Jpeg to svg to stl to gcode.....oh my!

so…after watching several videos on how to make a cookie cutter, I thought I was smart enough to manage it. Turns out, I am not! So…lets learn something together…can anyone help me figure out how to turn a hand-drawn line drawing that I scanned into my computer into the shape that I want to make the cutter? I managed to go through all the steps to get a stl file but it appears that with the outline of the paper, I cannot get the line drawing, only the outline of the paper. I cannot figure out what program to use to erase the backgound (white paper) and just have my outline. even when I cut out the outline and scanned it, I am back to square one with the background. I know I can do this…It will not defeat me! I appreciate any help. Thanks.

I do this using 3d design programs like “Blender” or “Fusion 360” which can be more effort to learn but is free for personal use.
I suppose it can be done in Windows “3D builder” which is included with Win10 and just has to be activated. Pretty basic program, but should do enough for this task.
If you are going to work with programs like Blender, it is good to have 3D builder on hand as it is useful for fixing some unseen errors that only show up when slicing and printing.
But that is a side topic. Ask me to elaborate if you are interested.

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I use the free online tool of convertio to replace the scan jpg into a vector svg file. The white is gone then.

I then import it in Blender, which is also free, to adapt it if necessary and convert it into an STL. If the file is not too big and working on it in Blender is not that straightforward, you can upload it in TinkerCad online, also free, to alter it.

Convertio works best if the scanned drawing is as black as possible. I usually use good old Paint in Windows to touch it up before converting it.

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to Pigjes: thanks! I will give your method a try. There are so many free programs, but I haven’t seen Blender yet. I did use TinkerCad. When you say you need the drawing to be black, do you mean filled in or can it just be a line drawing?

to kjmcain: thanks for your suggestion…seems like Blender is popular. I have used TinkerCad and Idea Maker today. There are just so many it is hard to choose. I managed to get a preview of a sliced model but there were many gaps in the outline so I didn’t get it quite right. It was so many steps through so many programs that now I can’t remember how I got there. I will have to take notes tomorrow instead of relying on my memory.

I import a JPG file into Freecad, scale it to size then use the Sketcher tools to trace the outline of the inner edge of the cutter. Duplicate the sketch then offset each sketch, one for the part of the cutter that will cut the dough (1.2 mm) and extrude that a ways out, the other sketch I offset more to form the ‘gripper’ (10 mm) and extrude that a little. Then union them together. I’ve made a hundred cookie cutters for my wife this way.


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To Larry: Thank you. You just answered a question I was about to ask. You make it sound pretty easy. I think I can do this!

In the Freecad sketcher I only use arcs and lines. Those offset nicely. Using a B-Spline can be troublesome. I’ve attached a Freecad file of one of the cookie cutters and the instructions I came up with to jog my memory…

gnome1.FCStd (792.8 KB)
Cookie Cutter Instructions.txt (1.9 KB)

It depends on the model. A cookie cutter is thin, I guess. I meant that all you need printed needs to look black for Convertio. Hope it works well!

Thanks everyone. I just discovered CookieCad which just did everything for me! Turned my sketch into a cookie cutter that IdeaMaker picked right up and sliced. YAY…way too easy!

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I usually use FreeCADs image workbench. The more recent versions of FreeCAD lack of that workbench and have the feature integrated somewhere else (just read about that in my MangoJelly youtube feed).

However. It works great and dealing with complex shapes that need to be transferred into a CAD model. I use a flatbed scanner to get the shape into the computer. Just make sure to add a ruler, so you have real world sizes within the picture.

Also try to have the model and the ruler straight if possible. This saves time when post processing the image. I usually use a image processing tool like gimp to rotate the image in position if required.

Once done you load the image into the CAD solution, calibrate the size using the given functions. Now you should be able to sketch on the image. Since the image is scaled to real world size you can use the dimensions you get when dragging the lines around. If something is 11,08mm in CAD it probably is 11, so use that.

The better the image is the easier it is to work with the sketcher and the measurements.

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