26 Dec

Inkscape and Plotters, the 2nd

WINDOWS users please note:
Under Windows the described installation method of Pyserial does not work at the moment due to an update of Pyserial.

Please download pyserial-2.7.tar.gz instead of the file described in Inkscape and follow the rest of the instructions as usual.

After my last post about integrating plotter functionality into Inkscape quite a lot of time has passed, so here is an update:

  • Development is finished!
  • The plotter functionality was separated from the HPGL export, it is now an extension
  • The HPGL export still exists and has the same functionality as the extension
  • A HPGL import was added
  • The following command languages are now supported: HPGL, DMPL and KNK Zing (HPGL variant)
  • The interface has changed to a tabbed one, it is much more lucid now
  • New features: Flow control settings, debug information, precut functionality, pen force + speed settings
  • The “In-Program” documentation is much better, all texts are rewritten and new info texts were added

I wanted to wrap up things nicely, which i think is a success.

See for your self:

The new plotter menu item in the extensions menuThe new plotter menu item in the extensions menu

The connection settings tabThe connection settings tab

The plotter settings tabThe plotter settings tab

The plot features tabThe plot features tab

To use the extension just download Inkscape.

Ideas for new features / needed changes (Thanks for the suggestions added by users!):

  • Add support for a very small fraction of plotters (I think less than 1%) not working with standard serial settings (8bits, 1stopbit) – Done, will be available with Inkscape 0.92
  • Scale Overcut and Tool offset correction separate for each axis, atm it is done by a common scale factor. some thought has to be put into this.
  • Change the cutting order from smallest to biggest parts to avoid stripped off parts of small text characters. This could impact CPU performance.
  • Add support for multiple pens for old pen plotters on export (The import already can import multiple pens correctly). Since Inkscape has no support for setting such options to a path a “creative” solution has to be found. – Done, will be available with Inkscape 0.92
  • Maybe add text fields to enable the user to add commands at multiple places in the data stream without changing any code. Is this really useful? – After careful consideration this will not be done.
  • Preview functionality. The extension is prepared for it, but it needs support from the Inkscape side (C/C++) i cannot provide. Help from a C++ programmer would be greatly appreciated!
  • “Test”-plotting a document either via selecting pen 0 or by only using PU commands. Do people really need this? – This can be achieved by selecting pen 0 in the settings already.
  • Maybe add support for G-Code controlled DIY Plotters (GRBL controller). This may be out of scope of this extension. – Please use the existing Gcodetools extension for this. It would be out of scope of this extension anyway.
  • Make use of a measurement feature of Roland plotters to determine if the used workpiece is big enough for the plot before starting the plot. Since i don’t have a Roland plotter i need someone to test my code.

Have fun and be productive!

P.s.: I am always eager to see that the extension is put to good use, so if you want to share pictures of your finished product send them to sebi{ät}timewaster.de and i will add them here:

From Thomas Seifert:
tibet-car-sticker

106 thoughts on “Inkscape and Plotters, the 2nd

  1. Hi Benoit,

    the order of the plot is following the order the elements in the internal svg structure of your saved document.

    i don’t know if this order can be easily influenced, but you could try to create a new layer, copy the things to print first into it (strg+x, then strg+alt+v), then create another new layer and copy the things to be printed next into it, and so on. this should create a document structure where the order of elements is defined by you (but it could be that the order is then upside down, you have to try it out).

    i hope i could help you,
    TimeWaster

  2. When sending data to a Summa cutter it seems to me that every set of coordinates is send with a pen up and pen down command.
    This results in a very slow perforated kind of cut. Is there a known way to fix this.
    Best regards
    Michael J

  3. Hi Michael,

    your Summa Cutter most likely has a built in “Knife offset correction”.
    Please try to disable the knife(tool) offset correction in Inkscape (Set “Tool offset” to 0 in the “Plot Features” tab) and then report back to me if that fixed it.

    Regards,
    TimeWaster

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