Author Topic: Importing .jpeg and convert it to CNC carving. Can inscape do that?  (Read 8245 times)

June 03, 2017, 04:50:05 PM
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huntleybill

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I am new to Inkscape and was wondering about it's capabilities. One of the things I am looking to do is to take a photograph and change it to be able to Carve out the image on wood. For example, I would like to use the picture of Benny here and carve it on my CNC. The second picture is what I would like to end up with. Except instead of the fish, I would have Benny there.

Is that possible with Inkscape? Is there a tutorial on how to do it? Are there ways to do this using Inkscape and another program? Your help and advise is appreciated.
Thank you
Bill

Benny.png
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June 03, 2017, 06:05:32 PM
Reply #1

Moini

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I'm not sure how to represent the height information in a 2D drawing program. The fish is in 3D. Could be done by color-coding elevation...
If you're happy with a black and white representation, you could play around with the different options of the trace bitmap dialog. I'd try color quantization, with different numbers of color, until it looks okay.

June 03, 2017, 06:15:21 PM
Reply #2

brynn

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Welcome Bill!

There's only one point I'm not clear on, as to whether Inkscape can do it all alone.  Inkscape can definitely prepare the artwork side of it, prepare the vector file.  And Inkscape has a lot of gcode tools, which can produce the gcode for most, if not all of it.

This is the part I'm not sure about.  Notice on the body of the fish (and other places too, but it's more obvious on the body) how there's a smooth contour or slope, from the fattest (middle) part of the body, over to the right edge of the body, just to the right and below the large top fin, where it gently slopes down to the face of the background area?  And it also looks like that background area is not flat either.  It seems to be saucer-like, where it's most shallow towards the center (if the fish wasn't there).  It's that gentle slope where I'm not sure if Inkscape's gcode tools can create the proper gcode.

I'm absolutely positive that Inkscape could do it, if having sharp edges at each change of depth would be acceptable.  (Although personally, I don't think I would like that look.)  And there's a good chance that inkscape's gcode tools can even to do that part.  I just can't say for sure. 

Hhmm....just refering to my limited experience with woodworking.....  Wouldn't it take a super advanced system to produce something like that fish plaque, without any sanding?  No matter what, you'd still have to do a good bit of sanding, right?  Maybe Inkscape can do it all?

The sad, really sad part of it, is that the people who have created Inkscape's gcode tools are apparently no longer available to provide support for them.  (Although if you happen to speak Russian, you might be able to get their attention.  If so, visit the forum shown in Extensions menu > Gcode > About.  They have an English section, but they haven't answered any messages in over a year - you'll see some messages from me there - yet the rest of the forum appears to be active.)

We certainly can help you prepare the image, to provide the vector info that will be needed.  As far as I understand, you would need the vector file, no matter whether you use gcode or some other kind of code or technology, with the CNC.  And I've learned a lot about using those gcode tools on my own, trying to help people with them.  So I can even get you started with the gcode. 

But I just can't say with absolute certainty, that Inkscape can do it All.
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June 04, 2017, 06:02:13 PM
Reply #3

huntleybill

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Thank you Brynn for your input. I see what you are talking about. The good news is the background does NOT have to be curved. What i'm more interested in accomplishing is getting the image I want to input to carve and NOT engrave. In other words I want the image to stand proud of the flat background. I hope that makes better sense. Maybe i am not using the correct terminology.

I have attached another example. Flat surface the image stands proud of the surface. Isn't that called a carving?

Also, if inkscape can do this, are there any tutorials you can point me to to learn how to accomplish this. If inkscape can't do all of it, what other software would I need?

Seems the big issue is getting the photo in the right format. Once the photo is prepared, all that is needed is to carve it....right???

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June 05, 2017, 07:42:33 AM
Reply #4

huntleybill

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Actually, I found this video tutorial for ArtCam Pro that does what I want to to do. Can Inkscape do the same or similar thing? If so, is there a tutorial?


June 05, 2017, 05:54:35 PM
Reply #5

Moini

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Inkscape draws in 2D, not in 3D. You'd need a tool like blender to make 3D objects.

June 05, 2017, 08:29:36 PM
Reply #6

huntleybill

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so...is blender an inkscape plugin??? or......?

June 06, 2017, 01:59:55 AM
Reply #7

brynn

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Blender is a whole separate program.  It's similar to Inkscape in being an open source project, and having vector support.  But other than that, they are not related.  A lot of people use Inkscape and Blender together though.  Typically they start creating the basic parts of the drawing in Inkscape, and then import to Blender to make it 3d.  I'm sure you'll find plenty of tutorials and/or manual for Blender.

I have attached another example. Flat surface the image stands proud of the surface. Isn't that called a carving?

I understand completely what you're talking about.  Inkscape cannot make the kind of drawing (3d rendering) you showed (but Blender can).

Seems the big issue is getting the photo in the right format. Once the photo is prepared, all that is needed is to carve it....right???

Well, if you need a 2D rendering of a 3D object, to use as a model, to carve it by hand, I would say "right".  The question I can't answer, is whether you actually need a 3d rendering to accomplish the CNC carving.  Maybe you do, I just don't know.

To my understanding, what you need is the proper code to send to your CNC.  If your machine is such that you can import the 3d rendering, and it magically carves it out, then I would say that's some really awesome soft and hardware!  That would mean that the machine is creating some kind of code from the image, and the code drives the cutting tools.

But what I've learned from my brief experience with Inkscape's gcode tools, is that you need to give the CNC the proper code.  I think it's possible Inkscape can produce the proper code, but as I explained before, I'm not positive.

I'm really sorry that we can't get any help from the developers of Inkscape's gcode tools.  In another recent topic, I learned about another program which produces gcode, and I assume other kinds of code for CNC.  It has a free trial version, afaict.  It's called ESTLCAM.  I have no idea if it can do what you want.  And unfortunately, half their website is in German, and I don't have time to get it translated right now.

I'm going to post a message to Inkscape's development mailing list, informing of the lack of support from the gcode tools makers, and asking if there are others in the community who can help.  I'll post here when I get an answer. (answer could come right away, or could take a couple of days, but I'll post what I learn.)
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June 06, 2017, 05:51:00 PM
Reply #8

huntleybill

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Maybe I should take a step backwards and find out what I really need to get the result I am looking for.
Maybe I am going about this all wrong.
Now i gotta figure  out where to ask that question!

June 06, 2017, 10:15:42 PM
Reply #9

brynn

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I'm sure there are plenty of woodworking forums which can help you with that part.  They should be fairly easy to search out.  I couldn't give any tips for choosing the best one.  And you're probably the best one to judge that anyway.  Good luck  :)
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June 09, 2017, 02:10:08 PM
Reply #10

Moini

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If you will only carve lines of fixed depth (i.e. all lines you carve in are at the same height level, no 'modeling'), then Inkscape may be enough (think black-and-white). If you want a real, statue-like 3D rendering, like the ones in the images you linked, with curvy surfaces, you cannot (easily) save this in a 2D space - and anyway, you would need to create the model first. A photo does not provide that kind of information.