Greetings, Ive never formally introduced myself. I’m Brian from Virginia. I have attached a picture of my newly built MPCNC. I changed mine up a tad by switching the x/y rails so the tool would face me on the right (it bugged me facing the left). I know NOTHING about CNC so this has been a steep learning curve. I’m mainly interested in routing / carving signs. I want to learn 2-D carving as well to be able to import a jpeg file and carve it. Any suggestions on that?

<Anyone know how to delete a duplicate image here lol>

EstlCAM is a great tool to use. It’s free, until you get your use out of it, and feel bad, and get tired of waiting for the occasional 10 second delay for begging. Then it’s $60.

If you want to take a jpeg with shapes you want to carve (like letters, or something), and just carve something with it, then you’ll need to convert it to an svg first. There is a free program called inkscape that can convert any images that are pixel based images (jpeg, png, etc.) and create the svg image (which is raster, which is a bunch of shapes, not pixels). You will want to use the “trace bitmap” tool inside. I put a link at the bottom with the inkscape instructions.

Once you have the svg, you can open it in estlcam, and quickly do things like do outside cuts, inside cuts, pockets, and drill holes. Start with something simple.

Also, go buy a few sheets of foam, because it’s very forgiving, and you can use whatever crap bits you want. When you start doing wood, then you can worry about better bits.

I will also mention that EstlCAM can open jpeg files directly, but instead of using the edges to determine where to make shapes, it adjusts the tool to make the toolpaths look like the image, but I don’t think that’s what you were asking about.

Ryan’s tutorial:
EstlCAM tutorials:
Inkspace tracing bitmaps:

1 Like

Thanks Jeff I’m using Estlcam for the engraving. I’ve downloaded Inkscape per your suggestion and I’ll see what I can do there. Thanks for the help.