How-to: Laser Engraving Photo

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Introduction: How-to: Laser Engraving Photo

About: Carton, paper, plywood, wood vector templates for die cut and laser cut

I want to tell you how we engrave photos on a laser machine. After various tests, trial and error, born algorithm that allows you to get good quality engraving.

Step 1: Excellent Quality Photo

Use photo only excellent quality.
Open in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 2: Crop Photo

Crop photo as you need. Crop Tool (C)

Step 3: Remove Background

Carefully remove background.
Use Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) Feather 0px, Anti-alias.
Make a white background, merge layers (Ctrl+E)

Step 4: Convert Photo to Grayscale

Image > Mode > Grayscale

Step 5: Edit Photo

Large dark areas of photos light.
The intensity of black color on face should be 10-15%.
The eyes should be almost white. Black 3-6%.
Light hair strands create more light. Dodge Tool (O) Range: Highlights.
Dark hair strands darken. Burn Tool (O) Range: Shadows.

Step 6: Image Size

Resolution: 200 pixels/cm (508 pixels/inch)

Step 7: Sharpen

Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask
Amount: 200 % Radius: 1 pixels Threshold: 0 levels.

Make sharper eye, eyelashes, eyebrows, lips, hair using Sharpen Tool.

Step 8: Convert Image to Bitmap

Image > Mode > Bitmap
Output: 200 pixels/cm (508 pixels/inch)
Method: Halftone Screen Frequency: 200 lines/cm (508 lines/inch)
Angle: 15 degrees
Shape: Round

Save As Format: BMP File
Format: Windows
Depth: 1 Bit

Step 9: Eye

Cut a piece of image for tests.
Eye - the best choice

Step 10: Laser Program

Import BMP image to RDWorks (or other your laser program).

Wood fibers should be parallel to the long axis (X).
Image as well.
Rotate image 90 degrees if necessary.

Set parameters for engrave
Parameters for 40 watt power laser (Program: RDCAM)
Speed(mm/s): 300 Max
Power(%): 20
Interval(mm): 0.05

Material: solid birch, plywood birch
Speed and power must be chosen by experimentation.

Step 11: Video

We use plywood birch in main.
It is accessible and cheap material.
Sand the plywood and cover it with varnish.
After engraving, wipe product with damp sponge to remove the soot and dust.

Step 12: Result

Good luck!

More designs for laser cutting and engraving:
http://cartonus.com/

CNC Contest 2016

Participated in the
CNC Contest 2016

Epilog Contest 8

Participated in the
Epilog Contest 8

2 People Made This Project!

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27 Discussions

1
ponnukalaim
ponnukalaim

Question 5 months ago on Introduction

sir
can we make laser engraving of of a above photo in metal surface?

3
82L
82L

Question 6 months ago

Are you apply varnish before engraving?

0
pennypatters
pennypatters

8 months ago on Step 1

What is the lest expensive machine I can use to do photo engraving?

1
amiir
amiir

10 months ago

hi. i have 100Watt CO2 Laser Machine and use RDWorks and RDCam softwares.
what is the correct parameters for me ?

i also have 50Watt Fiber Laser (Marking Laser)
it use EZCad as software.
can you please help me engrave a photo with co2 on wood and with fiber on steel?

0
petrospot
petrospot

Question 1 year ago

hello! im using trotec jobcontrol and i cannot open a BMP file directly. I can open it with illustrator and then send it to the jobcontrol but i followed all the instructions and the result had not so much detail (a lot of black)

0
Tiredasz
Tiredasz

Question 1 year ago on Step 11

what thickness plywood did you use in the video engraving the photo?

0
paramd612
paramd612

Question 1 year ago on Step 4

my image can not be opened in corel draw

0
LuciaDes
LuciaDes

Answer 1 year ago

Corel draw is a vector software, you need photo editing/illustration software like corel photo paint, photoshop, etc

0
refamat
refamat

1 year ago

When I was in a company which made the original talking chess game. It was common to buy "barrel" lots of components. It costs money to test a component and while manufacturing processes are good the product still needs to be tested. Manufacturers can buy untested lots to cut costs and test the finished circuit themselves. Any that do not work are rejected for recycling. Same with cables.

0
BrianR303
BrianR303

Question 1 year ago on Step 12

Which laser etcher do you recommend? I have been interested in doing this for a few years.

0
Harrisgirl
Harrisgirl

Question 1 year ago on Step 11

HI! What kind of laser machine you use?

0
pentatonickc
pentatonickc

Question 2 years ago on Step 8

After making the coloured picture to a grayscale, how do i know the actual resolution i should use when changing to bitmap (from IMAGE MENU - MODE - BITMAP). How do i determine that based on the size of my picture?

IMAGE - MODE - BITMAP = RESOLUTION.PNG
1
stevenevans
stevenevans

Question 2 years ago on Step 4

Hi

Thank you for the help just a few small questions

what must the resolution be and must it be netgraphic,dotgraphic,grayscale

Thx this will help alot in RDWorks

0
GhazalS
GhazalS

Question 2 years ago on Step 12

What kind of machine do I need to buy to print photos on a wood ?

0
mjones0731
mjones0731

Question 2 years ago on Step 12

I want to laser engrave a high res photo of animals on to the backs of cell phone cases. The backs are composed of cherry wood. The space on the cherry would I have to work with is about 2 x 3 inches. Any suggestions as to how to get a quality engraving? 30 watt epilog laser engraver. Corel Draw. I am attaching photos of a few tests. Thanks for any advice. I get my photos from Shutterstock and Depositphotos.

20171212_064558-001poodleengraved.jpg20180222_165058Persian2-22-18.jpg20180123_153543_1516750154657_001.jpg
0
ZiaulH4
ZiaulH4

Question 2 years ago on Step 5

which specific tool may we can use in Photoshop to complete the entire editing process?

0
askdrnam
askdrnam

2 years ago

Check the easy tool here ( http://techiephoto.com/laser ) for preparing your photos for laser engraving. No need for any software. It takes 10 sec to covert a photo to pure black and white, and you are ready.

0
ElaineV11
ElaineV11

2 years ago

I am completely new to engraving on a laser, had the machine less than a week and I want to do photo engraving but I am getting no detail at all. I am told my resolution is too low, anyone know of any videos that show me how to change resolution?

Thanks

0
Th3rdsun
Th3rdsun

3 years ago

I do a lot of engraving on acrylic on a Trotec Speedy 300,and I use a different method. I don't even bother taking out the backgrounds(personal choice). My first step it to convert to grayscale,then I go 300 for the resolution,then I go to adjustments>brightness/contrast and usually make both of those 25,but this can change depending on the picture.

Next I go filter>sharpen>unsharp mask. I usually go amount-500%, radius-3,and keep threshold at 0.

I don't even convert to bitmap,I just save it as one. The laser settings are definitely going to depend on your laser,and from what I understand,that goes for each individual laser even if they are the exact same model.

I'll have to get some wood and try out your settings. Thanks.