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Photo Engraving Test Image

Here is a test image that will help new users of PicLaser Lite to get started engraving photos. I chose this GrayScale photo because visually will give you a better idea how to judge the shading when laser engraving. Our PicEngrave Pro 5 program has a GrayScale preview for color images in the image editor and in the program itself.

PicLaser Lite does not have this option, but our PicEdit Lite program does for use with PicLaser Lite. I re-sized this image in PicEdit Lite for the size of Poplar I have. The only editing I did was sharpen the image to 10. The original image was 72DPI and PicEdit Lite saved it at 100DPI after editing. We recommend a minimum of 100DPI resolution when using our image to gcode programs.

Here is the original image I downloaded from Wikipedia Commons.

Here is a download of the edited image to generate the Gcode yourself with PicLaser Lite. If you duplicate my settings, the engraving size will be 6.678" X 5.25" (169.62mm X 133.35mm) Rogers.bmp

Here are two screenshots of the PicLaser Lite settings to use for generating the gcode. One is for inches and the other for Metric.

Roy Inch

Roy Metric

With the size of the engraved image, don't expect the dots on Lynne Roberts Dress to show clearly in the engraving. They are smaller then the size of the laser beam's focal point, so they will just be blended into the engraving. The larger your engraving is, more fine detail will be visible.

Here are two Gcodes to run on your EmBlaser I generated from this image if you prefer to take that as your first step. Remember X&Y zero is at the lower left corner and will engrave up and to the right from there.

Inch: Rogers

Metric: Rogers

If your engraving comes out too light, lower your feedrate. If it comes out too dark, increase your feedrate. If you want to edit the gcode to change the feedrate, our PDF explains how to do this. Programs Page/PDF Files/misc/Understanding Gcode.pdf

Anyone that tries engraving this test image, please post your results here.

Thank you.

Roy Small



  • Jeff,

    This is an absolutely fantastic post.

    There is so much information contained here to help users get going with their photo engraving and beyond.

    Thank you.
  • edited February 2015
    @DarklyLabs Thank you.

    This one was done from the same edited image, but the gcode was generated with PicEngrave Pro 5 using our laser photo engraving enhancement features.

    We used the Gray Curve adjustment set to 25, feedrate set at 110IPM (2794mm/min) with 25% Feed Rate Change with the extended edge option set at a 20 Width in Pixels @ 55IPM (1397mm/min) feed rate.

  • I have the PRO version, I have downloaded what I need and I am going to do this print on my machine and will post the results. I need to get some wood. I did not notice what type of wood you used to engrave on?

    Thanks for the great post to get us going! This will help a lot!
  • Thanks John,

    I apologize not mentioning the type of wood we are using. That is very important when testing with these settings. I have been purchasing Poplar 6 inch wide (actual width 5.5") X 4 foot X 1/4 inch thick boards from Lowes. I select pieces that does not have any green tint with minimal grains and without knots.

    I also sand across the grains with fine sandpaper before engraving too. It helps with the blending of the shading when laser engraving. Remember when using the extended edge in PEP5, the laser will run past the engraving size, so make sure you compensate for this distance for the EmBlaser's travel area.
  • Here are a few web sites I have come across with some images that can be laser engraved with the EmBlaser.

    This one is full of all kinds of B&W Clip Art images.

    This one has all kinds of images to choose from. Just search for your favorite subject.

    This one is for the old and new automobile brochure enthusiast.

  • These files keep causing Universal Gcode Sender to crash on me. I tried both mac and PC. I think it has something to do with the file size od the Gcode file. Any other ideas?

    I am curious does setting the pixel resolution higher than .0060 (inch) increase the quality of the image?

    For example, If I prepare an image in photoshop at 100 pixels per inch at the width/height in inches that I want to etch at and then inside of Pic Laser Lite, set the pixel resolution to .0100 so it is 1 to 1 match with my source image, the output etched image size will be the same as the source image size, but is that the best resolution? or can I do better by increasing the resolution in Pic Laser Lite causing the image size to be smaller than the source image size when output to the EmBlaser but it will etch at a higher resolution?
  • You know what, I was trying to use UGS but it's not very reliable. I purchase PicLaser Pro and PicSender and they just work really well. Totally worth the money! I'm sure you can get the money back quickly by doing a few engravings and sell off somewhere ;)
  • Hi Steven,

    UGS is not very good at streaming very large, fast changing raster gcode files. We offer PicSender on our web site that was written specifically for running these type of gcode files generated from our image to gcode programs.

    Your Pixel Resolution should be based on your focal point burn line width from the laser diode. This width will be based on the material your engraving. Some materials burn easier then others do.

    We have been engraving on Poplar wood in our examples and we determined we have a .005" burn line width. We then use a Pixel Resolution of .006", but engrave at a 45 degree angle which makes the burn lines slightly overlap each other.

    You do not want un-burnt lines in-between the burnt lines, because it will show up in your photo engraving.

    If your burn line width is anything other then .01" and you use that width as the Pixel Resolution, then you will need to re-size the images pixel width & height to compensate to get the same engraving size.

    A good example is, if a .005" Pixel Resolution is used, the pixel width & height size would need to double.

    Our PicEdit Lite program has an auto sizing feature based on the Pixel Resolution you will be using in PicLaser Lite.

    To get the best detail/resolution, the smaller the burn line width is, the better your results will be. Since there is more lines to engrave, the longer the engraving will take also.

  • I was using 0.008mm resolution but changed it up to 0.127 and I'm getting really good results that way!
  • We have discovered that the example Roy Rogers Metric gcode file was not downloading completely/properly because of the large file size of it. Since Metric values in a gcode has more digits than Inches, the file size was larger. We zipped both Inch and Metric test files this time so they would download properly and here are the new links. I just tested both of them.

    Inch: Rogers

    Metric: Rogers

    We apologize if this has caused anyone problems when testing the files.
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