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Overview:

Image to Go Code imports most digital image files into G-Code format that can be ran
with most computer numerical control routers and mills. The software package includes:
A basic digital image editor to allow you to retouch the image before send it to the g-code
converter. The converter reads the pixels information directly from imported image and
creates the g-code file.
Before the g-code file is created the size of the carving dimensions and the maximum tool
depth can be increased or decrease without the need to reprocess the image. Image
resolution can also be adjusted using several methods like the k-factor, axis combine,
reverse, close enough and the x and y axis. Prep-code and post-code can be edited with
the G-Code Editor built into the application for easy access and more. Image to G-Code
can convert raster images to vectors also.

Image to G-Code also imports DXF files from most CAD programs. (AutoCAD release
12 compatible), the importer support most geometric entities including inserts [with
nested blocks]. After the DXF file is imported all supported entities are put in list
organized by layers. The G-Code setup options form allows you to set layer level
priorities including turning on and off the layer, set the tool release plane, close enough,
default Z-Axis character, pre-code and post-code, optimize, and more.

Image to G-Code also includes a little CAD drawing editor that allows you to modify
imported DXF-Files, convert True Type Fonts to vectors, and draw lines, circles,
polygons, arcs and more.
The built in G-Code editor is a text editor with the basic find and replaced functions,
clipboard support, undo and redo, math expression parser, triangle and distance between
two points calculators and G-Code M-Code panel that includes most G and M codes
formatted syntax including circular interpolation calculations.

Image to G-Code is a fully integrated for easy interaction and its graphic user interface is
similar to most Microsoft Windows© applications found in the market today.

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License and Registration;

Image to G-Code is a shareware program; you can use Image to G-Code free for a 30
days try period. After the try period the G-Code converter functionality stops and you
must register the program to continue to use the converter functions.

Image to G-Code Graphics utilities are free. You do not need to register Image to G-
Code to use the program graphics capabilities.

To register Image to G-Code Click Here.

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QUICK START:

Step I:
Import the image into the image editor or
acquired from you Twain compatible
scanner or digital camera using the Open or
Acquire menu commands in the image editor
File Menu. See Acquiring Images.

Adjust the image brightness and contrast using the contrast, brightness or color tone tools
or the respective menu command in the Image Menu. See Working with the Image
Editor.

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STEP II

Create the G-Code file. Click on File Menu Create G-Code. On the G-Code setup form
set the carving dimensions, set maximum cut depth and the x-y resolution adjusting the
spin edit controls, click on the create G-Code to open the save dialog box and write the
file to the disk.

Optionally before create the G-Code file set the k-factor, the close enough, the x-y
combine and the reverse options. See working with the g-code setup form.

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STEP III
Machine the Image G code file into a finished wood engraving, apply a light coat of
wood stain and sand it with very fine paper.

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Working with the G-Code Setup Form:

Image to G-Code converter uses two methods to create the g-code file. The first method
was designed to emulate laser cut with a cnc router or mill, and is base on color depth.
The theory of this method is to prepare the surface to apply some kind of stain that will
penetrate the cut indents and create the necessary shades and shadows that will make the
image to appear on the cut stock. To enhance the image light sanding is applied.
What tool should I do use? Raster images store color information in a pixel unit. The
pixel unit size depends on the image resolution and device capabilities. Image to G-Code
defaults to 0.01 in. pixel size, the X-Y resolution is set to the pixel unit size. A tool size
equal to the X-Y resolution gives the optimal results but the risk of breaking the tool is
very high, plus increases the cutting time.
The following examples show how to combine the image size, resolution, k-factor, and
the recommended tool.

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Tools we use to cut the examples shown above.

G-CODE CONVERTER PAGE 1 OPTIONS

Bitmap size: The bitmap size is given in pixel and


represents the actual bitmap width and height. The
Ratio is the width divide by the height. The size of
the bitmap is used to calculate the resulting carving
dimensions.

X-Y Resolution: Represents the area of one pixel


information and is equal to the maximum tool size
required to cut the image without overlapping other
pixels information and is directly proportional to the
machined area.
Carving dimension: The carving dimension
represents the size of the bitmap to be machined
projected in the material stock. Image to G-Code will
try to maintain the aspect ratio of the original bitmap.
The initial value is set by the program.
Combine: When YZ Axis is checked linear motion on
the Y and Z axis are combined, creating a wave
effect. If not checked change on the Z Axis offset 90
degrees with respect to the Y Axis motion.

Depth: Maximum depth penetration on the Z Axis. In


the color table white is equal to 0 and black is equal
to the depth value. If the reversed option is checked
then black is equal to 0 and white is equal to depth
value.
K-Factor: X-axis scan line interpolation, a value of 2
will move the tool every other line, a value of 3 every
two line etc…
Close enough: Minimum distance before tool change

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position on the Z Axis.

The math between bitmap size, X-Y resolution and carving dimension.
X-Y resolution has an initial value [default] of 0.01 in
A 240 x 200 bitmap has a carving dimension of:
240 * 0.01 in. = 2.4 in. and 200 * 0.01 in = 2.0 in.
Image to G-Code does not allow changing the original bitmap aspect ratio.

Example A:
Increasing the carving dimension x times.
Carving Dimension. X-Y Resolution.
X = 2.40 in. * 3 = 7.2 in. X = 7.20 / 240 = 0.03 in.
Y = 2.00 in. * 3 = 6.0 in. Y = 6.00 / 200 = 0.03 in.
If the tool size recommended is equal to the X-Y resolution then the effect of increasing
the carving dimensions allows for bigger tool diameter, in this case from 0.01 in to 0.03
in. This method was used to cut three of examples shown above using a 0.03 flat end
mill. Because the cut time is proportional the bitmap size and the amount of color shades
in the image; projecting the image to larger size does not have an increasing effect on the
cutting time.
Example B:
Using a sharp pointed vee cutter (90 degrees or 60 degrees)
In general a very sharp vee tool works the best. For better details use the defaults value
set by converter and uncheck the K- Factor and Close enough Boxes.
To reduce the amount of overlapping (tool collision) Set the K-factor to a value of 2 and
ensure that the check box is checked. This also reduces the cutting time by 2.
For less detail and small output files set close enough to about 1.5 % of the maximum
depth value. In other words what you really need is the tool to go deep into the dark areas
and barely touch the surface in the sections with very light colors. After the image is cut
apply the stain and remove the excess, let it to dry. After the stain is dry start the sanding
procedure.
For vee cutters keep the maximum dept of cut between 0.02 and 0.03, going deeper will
cause the wider part of V to penetrate and destroy the previous cut or left no material for
the next one.
If you want to go deeper then reduce the image size in the image editor and then increase
the carving dimension. This will increase the X-Y resolution and allows for bigger tool
diameter. Remember raster bitmaps only contains color information (pixels), modifying
the pixels information will also modify the appearance of the image. This is why Image
to G-Code uses projective transformation.

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Example C:
The Child and the Dog example.
To cut this example we use the following procedure: The image was converted to gray
scale, (the image was very well defined and not adjustment was required) On the G-Code
Converter the X-Y resolution was set to twice the default value (0.01 * 2 = 0.020). Note
that the carving dimension does not change with a change in the X-Y resolution. In this
case Image to G-Code resample the original image to a factor that results in the projected
image (x * X-Y resolution = Carving dimension).
The depth value was se to 0.035, the K-Factor was check with a value of 2, and Close
enough was unchecked.
Because the tool size was increased by changing the X-Y resolution and by using a K-
Factor of 2, this allows us to go deeper into the wood and create a lighted 3-D effect.

Example D:
The Marilyn example:
For the Marilyn example we use a procedure similar to the Example A. the only change
was to use a piece of stock that was pre stained and varnished. This appears to give a
cleaner cut. Also when we apply the stain to the cut area this did not penetrate the areas
with the varnish applied, after sanding some of the hair areas took some type of golden
color.

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G-Code converter Options II:

The option II of the G-Code converter was designed for images composed mostly of solid
colors, like shapes and letters, and allows the user to have more control over the tool
selection and material removal. The method is also base in color depth similar to a mesh
created from the image. See example bellow.

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Figure 1 Bitmap object

Figure 2 Tool path

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Bitmap size: The bitmap size is given in pixel and
represents the actual bitmap width and height. The Ratio
is the width divide by the height. The size of the bitmap is
used to calculate the resulting carving dimensions.

Combine: When YZ Axis is checked linear motion on the


Y and Z axis are combined, creating a wave effect. If not
checked change on the Z Axis offset 90 degrees with
respect to the Y Axis motion.

The tool diameter.

Mill vertical and Mill Horizontal define the direction of


milling process. When both checked the g-code file
contain code for a vertical pass and then for a horizontal
pass
Tool geometric

Carving dimension: The carving dimension represents the


size of the bitmap to be machined projected in the
material stock. Image to G-Code will try to maintain the
aspect ratio of the original bitmap. The initial value is set
by the program.
Depth: Maximum depth penetration on the Z Axis. In the
color table white is equal to 0 and black is equal to the
depth value. If the reversed option is checked then black
is equal to 0 and white is equal to depth value.
Adv. Steps: The steps required to advance the tool its full
diameter base in the tool geometric.
Side Steps: The steps required to advance the tool its full
diameter each scan line base in the tool geometric.

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Creating a new project:

Click New Photo project.

Enter the width and height of the carving dimension and select the unit type.

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In the project editor click on the open image button and select the image file.

The default image position is one unit from top and one unit from left.

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Selecting, moving, resizing, and rotating objects:
To select an object:
Click anywhere inside the object, if the object is selected it
gets focused showing the editing handles according to the
object type and the document edit mode.
To move the object, click and drag the object holding the
mouse button down.
To resize the object: move the mouse to one of the object
handles until it gets selected, click and drag holding the
mouse button down.

To select more than one object: hold down the ctrl key and
click the objects you want to select. When selecting more
than one object the last object selected gets focused.
Move: apply to the selected objects; resizing and rotating
only apply to the focused object. To apply an action on
multiple objects click the group objects button. To
ungroup the object select the objects group and click the
ungroup button.

To rotate the object: Click the rotate button to set rotate


editing mode. When rotate editing is set selected the
objects editing handles on the four corners of the bounding
box change to round dots, move the mouse over the
rotating handle, press and hold the left mouse button while
moving in the direction you want to rotate.

To send the object back: select the object and click the send to back button.
To bring the object to the front: select the object and click bring to front button.
To add caption double click to invoke the input text box.

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Add text object:

After the bounding box for the text is created double click any where inside the box to
invoke the text editor

Type your text in the edit box and click Ok


button. After the text is added you can
change the font and font color, move, rotate,
and resize the object as you like.

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Preparing the image for create the g-code file:

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Reset Scaling to 100 %.
Click create final image button.
Click the finish button to bring the g-code converter setup form.
Optionally send the image to Image Editor for additional processing, or save it to file.

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Raster to vectors:
The image editor includes several methods for converting raster images to vectors. To
access the raster to vector options select any of the RTV…. commands in the file menu.

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RTV Outlines:

• Convert the image to black and white.


• Select RTV Outlines from the file menu.
• Select the vector output (Poly-line or Bezier-line)
• Click the scan button (Scan the image palette and create matrixes). If the scan
procedure succeed the program enable the execute method (Run Button is visible).
• Click the run button (A new vector layer is created and added to the layer list)
• Click the finish button finish.

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Once the new vector layer is created you need to set the Z-Values for the new vectors.

Click on the Cad Editor Button to send the image to CAD Editor.

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The CAD Editor allows you to edit and modify the new vectors entities and set the Z-Values.
In this example we going to remove the image border and set the Z-Value as specific.

Actions in the CAD Editor are controlled by the program task manager. To start a new task you
must select one from the draw panel. For example to draw a new line you click on the Line
Button. The new line task initializes and expects you to select the line start point followed by the
line second point.
Deleting entities:
Click the delete button to start the delete task.
Select entities to be deleted (move the mouse and click on any entity segment).
The delete task must be explicitly confirmed
To confirm a task:
Right click on the editor view port and from the pop menu select accept or cancel menu
command.

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1. Delete button (delete task initializes).
2. Mouse pointer changed to select entities.
3. Target entity to be selected.
4. Pop menu to confirm the task action.

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Changing the Z-Value:

Enter a value on the Z-Value spin edit control For example -0.003 inches.
Right mouse click the view port and select [Use area to select objects] menu command.

Click on Z-Value Button to start the z-value task.


Draw a rectangle big enough to enclose the entities.
To abort the operation you must cancel from the view port pop menu
before the second point of the selection rectangle is defined.

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Creating the G-Code File:

1. Click Create G-Code button command.


2. In the save dialog box select folder a type the file name
3. Click the save button.

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• In the Convert Entities to G-Code dialog box:
• Click the optimize button.
• After the optimize procedure the Make G-Code button shows.
• Click the make G-Code command button.
• After The G-Code file is created the Preview button shows.
• Click the Preview command button to preview the tool path.

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