Help: Fengrave Basic Tutorial

I’m at a point where I can launch Fengrave. I saved an Inkscape file as a .dfx file and it came out like this, which is not what I want at all since that center section is supposed to three lines of text:

I can’t figure out how to just straight use a PNG file. (Probably b/c I can’t figure out anything about Potrace and using fonts in fengrave?) Will someone please help me figure out how to get PNG files to work? I tried following the instructions on Scorchworks but due to potrace updates the Terminal code doesn’t match and I don’t know know enough to just wing it.

Can you post your file so we give it a try?

Sure. I would like to be able to use PNGs at some point though, and I can’t currently bring them into Fengrave, which I don’t quite understand why. (I’m looking for help there.)

Can I suggest that you change the text in that image? Not everyone will appreciate the sentiment.

I can for now while I get help. (I didn’t plan on sharing the project; I’m just having problems with the program hence this post). Here’s a new link:

PNG Updated

That PNG file loaded OK into f-engrave for me. What’s the problem you are having?

When you go to open file by default it will only open dxf. In the bottom right corner of the popup is a drop down to change the file type. Select PNG and you should be able to open it. Sorry I would include pictures but I’m no longer at my computer.

I don’t have that pop up. This is what it looks like:

I think this is where Potrace would come in…? But I don’t know enough to figure out how to make that work because of all it’s updates and the fact that I can barely work in Terminal. I’m running this program in OSX.

Oh I didn’t notice the part about Linux. Sorry can’t help you there :frowning:

Yeah, I guess I’m just going to have to download and use Wine… bleh. But I have an old version of OSX and it seems I can’t download XCode (I’m in Mavericks, not the newest one).

I’m running under Linux so my file selection popup will be different, as it would be with windows, but the fact that the FROcircle.png file is not highlighted would mean that f-engrave does not recognise that file type as an image.
I had to add the python imaging library to my system before I could open your test file, usually use pnm or bitmaps.

The best source of information on getting F-Engrave working on OSX is here:

Here is what the site says about Potrace.

Does not include potrace. If potrace is installed in the system path or
in /usr/local/bin (e.g. Homebrew) then bitmap (PBM) files can be read and

If you can’t get Potrace installed you can get your design into F-Engrave by saving as a DXF file from Inkscape and importing the DXF file into F-Engrave.

If you save a DXF file form Inkscape you need to make sure you convert the text to paths before saving the DXF file. To convert the text to paths you select the text and choose Path - Object to Path from the menu.

If you include any pictures in your Inkscape document you also need to use Path - Trace Bitmap to convert the image to paths (Inkscape uses a built in version of the Potrace algorithms to do the tracing)

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I am. Thanks!


And a big thank you from me as well!


Follow up question-- so I have an object that I export as a DXF file for V Carve. Unfortunately I don’t really understand how it’s read to fill. #1 is how I want it to look (with the black having been cut out to be painted) and #2 is how it’s read by Fengrave & #3 is the VCarve calculation. Is this right? (Aside from those path errors which I don’t understand…)

(I cannot get Fengrave to read PNGs - I’m on a Mac and that GitHub link doesn’t provide instructions for that…but I wish):

where you able to install Potrace?

If Potrace is installed and F-Engrave can find it you should be able to import a BMP or PBM file which you could make from the PNG file using an image editing program.

It looks like there are crossing lines in the DXF file. F-Engrave does not like that. If you can’t get Potrace running you might be stuck editing the crossing lines out of the DXF file.

How did you make the DXF file?

Potrace seems to be installed… My version of Fengrave can read BMP files, but I can’t save my file as a bitmap file in Inkscape… I can make a bitmap copy but then cannot save the file as a bitmap. And Fengrave won’t open the PNG file I have…

You can just use an image editing program to open the image then save it as BMP or better yet PBM. I don’t know what the default image editor on a OSX is called but I would think you would already have something installed that could save a BMP file. If not you could install Gimp which is super powerful and free.

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FYI, In order for PNG files to be imported directly into F-Engrave the Python installed on your system needs to have PIL (Python Imaging Library) installed. The instructions on how to do that on OSX is way outside of my knowledge base.

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The horns take up a bunch of space on the board… how would I use a larger flat end mill to cut out most of that material and then VCarve the edges? (Similar to @PhilJohnson 's Mustang sign…) I have several flat end mill sizes and a 30 deg engraving bit.