Starting all over again

Post about using Inkscape with cutters or plotters.
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Starting all over again

Postby forboy » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:36 am

A couple of years ago I built the OX CNC Router and managed to get Gcode for a few different designs and everything was great until I had a heart attack and my wife (Bless her) made me dismantle it. Now my wife is living with some one else :lol: and I'm free to do what ever I want. So I've started to re-assemble the OX, but my Gcode is a little rusty to say the least.

I can import a jpeg and trace without a problem and I have the young Russian guy's extension loaded into Inkscape, but it all goes blank after that and I need to get a grip on that part of the setup. There are a couple of video's on YouTube, but the one with the Rino is misleading as he ends up with the Gcode, but doesn't use the extension to get where he is at the end of the video.

I'd be grateful to any one to point me in the right direction.



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Re: Starting all over again

Postby brynn » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:16 pm

Unfortunately, it's been over a year since the Russian team has answered any request for support. I'm planning to post the situation to the Inkscape developers mailing list (because of an issue with a different user) and ask if there is any other place we can go for support. I'll post whatever replies I get.

I've recently learned a very little bit about using some of those gcode tools, trying to help Inkscape users. But since I don't have a woodshop (much less CNC), I can only use a simulator to find out if the code works!

I don't know what you mean by "OX" or "Rino", if those words are supposed to explain your project. So if you can be more specific about one particular project, there's a slight chance I could give you more specific suggestions. But for now, here's what I know. No matter what you're doing, you have to do the following 2 steps first.

  1. Extensions menu > Gcodetools > Orientation Points -- I haven't learned what the 4 options at the top mean. So far I've only used 2 points mode. But the last option allows you to set what kind of units you want to use. This will put 2 points on your canvas (and I assume creates certain parts of the gcode, once it's output).
  2. Extensions menu > Gcodetools > Tools Library -- There you need to choose what kind of cutter you want to use. This will put a green box on your canvas, showing several variables. You can change those variables using Inkscape's Text tool. (Surprisingly to me) the gcode which is output uses those variables, even if you manually change them.
  • Which extension you use after that, from what I've learned, depends on your project. Like if you're going to be engraving, choose Engrave (from the same submenu as above). Or if you'll be removing an area of wood, choose Area. Or etc.
  • As far as I've learned, if you're simply cutting something out - let's say for simplicity, you want to cut completely out, a round disc (circular path), go straight for Path to Gcode extension (after steps 1 and 2). Most of those options are more or less either explained, or self-explanatory. There are several that are still a mystery to me.
  • After you click Apply on whichever extension you used as your 3rd step, the NGC file will be created and placed in whatever directory you indicated on the Preferences tab (of Path to Gcode dialog, or whichever extension you used). And also a log file, if you opted for one (same Preferences tab) Also, it will add certain graphics on the canvas, colored line segments and arrows. I'm pretty sure the arrows are indicating the direction of the path, which I also assume is the direction the cutter will take. But I haven't figured out what significance the colored segments have.

Another thing I've learned, is that Inkscape's gcode tools can't create gcode for every possible type of CNC project. I've run into a couple of people who eventually determined that Inkscape's tools can't do what they want. So it very much depends on your particular project, not just which extension you use, but whether Inkscape is the best choice at all.

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Re: Starting all over again

Postby tylerdurden » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:57 pm

There are a couple of roads to choose:
1) try to get Inkscape to generate your gcode
2) export from Inkscape to a CAM program that generates your gcode

Personally, I'd go for option 2... there are a number of free/inexpensive cam programs that offer more features than the Inkscape extensions.

Maybe you have seen the recent survey results for low-end CAM at CNCcookbook? ... am-survey/
Have a nice day.

I'm using Inkscape 0.92.2 (5c3e80d, 2017-08-06), 64 bit win8.1

The Inkscape manual has lots of helpful info!

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Re: Starting all over again

Postby forboy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:52 am

Hi guy's
Thanks a lot for the replies.

I'm going to try Tyler's suggestion (No.2) to export a file from Inkscape to a cam program (I already have a copy of CamBam with 37 goes left, so I'll try that one first) to get the Gcode.

All these supposed Gcode extension you see on YouTube always seem to leave something out and it never seems to work out as the video suggests.

If everything works out fine then I'll buy the software.

I'll let you know.


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