In this tutorial you will learn how to prepare gcode file for engraving images straight from .jpg, .png or .bmp file.
What you will need:
- Laser toolhead
- Wood material you would like to engrave on (for example plywood, beech, oak etc), in this tutorial we will create files for 100x100x13mm beech
- Double sided tape for attachment
- Voxelizer software
- .jpg, .png or .bmp image you would like to engrave (example at the bottom of this tutorial)
First of all open up Voxelizer software and move to “image etching” workflow. Import your chosen file into the software. You can do this by simply clicking "file->import->image" or using Drag&Drop technique.
Now adjust settings of your image in “image transformation” window. You can change its size with “image scale” slider, orientation using “image rotation z” slider and saturation of RGB colors using three following sliders. Saturation must be set different for various images and it depends from share of these three colors in the picture. Also don’t forget to set the position of image by moving it with left mouse button.
Next window that is responsible for the outcome of engraving is “generate path” window. In it you have to choose which algorithm will be used for generating laser engraving paths. You can read about different algorithms here.
The algorithm you will choose for your picture strictly depends on the picture. You need to experiment on your own, but the universal method that works most of the cases is intensity and it will be used in this tutorial.
Change the pixel size to 0.5mm and lines per pixel to 7. This will give one line per around 0.07 mm and good quality engraving.
Last part of generating gcode files is setting parameters of machine moves. To set them, go to the “Laser tool” window. Parameters that should be set are as follows:
- Set work base Z - set it to 1mm when you have your machine homed at the surface of material
- Set work speed - depends from the hardness of material you would like to engrave on. The harder the material, the slower machine should work. Working range of speeds varies from 3 to 10mm/s
Rest of settings should be left as default.
In this tutorial we would use beech wood, so the work speed will be set to 7.5mm/s.
When all settings are set, you can finally click Generate to create gcode file for engraving your picture. Also you can download ready-to-engrave gcode file at the bottom of this tutorial.
- If you would like to use different algorithm than intensity, experiment on your own with different parameters of each algorithm
- If you don’t know how to prepare your machine (ZMorph 2.0 SX) for using with laser toolhead, go to this tutorial
- In this article you can find materials that were tested for cutting and engraving with Laser Toolhead
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