2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 14, 2015 12:58 PM by John Ellis

    Saving a part file as a 3d grayscale image for laser etching

    John Ellis

      I've been searching for this to no avail. I'm really surprised it isn't a common topic since laser etching is pretty popular. I have a few models I've created and would like to save the parts as grayscale images so our laser can cut the dark colors deeper and the light colors shallower. We have enroute but do not have the add-ons to do this. I was hoping, rather than buying the add-on, that Solidworks was capable of saving a part or assembly as a grayscale image so I can achieve depths of cut. I can edit the image in Photoshop, Illustrator or CorelDraw if needed. Any help would be sweet!

        • Re: Saving a part file as a 3d grayscale image for laser etching
          Chris Dordoni

          Many 3d rendering applications have a function to save a depth (distance) pass or ZBuffer render. The terminology for this may vary based on the application. The surfaces are assigned a greyscale value based on the distance from the rendering camera.


          Blender can do this, as well as many others. Daylon Graphics Leveller is a 3d landscape/terrain generation application that has this function and its a lot easier to get a greyscale image from it than going through all the various rendering options in a program like Blender.


          In Leveller, you load your 3d model (triangulated format only) and save a greyscale image. The resolution of the greyscale image (heightfield) is set when the model is imported. The 3d geometry is rasterized to 16-bits (65536 levels) but you can save an 8-bit (256 levels) image if needed, or you can convert it to 8 bits in Photoshop.