How Do I Generate GCode From JPG for PCB?

by Daniel Ketchum

G-Code is a CAD programming language used to control various types of automated machinery. G-Code allows the user to tell the computer controlling the machine what movements and actions it should carry out to produce the desired result. For example, the user might want make a particular shape into a printed circuit board. There are times when you might have an image in JPG format that you would like to convert to the G-Code format. Fortunately, there is an easy-to-use extension for the freeware application Inkscape that allows anyone to create G-Code from JPGs.


Load the JPG image you want to use on your computer.


Start the Inscape application. Click “File” in the menu at the top and click “Import. “ Browse to and open the JPG you loaded.


Click “Path” in the menu and click “Trace Bitmap.” In the dialog, choose the settings you want, such as “Color” or “Greyscale,” and click “OK.” This creates a vectorized version of the image. Click on the “X” to close the dialog.


Click “Extensions” in the menu and click “Gcodetools.” In the options, click “Orient Parts.” In the dialog, go with the default settings and click “Apply.” Click “OK” and “Close.”


Click “Extensions” in the menu and click “Tools Library.” In the dialog, click “Default” and click “Apply.” Click “Close.”


Use the mouse to move the green rectangular information card that appears below the workspace. Select the "Text" tool and click inside the box to adjust the output settings, such as “Diameter” and “Feed.”


Click “Extensions” in the menu and click “Paths to Gcode.” In the dialog, click “Preferences” and choose the location where you want to save the G-Code file. Click “Apply.”


Click the “Paths to Gcode” tab. Click “Apply.” Click “OK” and “Close.” The G-Code for the image has now been saved and is ready to use.

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About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.