Black and white image files into AutoCAD?

Hi. I’m one of the bot designers on Team 1489… Now that the season is done, I started playing around with Inventor for some of my own projects, and I’ve run into a roadblock.

I’m trying to create a pattern for a CNC to cut into a panel of aluminum - As I understand it, there are ways to give it a black and white BMP, and it will be able to tell when to cut out - However, I need a precise size hole next to some artsy stuff that would be… basically impossible to manually add to CAD. Theres no way the get the precise hole the right size in Photoshop, from CAD, that I can find.

What I would really like to know is how to import a black & white BMP into Inventor and have it show as lines. :confused:

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

I’ve done something like this in Inventor by creating a solid block to represent my workpiece, putting the image on the block as a texture, and then tracing the image in sketch mode. There may be a better way, but I don’t know what it is.

I need to preface this by warning that I’ve no experience ever in implementing this sort of process.

Might it be possible to first design your part in Inventor, including all of the relevant holes and critical dimensions – then exporting an image of the face of that part on a black background? You can also color the part to have significant contrast by making it white or something similar.

From there, you can load that image into an image editing software package such as Photoshop or, better, Illustrator/Fireworks/Freehand and add or overlay the noncritical design.

I’m going the exact opposite of M Krass here. I think your best bet here is to import the artsy stuff into Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator, and then use the various utilities to get it into a vector format. From there, you should be able to export it to a DWG and then import it into Inventor. I’d think this route would be much preferable, as I know CNC machines can handle stuff inventor would put out, but I’ve no clue how a true CNC would work with a simple BMP file.

I agree that this is probably a preferable route to take. I, unfortunately, haven’t ever had the need or opportunity to translate my work from CAD drawing to finished product as someone’s always taken care of that step for me. I offered my solution since the original poster seemed content with taking the high contrast drawing and letting the CNC machine and software figure things out on its own. It seems that, at the very least, generating tool paths from a precise CAD drawing is preferable and more reliable.

Depending on how “artsy” the designs in question are, it may be difficult to simply convert them into a vector-based format. It may require at least some work in tracing over the art and creating a new, digital copy. It’s certainly not impossible, though it’d require a bit of effort.

Well, the artsy stuff is some heavily photochopped fractal art (Not mine), taken down to a simple B&W design. This is going to be the side of a custom computer case, hopefully & eventually :slight_smile:

Sounds like trying to get the artsy stuff into vector drawings and exporting as a DWG will be my best bet, going to go try it now :slight_smile: Thanks for the advice :smiley:

Well, I managed to find a computer with a copy of Illustrator on it, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what utilities would take it to vectors :stuck_out_tongue: Any chance someone could point me in the right direction with this, or even better, give me a step-by-step? :slight_smile:


Trace it by hand using bezier curves. :slight_smile:

The processes in software to automate the “vectorization” of images are not very advanced and often produce poor results.