Kind of yes and no, PVC uses a different form of engraving algorithm and there is no laser post for it. In Vcarve or aspire you can import a bitmap file and the use trace bitmap but it isn’t the greatest. Lastly the axiom controller only sends on/off commands to the laser controller so we don’t get variable power so a perfect laser printed image isn’t possible.
Now, Vectric is working on a laser module for Vcarve but then again without variable power it is not really worth it and their dithering protocol currently isn’t the best from what I have heard unless they get the bugs worked out. There is also a program called PicLaser that does an excellent job of dithering but currently does not have a post processor that works fully with axiom and without variable power laser printing the raw pic just yields black boxes. I do know it is on chads ever growing list to see if he can get PicLaser to work with axiom but until they get a post added I have been using PicLaser to dither the pic and then use Vcarve to trace bitmap and generate the toolpath, but you have to be very careful with size after you dither the pic. A little to big or small and you just end up with squiggly little lines on wood.
I see pictures that have been lasered in the advertising. Where you say ‘dither’ are you implying that it has to be changed to grayscale or black and white. That makes sense. I have kept Chad very busy with my Axiom AR8 Elite since the HUST controller and wire connections were different than the instructions.
Dithering draws lines along the curves and transitions on pictures then the laser etches the lines and you get somewhat of an image.
I have been playing around with Vcarve more this week and have gotten better results but still not what I am looking for, but if you want to try also. Step 1 import bitmap. Step 2 Trace bitmap (From the drawing tab)
On the drawing tab you can either select colors or black and white depending on your pic. Start selecting colors until you get the definition you want. As you select different colors you will see them become shaded. Once you have the definitions you want click apply and then generate a quick engrave toolpath. I have found most of the time less is better when selecting colors.