that the smooth tool also reduces the amount of anchor points in your path.
How to make Smooth Lines in Illustrator

*The red line is very thin . . .