A Quick Image to Gcode Tutorial Using EMC2

Start with this document: EMC2 User Manual (PDF) – Check out chapter 22.

micRoWhen I say quick, I mean lightning fast quick. The video accompanying this is about 4 minutes long. I used GIMP in Ubuntu 8.04 to make some lettering. It simply says, “micRo”.  I used sans bold font and made it fit in a 1.5″ x 7″ area. I cropped the image and saved it under a .png file.

  • Open EMC2/AXIS and zero your router. You can even do this without a router if you choose just to see what happens. Click File -> Open, and select the picture that you just made. Click Open.
  • G20 – Inches
  • Invert Image – Inverting means the darker the text, the higher the elevation
  • Normalize – This might be used to change color images to greyscale
  • Extend Image Border – Helps make cropped images look better
  • Tolerance – This needs experimentation for best results (see manual)
  • Pixel Size – 1.4″/42 pixels = .0333 inches per pixels (see manual)
  • Feed Rate
  • Plunge Feed Rate
  • Spindle Speed
  • Scan Pattern – Has a lot to do with the tool path…More experimentation needed (see manual)
  • Scan Direction
  • Depth – How much material to grind away
  • Step Over Pixels – This determines how many passes your image gets. maybe…… (see manual)
  • Tool Diameter
  • Safety Height – Set above the material
  • Tool Type – What tool are you using?
  • Lace Bounding – Experiment??? (see manual)
  • Roughing Offset – This seems to be a setting of how much to mill at once as well as how many…Experiment! (see manual page 146 for a picture)

Click OK, and the GCODE will be brought up. Click play, and it will happen.

You may find some weird errors when trying to open pictures for the first time on older EMC versions. I think 2.4 comes ready to do Image to GCODE, but they are all capable as far as I know. Simply find (or add) the [FILTER] to the .ini file in the settings folder, and add the lines listed in chapter 22…Or copy them and paste them from below.


PROGRAM EXTENSION = .png,.gif,.jpg Grayscale Depth Image
png = image-to-gcode
gif = image-to-gcode
jpg = image-to-gcode

About robbie

I am an electronics enthusiest and a ham radio operator (W1RCP). I like to play with electronics. It's fun and educational. I looked forward to working in the engineering field in the future. I have a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry University. I also have an Associate's degree in Marketing Management from Moultrie Tech, and a diploma in Electronics from MTC.