Transforming sketches in Inkscape

Creative 3D printing without 3D modelling.

1. Pixels or vectors?

The image files found online usually have a raster image file format, such as JPEG or PNG. This means that the image is saved as a matrix of coloured dots called pixels, where every pixel has its own RGB value determining its colour (Red-Green-Blue).

This also means that when the image is enlarged, the pixels appear as squares.

Vector graphics on the other hand, use a more complex way to represent images, which are composed of mathematical paths instead of pixels, and allow designers to make modifications more easily. One key difference is that zooming in/enlarging a vector image will not affect the smoothness of the lines.

For the transformation to 3D, we need a 2D vector .svg image.