Convert Acrylic Templates into SVG

I have several acrylic templates I’ve bought over the years before I bought my CNC. Now that I have it I want to try and scan these somehow into SVG files. Does anyone know of a way to do this?

I’ve tried scanning them on a flatbed scanner, but because they are semi transparent the scan doesn’t come out well.
I’ve also tried tracing the template with a pen onto a piece of paper and scanning that. That came out better but when I used the trace tool in Carbide Create many of the lines showed up as double lines and would of messed up the carve.

Try putting a piece of construction paper behind it and cutting out the voids? Then I’d just use the construction paper to scan on the scanner.


You could paint them black and place that side on the scanner.

But your best option is to import the scanned image or drawing and draw the outlines. It’s hard the first time, but gets easier with practice. It also has the added benefit of allowing you to get the dimensions dead perfect - something I’ve never mastered with autotracing tools…

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If you’ll post one of the auto-traces we can walk through editing it down to a single line.

Alternately, use a tool which has centerline tracing.


Don’t know how deep the pieces are, Did you try putting a dark sheet of paper over them before scanning? Might work better

If you take the scan of the pen lines, and use a drawing program to fill the regions, then the CC trace will only show the outside edge of each region - no doubled lines.

Can you post one of the pen scans?


This was my first thought too. Depending on the shape, you may get some edges that show the side walls on the template. You may need to clean it up a bit if it doesn’t trace well.


Here is one of the traces I’m trying to convert

I’m posted the trace onto another reply in this post. Any help would be amazing!

Traced this using Freehand:

then simplified:


Hang on, accidentally hit a keyboard shortcut for posting.

Your pencil was outside the template, and inside the hole. Each black line is going to create 2 vectors when you trace it. So I think you want the inside vector on the outside edge, and the outside vector around the hole.
You could have done a bit better job tracing the template, and it would save you editing the image.
There are a couple of gaps, double lines, and spots where it looks like you pulled away from the template.
That being said, I would clean up the image a bit & fill the outside, and inside the hole. Then trace it in CC. You’ll need to scale it once it’s in CC, so you’ll want a few measurements/dimensions.


So how do I download freehand? It looks like it was bought out by Adobe and replaced with Adobe illustrator, which I do have access to

Switching to @Tod1d 's image, we just open it using Image Tracing:


which just needs a bit of cleanup:

Finishing that is left as an exercise for the reader.

I’d suggest putting it on a new layer, drawing in new geometry, and then using Trim Vectors and Node Editing to recreate the design.

2 Glass Bottle Holder_v7.c2d (60 KB)

If you have Adobe Illustrator and are willing to use it, use the trace feature in that.

I was just using Freehand as an example of a program which had a centerline option, which is what a single line wants, though as @Tod1d noted, you could arguably trace both edges, then delete the side which is farther from what is wanted.

Inkscape has a centerline option.
I used it here with a few minutes to clean up the extra junk.
Depending on the design, it might be better to just recreate them from scratch.

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A friend of mine said the same thing about re-creating them. I’m new to all of this so I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Are you familiar with any CAD or vector programs?


and esp.:

If you get stuck, post the file and describe your difficulty and we will walk through it w/ you.

What is it? Is there anything about it that has to be accurate? Other than symmetry for aesthetics.
I might consider just redesigning it as well. Aside from the academic adventure, it might just be quicker & cleaner. Are there any specific dimensions? Or just an overall dimension?

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