While working on a hard drive clock project described here, I had to turn several college logos into paths to be engraved with my CNC router. Although I had the (free) software resources to easily do this, some might not know where to get started. In order to do this, you’ll need Inkscape and Draftsight, as well as some sort of CAM program. I used CamBam (not free), but there are many other programs available for this.
In order to engrave anything, logo or otherwise, you’ll need a path for your CNC tool to follow. One way to do this is to use Inkscape to generate all your code as seen in my “Engraving Tutorial.” That tutorial only covers things generated in Inkscape. If you’d like to engrave something that’s a simple bitmap drawing, use the same procedure, but generate your path by first importing the logo into the Inkscape file. Then use the Path –> Trace Bitmap command to get your paths as shown in the video above. If you can find your chosen logo in a vector format (.svg), all the better.
This is all well and good, but what if you’d like this logo to be a part of a larger engraving, possibly involving some things that have to be dimensionally correct? Inkscape can do some of this, but if your used to using AutoCAD or Drafsight, you probably want to use this to modify everything. I show how to do this in the video as well, but the short of it is to save the vector drawing as a .dxf format in Inkscape, then open it up with your CAD program. Once in the CAD program you can modify it as you like.
If your ultimate objective is engraving, save your CAD-edited file as a .dxf then open it up with a CAM program like CamBam. Use your engraving tool of choice – mine is a Zen Toolworks CNC router featured in many posts, but this would work for other tools such as a CNC mill, laser cutter, water jet, etc. Be sure to check back or subscribe to see what these engravings eventually turn into and how the actual engraving turned out! Btw, I’m not affiliated either of the logos engraved here (nor am I really a fan of either team).