Scanning in a design

I have yet to purchase a CNC and before I do so I am trying learn easel or a CAD drawing software. I am a woodworker and have a design that I know would be great to be carved by a CNC rather than by hand tools. It is very frustrating trying to use Sketchup, etc to actually draw with the measurements of the piece that I want to bring into easel. Is there a way that I can scan this piece of wood ( yes it is just a 1/4 plywood shape) using a scanner and then import that into easel ? I’ve only seen 1 other topic on this and it doesn’t reference how to actually do this.


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Yes, you can import an image into easel (left column of buttons, the bottom one contains the import option)

However in all honesty, the easel image trace is quite difficult to get decent output. Even with a perfect image.

I typically run the image through convertio or inkscape image trace. Both are free options and always result in a better quality trace vs the built in function…

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Lay your piece of wood on a sheet of white paper and use a Sharpie to trace it. Then use your phone to take a picture. I will set my phone on a box or something so it doesn’t move and I can get a sharp image. Then import the image into Easel and trace it or use convertio like Seth mentioned.
You can use other vector editing software like InkScape to edit your image and then save it as an SVG so you can bring in into Easel and cut.


@ChristopherJDietz The dimensions are known? If you can sketch it on a napkin with dimensions, you should be able to draw it in most cad programs and even graphic design programs like inkscape or illustrator.


Adding to what @RussellCrawford said, place a good ruler in the image as well in either the X or Y plane. When you import the image into EASEL, lock the Width & Height ratio, and then resize the image in the direction of the ruler markings until the ruler image measures the correct length.


Brandon Parker


These are paid apps ? I find these really difficult to draw with since the shape of what I want to make is not simple.
I’ll give inkscape a try though.

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Yes, Inkscape, and the online method of convertio (and other web based converters) are free.

Vector Magic is paid, but it is an amazing piece of software for converting real life photos of like landscapes or portraits into vectors. It handles color gradients much better than these other methods.

@ChristopherJDietz Got an example of what you’re trying to do?

sure, here is a small trace I scanned in.

This was intended to be a right angle triangle if you rotate is clockwise 90 degrees.
I wanted to just make the cuts using a 1/4 inch bit since the cut outs are 1/4 or 6mm. It is the side of a card stand that I make by hand using my router table and a jig.

Wait - you can’t just import an image and have it carve it with the parameters you set?

You have to “trace” it once it’s already been imported?

You can bring 4 types of files into easel, SVG, DXF, G-code generated in other software, OR an image can be brought in using the image trace tool. So “you” don’t have to trace it, the tool does the tracing automatically…

Here’s how that tool works:

And Here’s how you can get even better results using Inkscape to make a SVG that imports perfectly into Easel:

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