Shaper Trace - from Photo to SVG

Just in case you like to turn your paper doodles into vector SVG files - Shaper have a kickstarter for Shaper Trace.

If you know Shaper Origin (handheld/steered CNC router) - which uses “attachable” patterns to manage cuts (you become the x/y axis) they have now launched “Shaper Trace” a tracing frame with patters.

You put your frame over your doodle - and take a picture with their App - and the app converts your doodle into a size-correct vector SVG file. The software correct for camera angle and lens distortion using the patterns on the frame.

I’m not affiliated - I just thought it could be a nice tool for any CNC’er. :slight_smile:



I can understand a usecase for converting a photo or downloaded image to a set of vectors.

I dont see much of a use case of converting a hand drawn doodle to a vector file. I would draw the doodle directly in a vector package like inkscape or one of various phone and tablet apps.

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Thank you for the link! I backed the project. It would be nice to take a drawing a kid creates and make it into something physical.

@AndyP do you know of any good tablet apps for hand drawing directly to vector format? I have a long standing need for this, but I’m yet to find any app with the level of smoothing required for my application.

Scan2CAD is the closest I’ve gotten, but is a bitmap to vector converter.

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I think I see a different and beneficial use-case where Shaper’s Trace concept is more inviting to those who cannot use the modern cad programs:

  • Children that are barely starting to show a spark in woodworking (or making things).

This is a cool opportunity to turn a sketch or design into something that’s tangible rather than just a sheet of paper. I imagine that kids would only care that a design appeared on a piece of wood and they’ll want to do it again.

On the kickstarter page, they showed somebody converting a signature for use with CNC work, similar to how an artist would sign a painting. I suspect there’s a bunch more creative uses for smaller desktop drag-knife and laser machines; this may lower the software barrier for the crafty and less technical.

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