How does the chain with pstoedit work?

  • Jelle At Protospace

    Hi Lars and others,

    How does the process work to generate gcode from a dxf or svg file? I think I saw some detours that go from svg to dxf back to svg. Is that correct?
    And on another note in the same melody: maybe you might be interested in this:
    It is from a project I am involved in where we use pstoedit to generate gcode (or similar) on the basis of an input ps file and sends it on to a laser cutter. Maybe it can be of use in pycam to? We (the protospace fablab) could really do with a good 2.5 D gcode generator.

  • Lars

    Lars - 2011-05-27

    Hi Jelle,

    sorry for the late reply!

    Currently PyCAM uses the following conversion chain when opening an SVG file:

    SVG -inkscape-> PS -pstoedit-> DXF

    DXF is quite easy to interpret compared to SVG. Especially non-straight lines and font rendering would be quite painful, otherwise, I guess.

    To make the whole story a bit more complicated, PyCAM currently outputs only SVG - since it is very easy to generate :)

    The input DXF file is parsed and results in a set of lines. Connectable lines are combined into polygons.

    PyCAM contains the following features besides the basic "follow the line" strategy:
    * offset the toolpath towards the inside or the outside of polygons (useful for compensating the CNC cutter radius)
    * basic pocketing (works only for very simple sets of polygons)
    * multiple layers (when going through thick material)
    * keep support bridges intact (probably not useful for a laser cutter)

    Many improvements are lurking around the corner, but currently I would call this set of features just "basic" :)

    Do I understand it correctly, that you are adding another output format (GCode) to pstoedit?
    I guess, it does not support pocketing, or? This would be probably useless for a laser …

    My current main topics for PyCAM are improved geometrical algorithms (for offseting and so on). What is on the agenda of the laos laser project?

    thanks for sharing!

    PS: I was happy to find Jaap in the list of laos-laser developers - it's such a small world :)


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