Help with v-carving images

I’m trying to set up some G-code for my inaugural cuts when I get my maslow set up next week.

I’m trying to V-carve this image:

I’m trying to use F-engrave in v-carve mode. and get this:

This has a lot more movement than I’d expect for a straight line, like at the bottom line.

So here’s what the g-code looks like in ground control

All those red and green circles are Z axis movement, right?

Here’s a closeup.

That’s a lot of needless z-axis movement, for what should be a straight line…

Anyone have thoughts?


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I not an expert at engraving or the program you’re using, but my understanding is that engrave functions attempt to cut the full width between the two bounding contours by adjusting the depth of the cut.

In your case, the curves appear to change line weight/thickness throughout; they are not perfectly straight lines and curves. My guess is the cutter is constantly moving up and down to compensate.

Haven’t used FCarve either, but @Hentsch has likely nailed the problem.

I would try cleaning up the image.
@Sharpsburg_Woodworke has a description and videos showing a straightforward method to trace images here that will hopefully fix your issue.

@mrgnstrn: As a side note, I have Arrow of Light plaques on my to-do list by early March. If you do solve this issue, any chance I could trouble you to post the cleaned image ? TIA

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Your original image has nonuniform line widths and some wavy lines on the upper arch and around the fletchings and arrowhead. If you just want a standard line width throughout, you might try tracing this to vector, setting the line width and then setting it to v carve and that would remove all the z movement because everything would then be the same.

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Ended up having some time to work on my AOL plaques today. I used Easel to import/trace/smooth an image and then edited it to my liking. Here’s a link.

That looks great! Can you generate gcode from easel?

@Orob–yes, it relatively easy to get g-code from Easel. From the Machine menu item, set Machine to “Other (grbl)”, then click on the “Advanced >>” link at the bottom of the Machine menu. This will bring up a dialog box that has a button to “Generate g-code”. Once g-code is produced, a button will appear to allow you to download a file.

Also, if you want to use another g-code generator, File --> Download ZIP will give you a SVG of the design.

yes, that appears the problem.

my first attempt to fix was to open the image in MSPaint and fix it pixel by pixel.

not fruitful.

But it looks like going from Easel might work.

Or, from Inkscape, now that I have the last few days learning how to use it!


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In general, you need to start with vector based software (inkscape, acrobat)
rather than pixel based software (MSPaint)

David Lang

I’m starting to see why.