3d engrave help

Hi everyone I’m trying to figure out how to 3d engrave. I’m having a trouble knowing what depth map is. I looked for information here but I’m still not getting good results. I been using proofgrade materials. Does anyone know where I can get a file so I could see what the image needs to look like. Anything helps I been stuck for over a week. Thanks in advance

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A depth map is a bitmap/raster image where the brightness maps to the “depth” of the subject. On the Glowforge, the darker areas will receive more power and thereby engrave deeper. Pure white (#FFFFFF) will not engrave, pure black (#000000) will receive full power.
It’s pretty well documented in the tutorials.
3D engrave is suitable for simple designs, logos, appliqué, etc. but not detailed things with subtle contrast like photographic images.

This is very much subjective. I have engraved photos with great success with 3d/vary power.

All engraves were done with vary power.

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I have read thru this and I’m still not getting the hang of it. One mistake I found out is I accidentally inverted the image. But I’m not getting the proper results. And to be honest I’m going thru my proofgrade materials. I figured ill ask for help before I waste more material

This was a photograph I played with to get a bit of detail…

This was on the Web as an elevation raster image…,.

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That’s what I’m trying to get but I’m not close to that. Do u mind showing me the image you put on the glowforge. I’ll compare it to mine. I’m not home right now or I would post my pics

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There are many available on the web but most have a restriction that you can sell or share the result but not the graphic. I can try and link one though…


:joy::joy::joy: that’s explains a lot. My images is no where near any of those. Do I just insert the image to glowforge or do I have to modify them?

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Every image needs to have a vector cut line, unless you are printing on disks or something. There is a lot of experimenting, and places to go. Gimp can use layers to increase the lightness or darkness while the image sets detail, and by an arrangement of masks develop that still more. It can get as complex as you would like or just drop the image into the GFUI and use outline to make the cutout. I have been playing with an app that after a bit of work produces my avatars and these…

That I make into these…

or these…

I just finished this also…

About 2.25 inches in dia

Very nice I’m going to work on it now. Thank you

This is what I came up with. It’s way better thanks to the help but it’s not quite right. Any suggestions?

That image is not a 3D depth map suitable for 3D engraving.

It is a screenshot of a rendering of what an actual 3D model would look like (the designer sells the file for use with 3D CNC routers.)

You can print it using standard engrave (“photo”) options and it will have the appearance of being 3D.

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What if I use the 3d engrave option ?
I purchase the file and it’s a stl and then I used meshlab just like how one of the instructions I read.

I see.

The image on your screen is not what a depth map suitable for 3D engrave would look like. It is (again) lacking contrast needed to bring out details of the design.

Ok I’ll work on the contrast. How would I clean it after I engrave it. I’ve used alcohol on other engraves would it be the same for 3d engrave?

This thread was bumped up today. It starts with the GF 3D engrave demo image, that shows the kind of image you need for results like that:

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That’s a long thread, can’t dig through it right now. Did that file ever get released?

Not that I am aware of.

I just linked to it because it shows the OP the kind of file needed to create a great 3D engrave.

I guess I could have just pasted it here…


Im understanding the contrast. I see it on that glowforge image. I’m going keep at it thanks for the help.

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