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Question about raster laser engraving and inkscape

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by Aspire4higher, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Aspire4higher


    Apr 17, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi there,
    I have a laser engraving machine that is running an arduino uno R3 with CNC shield and GRBL, and I'm interested in raster engraving and photos... but the problem is, the laser only knows how to engrave lines. I make a design in INKSCAPE, then use the Laser Engraver plugin, but the gcode that is created only does vector lines. It won't do fills, and it also doesn't know how to vary the laser intensity for photos.

    Do I need a special laser to engrave photos? and how can i make gcode that will include fills rather than just an outline? Any insight is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  2. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team

    Jan 18, 2014
    Likes Received:
    It all depends, to a large extent, on the type of image you want to reproduce.

    The easiest technique is to reduce the image to 1 bit then ‘dither’ it (various algorithms are available for this process) and produce the image as a series of ‘dots’ (similar to the old, monochrome, newspaper images).

    Alternately you could use specialist software to create 8 bit images which have ‘shades of grey’.

    These are just a couple of my 8 bit images 2 on wood and one on a mirror (difficult to photograph).




    Perhaps take a look at what these guys are doing and the techniques they are using for reproducing images using laser power output control http://www.picengrave.com/

    There is much to learn when producing laser images, I have been at it for a few years now and I am still learning new techniques – there is no sight of ever reaching the end.


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