Create Bitmaps for Point Clouds with GIMP

3d lasers engrave point clouds into crystal. To engrave a photo it must be converted into black and white. My initial workflow was to create an 8 bit grey scale image in GIMP and then convert it into a 1 bit, black and white, bitmap using a package called 2d Photo, then into DibSlice or LaserImage to create a point cloud. I'm now able to skip 2d Photo by creating the black and white image in GIMP.

To do this, go to the dropdown menu Image > Mode > Indexed

Image > Mode > IndexeIndexed Colour Conversion Menu

Use black and white.

If you want to convert a photo you'll want to select Color Dithering and try Floyd-Steinberg (Normal). The other dithering options may also be useful, have a play. Once done save the file in your preferred file format, .bmp in my case.

GIMP is free to download and use.


gassrini's picture

To turn the bitmap into a point cloud I put it through an application that turns the black pixels into points. It's possible to give the image thickness by specifying the number of point cloud layers. Potentially GIMP could have a script which does this and saves the output as .dxf. One for the wishlist :)

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