View Full Version : cheap bitmap to gcode program

07-24-2003, 09:22 PM
Are there any? Please list any you know of.



07-24-2003, 09:40 PM


07-24-2003, 10:03 PM
I've tried this one, Gerry. It actually works well.

There's another one I say a while back, (price was ok, free). It did a decent job too, I'll try to find a link..


07-24-2003, 10:21 PM
Hi Rekd was the program you're refering to Meshcam?
if it was here's the link, if its ok.
www.robgrz.com .

07-24-2003, 10:59 PM
That's it, jimini! TY

07-24-2003, 11:46 PM
Thanks for the plug jimini. I was just uploading a new version before I posted my reply here. If any of you try it please let me know what you think.


07-25-2003, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by robgrz
If any of you try it please let me know what you think.


Thanks, I'll check it out again for this release and let you know. GJ on the program, btw.

Did you use C++? I've looked for cad and or cam done in VB but don't find too many, especially with source code so I can see how it's done.. :D

'Rekd teh "A good programmer doesn't write good code, a good programmer quickly adapts someone else's code to work in their applications!" :eek:

07-25-2003, 09:49 AM
Thanks evryone. You're my heros. Robert I will try your program and let you know how it works.


07-25-2003, 09:54 AM
Is there some special secret to your package? I have downloaded it 3 times on 2 different systems, and have yet to get a good .zip file (as reported by WinZip and WinRAR).

robotic regards,


07-25-2003, 12:40 PM
I've downloaded every version he's posted with no problems.


07-25-2003, 02:05 PM
Well, since the subject came up, I saw one on the web, somewhere, which did not cut graphics as a relief.

From the looks of the demo cuts, it converted grayscales into a halftone-style agglomeration of dots, and then cut the dots out. A slightly different way to approach it.

I wish I had saved the URL -- it was a shareware kind of program, about $20 I think.

Does anyone know which one this is? I'd love to find it again.

-- Chuck Knight

07-26-2003, 02:07 AM
I'll try to answer all of the comments in one post. Here it goes...

I've had problem with my hosting provider so I've posted a copy of the file in a yahoo group I set up for support. It's in the files section of http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meshcam/

If that doesn't work then I can email it to you, let me know at robert AT robgrz DOT com .

The program is written in C++ with the wxWindows library for the GUI. I can't imagine writing it in VB because of the complicated data structures involved; I've made heavy use of the STL library for that purpose. I've acutally gotten more poeple asking programming advice than people with feedback of the program so if you'd like to discuss the algorithms, etc involved then I'd be happy to do so in the Yahoo group above (so that it can be archived for the future). There's a definite lack of practical information available for people who want to write this type of program so I think a public discussion would be helpful to a lot of people.

Finally, the program that Chuck is refering to may be Accutrans 3D from http://www.micromouse.ca/ . It's $20 with a fully working demo available. It can convert to and from a lot of different file types, but won't generate a toolpath.

There's another program, also about $20, that converts bitmaps to gcode but I don't know the name. All I remember is that it's name was "sci" something. That is, of course, no help even with Google. Actually this is probably the program Chuck was refering to.

The thrid is bmb2cnc from http://savannah.nongnu.org/download/cncutils/ . It will take a bitmap and convert to a toolpath. It dos based with no gui and doesn't take the cutter offset into account. Based on this I think my program is better, but bmc2cnc is useful none the less. Source is available as well.

Hope that helps,

07-26-2003, 02:08 PM
Robert, I think the 2nd one you're thinking of is the one I posted the link to above.


07-26-2003, 09:20 PM

Try wintopo it has a free version it can convert .bmp to dxf but it only seems to work well with line drawings, stuff like coloring book pages etc convert to dxf and go from there works good for profiling not the 3d like the ones above.



07-26-2003, 10:21 PM
Sorrt Gerry, my fingers got ahead of my brain. That's been happening a lot lately.


07-27-2003, 08:47 AM
Hi, there. I'm new here and just soaking in the information while I work on building a homemade cnc router. Reading your articles on meshcamb I downloaded it to check it out. I Thought it was free. It asks for a password to unzip it. Any INput? thanks

07-27-2003, 08:53 AM
I had to supply my email address to download - the password was emailed to me.

07-27-2003, 09:03 AM
I went back there and looked around, it didn't ask me for anything, just click on download and it was ready to go.??????

07-27-2003, 09:19 AM
I got it! Finally found out where to go. Thank you!

07-27-2003, 09:20 AM
Has the box for you to enter e-mail

edit - Grrrr, you beat me!

07-27-2003, 11:22 PM
Hey balsaman,

After seeing this thread I remembered just such a program that I had written a while back. So I've added a download section to my website and put it up so you can check it out. It's free, and hopefully will do what you want. Let me know what you think.



07-28-2003, 12:20 AM

I will try it.


07-28-2003, 12:28 AM
Where's that server?

'Rekd teh suwheet!

07-28-2003, 12:37 AM
Are you still working on that project?


07-28-2003, 07:01 AM
Which project are you referring to?

07-28-2003, 09:40 AM

07-28-2003, 10:53 AM

I haven't worked on it for a while, but if you have something in particular that you have a question about then feel free to ask me.


07-28-2003, 01:08 PM
I see you made it in VB 6. I have a bunch of utilities I've made, calculators, file transfers, converters, drill cycle modifiers, and my biggie, a sub program generator. I've been considering a toolpathing program, but have no clue where to start.

As for your bmp2cnc, can you specify a tolerance? A tool dia/type? A different angle to machine in?

'Rekd teh On Error Format C:

07-28-2003, 01:14 PM

No, bmp2cnc does not do any offsetting of the generated path. I suppose you could take the output back into some kind of cad/cam and try to offset it that way. I have put some thought into this, but have never come up with a simple means of doing it.


07-28-2003, 02:04 PM
This company is promoting itís software on Ebay. http://www.imagecarve.com/id3.html
They have a demo on their web site.
My router is not running yet, but Iím going to try it when it is.

As an aside, I may have some leftover Vexta stepper s and some Helical couplings. Is there a market for these?