Convert Silhouette to Outline?

I have a silhouette in .jpeg format, when I open it in EstlCAM I get the options of carve/halftone/laser. I really only want to cut the outlines so my question is do any of the readily available software options give you the ability to make outlines of silhouettes and save in a format accepted by EstlCAM?

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There are a variety of online tools that will make that conversion (JPG to SVG) including this one. Inkscape (free) and Lightburn (paid) will make this conversion. And if you post the image, I’m sure someone here can make the conversion for you.


I appreciate that and know there are many helpful folks here but I think it’s the kinda thing I should learn how to do, but it seems I’m having a doofus attack :scream: I tried the converter you linked to and it says the conversion is done and an ‘unconfirmed’ file shows in my downloads but when I try to open I can’t seem to be able to try and open it in EstlCAM for some reason. I opened my .jpeg in Inkscape and saved it as an .svg which I thought would do the job but when I tried to open in EstlCAM it tells me it appears to be an empty or incompatible drawing. I tried Inkscape quite a while ago but it seemed a bit complex for the things I wanted to do and I haven’t even opened it months. Have I missed step(s) needed to do the conversion?

In the same vein as ‘give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish’ I’d like to learn how to do it vs. have someone do it for me but sure could use a little guidance.


Inkscape, bitmap to paths!

Or you can post it here and we’ll help you :wink:


I appreciate that, I really do! This is likely the best and most helpful forum I’ve ever participated in but this not being something I’m pressed for time to do I’ll probably spend some time with the Inkscape documentation to see if I can figure it out. I really do appreciate the offers of help but I know it’s likely to stick somewhere in my head better if I do the homework.


Any time! The magic is really the trace bitmap function (in Inskcape that is):

Edit: then adjust to desired size, objects to path, and save as dxf 14. Import in estlcam and voila!


Thanks much for the guidance, it’s appreciated! Might take me a few days to get with it, just got an Email from an old friend/co-worker who’s been battling cancer and I hadn’t heard from in a while, didn’t know if he still walked the earth. Not the best prognosis but at least there is one. Hope to talk with him later tonight.

Paul, sorry to hear about your friend. I hope you get to spend some more quality time with him.

As for your original question, another option is Carbide Create. It is free as well, and you can import an image and do the same “trace bitmap” as Bjorn discusses in his post above. From there, you can adjust/edit as you desire, and then with the vector you want highlighted, you can export to .svg and drop into EstlCAM. Unfortunately I am at work and away from my PC, so I can’t get you fancy pictures just yet. I will try to do that later today if needed.

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Many THANKS! to you and others who so generously offer your help, this forum is TOPS! I’'m pretty sure I have CC downloaded and will have to play with it. I’ve mostly been doing some things with files I got from Etsy and am embarrassed by how easy it is to forget how to use other programs, gotta learn to keep up. :roll_eyes:

No worries! I just re-installed it as I built a new PC (got some used parts from some people I know) so had to set everything up again. I think they have updated it as I don’t remember some of the ways it is doing things, but I’m catching back up pretty quickly. I’m currently working on some tree cut outs for my son’s school and using silhouettes for the basic design. CC is pretty good and very capable, but the CAM side is no good if you are sticking with Marlin. I believe they only have GRBL based post processors. I use it for my Maslow CNC I have which will be cutting the trees out of insulation foam sheets. I’ve been lurking here for the last year and a half or so, and have stuck around because of the support I see here. I ended up getting a Bob’s CNC Evo 5 as well, and broke down and paid for V-Crave Desktop. I really like that program, but need to upgrade to Pro as the desktop version limits you to a 24x24 cut area. Waiting on life to slow down on that upgrade. I still intend to build an MPCNC, but my plan for that is to mount a laser on it and will be used solely for that. Again, waiting for life to slow down for that to happen.

I’ll definitely look when I get home and get some screen grabs on what I did to get the tree silhouettes to import from .jpg and then where to go to export for .svg for you.

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Certainly an unexpected email! All the best for you and your friend.

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Thank you! Just another reminder time waits for no one and we have today, tomorrow’s just a possibility.


Hey Paul, sorry, but I didn’t even get a chance to sit down at my computer at all this weekend, and I am currently running on 2-ish hours of sleep. I will do my best to take a look at CC today when I get home as there should be some time. Again, my apologies!!

No worries, I just started priming some pieces for another project, the car needs a little TLC, and I can always find things to do around the yard, been hot * sunny and things grow like crazy, excepting of course the things I wish would grow. :grin:

I hear that!!! I always plan to do what I want…then other things tell me what I’m really going to do!! Adulting is not fun!!