Director // Computer Scientist
Live Performance Technology

How To - Converting a photo to DXF

Making laser cut projects is a lot of fun, but what better way to personalize an item then to include a portrait of yourself or a friend? Using Inkscape it’s easy to create an engraved outline from any photo you like.

Required technology:


  1. Download and open Inkscape. It can take a few minutes to open.
  2. Import the image you want to engrave
  3. Under the Path toolbar select Trace Bitmap
  4. You can now use the preview window to select between Brightness cutoff and Edge detection as the tracing method, and set Threshold values that make your image look great
  5. Now "Save as" and select the file format DXF

Now that you have the dxf file, it’s easy to import it into a program like Draft Sight to combine it with your existing project DXF.