Home >> News >> How to Use ArtCAM Pro Create Relief Toolpath from Bitmap BMP

How to Use ArtCAM Pro Create Relief Toolpath from Bitmap BMP

Publish Date: Aug. 30, 2019 Author: Jackie Publisher: EagleTec CNCModify Date: Aug. 30, 2019

Relief engraving is a very common application of cnc router. Many beginners often ask this question when they are considering to buy one cnc wood router machine, can I make a relief file from an image?”. The answer is “Yes”. But please see to it that not all types of images can generate relief program file. Only specific one works. Most one we used is bitmap with extension name of ***.bmp. Let’s see how to use ArtCAM Pro to create relief toolpath from a bitmap step by step:

How to Use ArtCAM Pro Create Relief Toolpath from Bitmap BMP

Some Information for You First

The software version we used here is ArtCAM Pro 8.1.

EagleTec CNC provides high performance CNC machines (cnc router, wood lathe, cnc plasma, fiber laser cutter and laser engraving machine) with expert customer support! If any interest, please contact us.

Video Tutorials of How to Use ArtCAM Pro

Below is the text interpretation of the video tutorials for your reference.

Detailed Instruction Step by Step Concerning How to Use ArtCAM Pro to Make Relief File

Create Model

Click “Create Model From Image”- “Set Model Size” dialog box appears- No set here- Click “OK” icon directly.

Set Model Size

• Set the width and height of relief: Top Manual Bar - Click “Set Size”, here the width (X axis) and height (Y axis) is zooming in equal scale; also, we can get another alternative, that is “Set Size Asymmetric”, here the width and height can change any way as you like. But considering from the relief appearance, usually we only do a little adjustment, do not change too much. Steps: click "Set Asymmetric Size" - input "width" and "height" size – click “Apply”, and then click "OK", finish.

• Set the depth of relief: Top Manual Bar – Relief – Scale, input new height, then click “OK” icon, finish.

Create Tool Path for Your Embossment

Click the “Tool Path” tag in the lower left corner of the page, and the toolbar concerning tool path will appear on the left side of the page. Click the first icon "Machine Relief" in 3D Tool Path tag, and "Machine Relief" dialog box appears, set the design as follows:

Area to machine

• Whole Model: means all parts of relief have to be machined.

• Selected Vector: we can draw 2D vector in the relief model, and choose this option means only part of the vector we selected will be engraved, the other part not processed.


• Generally we select “Raster In X”, machining speed based on it is fast; if “Spiral” strategy, the working speed is relatively slow.

• Raster Angle, generally set value “0” here. If we input 45 here, the tool path is rotated by 45-degree, machining also will be in this direction.

• Allowance - normally set value 0 here.

• Tolerance – normally set value 0.01 here.

Machine safe Z

• It specifies the height above the workpiece at which it is safe to move the tool at rapid speeds between tool path segments.

• The setting of this value depends on the specific situation. The value should be large enough to clear any clamps used to hold the job.

• Click on the small black triangle behind, pop-up "Home" position setting dialog box, the home position specifies the starting and ending position for the tool before and after processing, such as X0 Y0 Z15.

Tool Setup

• Click "Select" button, we can select tools from different type.

• End Mill: The tool which is same size up and down; end mill 6mm means the tool with 6mm blade diameter.

• Ball Nose: means ball nose router bits. Ball nose 6mm means ball nose tool with 6mm blade diameter.

• If the tools in the list do not have what you need, we can add it to the library. Suppose we want to add 6mm round bottom engraving tool, we can set this way:

• Click “Add Tool” icon - “Tool Edit” dialog box appears:

• Description: name the new tool

• Tool Type: select “Radiused Engraving”, and edit the tool in right side: diameter 6, half angle 18, tip radius 1.5, step down 3, flute length no need set, step over 0.6, spindle speed 15000, feed rate 70, plunge rate 30. Two nouns are explained here:

• Step down: the engraving depth of each layer during engraving;

• Step over: the distance between two adjacent tool paths, which determines the fine degree of the finish: general settings is from 0.2 – 1.0; the smaller the value, the higher the fineness. To modify the tool parameters, select the tool, click Edit, modify, and click “OK". 

Do multiple Z passes

If we do not choose this option, the engraving is not layered and finish in one step down no matter what is the step-down value you have set in the tool parameter. If this option is selected, multiple z passes will be made. Start at the value entered in the Z height of first pass field and finish at the value in the z height of last pass field. The step down between these two values is controlled by the step down field in the selected tool. For example, the relief depth is 10mm, step down is 2.5mm, first pass of z is -2.5 and the last pass of z is -10.

Material Setup

• Click “Setup”, pop up dialog box of material setup; the value entered in material thickness should be bigger than the engraving depth;

• Material Z zero, select the top;

• Model position in material, select top offset and set value is 0; finally, click “OK”.

Relief Toolpath Calculation

Switch to 3D view, and then click “Now” icon. The tool path start calculating (red lines)

Toolpath Simulation

• After the calculation is completed, click on tool path icon in the lower left corner;

• Select the second icon “Simulate Toolpath Fast” in the Toolpath Simulation column; dialog box pop up, select fast;

• Click “Simulate Toolpath” icon and simulation starting; check the effect after simulation finished; if it is satisfied, then save the tool path.

Save Toolpath

• Select “Save Toolpath” in the left side column “Toolpath Operations”;

• Dialog box pop up, click the arrow rightward, pull the “calculated toolpath” to the right;

• Select “Model Master 3 Axis Flat(*mmg)” in lower right conner; name the toolpath and click “Save” icon.

Until now, the whole work finished. Hope you enjoy the course here!


As a CNC machine manufacturer, we are happy to share the basic knowledge concerning CNC to everyone. And hope that you can get some idea from our sharing. If any question, we will do our best to help you; sometimes we may be busy on work, in this case, maybe you won't get our quick reply, please understand. We will respond as soon as possible after completing the work.

Original Post from EagleTec CNC

Copyright: original works, for permission to reproduce, reprint, please be sure to indicate the form of hyperlinks to the original source of the article, author information and this statement.


Follow Us

Get Your FREE Quote
(Your email will be kept private)