Free as in beer

Help for setting up and using
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:16 pm

Free as in beer

Post by kopcicle » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:00 pm

James, first , Thank You.

The process:

What I don't know about Gimp and Inkscape ...
Well I managed to educate myself far enough that I can now manipulate pixels without hurting myself in Gimp.
I also managed (mangled) a .bmp into inkscape and extracted a .svg without creating the next great computer virus.
I then passed the .svg to This was originally a "trial by scale" moment. Once I got a gcode file to produce a tool path larger than a postage stamp.
LinuxCNC is used for a moving, graphical, validation of my frustration, erm code.
Would that I could use LinuxCNC to drive my router but due to a short sighted purchase I don't have a parallel port card.
I got the SainSmart 3018 Pro (pro what by the way?) with Mach- USB. Offered free was the DrufelCNC. Drufel actually runs my code flawlessly save for some missing conveniences like a true "pause" and "start from next line" .
Then on to Autoleveller. I do so want to be done with M$ everything. Eventually I'm hoping to get the right card (for me anyway) and drive via parallel port and LinuxCNC. Did I mention M$ sucks?
Mach just didn't have enough code lines without submitting to paying $$
So here I am on a debian based machine (Mint if not debian) beating my head against Java exceptions and error messages. More on that soon.
I did install and run ~AE.exe on a W7 box and generated a mesh that I sent to Drufel.
Immediately I noticed the scale was GARGANTUAN . No matter I've dealt with that demon before. I decided to run it anyway. The tool touched off once and stair stepped up and off the working area to the limit switches. Curious to say the least.
This next is from memory because I sit here (getting paid mind you) waiting for process (watching grass grow, paint dry, fingernails grow...) without my workstation, unable to remote (draconian firewalls) using company time to what little advantage.

The code resulting from the mesh seems clear enough on the surface however the tool path does not correspond to the work surface in any real sense. I'm guessing that I have to find how my controller handles the touch-off, retract, touch-off slower for accuracy, retract, move to next....
I saw an options/configuration dialogue box that I suppose I need to understand further.
I wish I had easy cmd_line access to Drufel but I can do some testing in LinuxCNC.

I'm just creating a framework of my many (self inflicted I'm sure) issues at the moment.
Scaling, G-code handling and possible firmware quirks, brain dead moments, and no small of self deprecating humour are sure to follow.

As soon as I'm able I'll try to find the code samples and miss-behaviour of the controller and attach it to the thread.

For now, hello, thanks in advance, and if it made no sense whatsoever I hope it made someone smile at least once.


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