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Tracing Images

You can create a design from a physical object or an image of the object using the Tracing feature. For example you might want to make a shape based on an image from:

  • A web page
  • A google image search
  • Your digital camera
  • A hand drawing (take a digital camera picture of your drawing)
  • Clip art
  • A screen logo
  • A drawing from another software package using an incompatible format
  • etc.

    To trace an image into the eMachineShop CAD software:

    1. Obtain the digital image on your screen – best if it fills a good portion of your screen.
    2. Start eMachineShop CAD.
    3. Choose Edit | Preferences | General | Tracing Paper.
    4. You should now see the eMachineShop CAD interface and the image at the same time.
    5. Use the eMachineShop CAD drawing features (straight lines, arcs, circles, spline curves or the freehand tool) to trace the shape.
    6. Uncheck Edit | Preferences | General | Tracing Paper.
    7. Choose Edit | Select All.
    8. Drag the corner handles to resize to the desired physical size per the ruler.
    9. Set the Z value to the desired thickness.
    10. Select View | 3D to verify the shape of the part(s) (resolving any presented errors).
    11. Choose Job | Material and select a material.

    Alternatively, to convert an image to eMachineShop CAD format you can use a software package such as Corel but we find such software packages often don’t work so well as they create numerous line segments which bog down the CAD software and make editing difficult. They also can create bumpy lines instead of clean smooth lines.

    Another method of getting graphics into the eMachineShop CAD is to use a drawing tablet. Although the eMachineShop CAD does not directly support tablets, most tablets can export DXF files which you can then import.

    Auto Image Conversion

    You can convert an image to a CAD drawing automatically with appropriate software. Traceart seems to do a reasonable job and has a trial version.

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