I wrote a perl script to convert images to halftone circles that can then be laser cut into stencils. They also cast very interesting almost coherent shadows. The script tries to optimize the cut order, but it still takes a very long time to cut so many small circles unless you have an optimized laser cutter driver like my epilog. Perl source code is available, but might not be very portable.
Acrylic fuses rather than cuts if the circles are small enough, leading to a fun image. With larger holes cut in wood, you can also use it as a spray paint stencil.