What is GIMP?

gimpGIMP, INKSCAPE and CAD, what are all of these ? First off GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is a free open source raster graphics editor. Gimp works on all computer platforms, GNU/linux, Apple and Windows. It’s free to use, share and change its source code with others.

Be it your a graphic designer, photographer, Illustrator or can’t afford premium software.GIMP provides all the tools for imagery manipulation. This will do what individuals need for raster imagery. GIMP isn’t a replacement for powerful software like Adobe Photoshop or Coreldraw.

What is Inkscape ?

InkscapeInkscape is a free and open source vector graphics illustrator software. It’s uses are editing or creating vector graphics illustrations, logos, charts, diagrams and much more. The primary vector file for Inkscape is Scaleable Vector Graphic or SVG. Many other formats are available for importing or exporting. It’s capabilities are closely to those of its paid counterparts, Adobe Illustrator, Coreldraw, Freehand, or Xara X.


GIMP, INKSCAPE and CAD, how do they all work together ? I use GIMP in my shop very little but when I do it’s perfect for the task at hand. This software enables me to perform a “Niche Task” for a specific client and their needs. My client has a need to remove people from images and create stand alone pictures.

Pictures are imported into Inkscape to convert a raster image to a vector image. The image is scaled to size to be attached to our wood silhouette. I’ll create 2 files, one for a wooden silhouette and the other for a custom vinyl graphic. The wooden silhouette I run in my shop. A print shop will make the picture on a specialty printer. A plotter creates the graphic for the silhouette. Plotters are for printing vector graphics and wide documents like blueprints.

Where does CAD come in ?

How does CAD communicate with these other 2 programs ? GIMP creates raster image files like .png, .jpeg, .tiff, .gif and so on.GIMP’s Image files are loaded into Inkscape to be converted to vector image. Inkscape’s file sets are for vector images.

The files from Inkscape are now ready to load into CAD. The two file extensions are .eps (Encapsulated PostScript) or .pdf (Portable Document format). These load into Vcarve Pro CAD software with ease. Vcarve Pro has a bitmap tracer but I feel Inscape does a better job.

Why Open Source Software ?

GIMP, INKSCAPE and CAD are all available as open source software. There’s limitations with open source software unlike its paid counterparts. For a starting designer or programmer Inkscape and GIMP work flawlessly. In my case I only use these software from time to time. Money’s better utilized than expensive software with the start up of a shop. Try these free open source softwares for yourself and see that they’ll do everything you need.

Thank You for taking the time to read

~An Engraver In The woods

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