Gcode tools

Gcode tools DEFAULT

Inkscape for GCODE generation - quick instructions to get started

  1. Open Inkscape.
  2. Open svg file or new file
  3. Click Extensions on the menu and see if the gcodetools menu item is included. I read that it was included in inkscape as of version 0.90 or 0.91. I’m using 0.92.4.
  1. Set document to mm and size of cutout in mm (12’ =~ 300 mm)

File->document properties

  1. Create your cutout shape
    after some editing, I have my shape as an outline only with the thickness of the line the same size as my cutting bit so I can see what it will look like.
    if text, change fill to none, set stroke paint to black and stroke style to 3 mm or 4 mm (3.175 mm if you want to be precise) for 1/8" bit or 6 mm or 7 mm (6.35 mm) for 1/4" bit. This only matters because it helps you see the cuts that will overlap and where to put in tabs later.
    Move the letters together so they overlap, convert object to path, cut path, then ungroup and then union it so it removes the extra lines.
  2. Create a second layer, rename it “tabs.” Move it below the first layer as a matter of convention. I’m not sure if it matters what order it is in, but it works this way. In the layer viewer on the right, you can select which layer is visible by clicking on the eye. If the eye is black this is viewable, if greyed, then it is hidden. Don’t mess with the lock or you won’t be able to edit or select anything in that layer.
  3. Create a copy of your drawing and select the other layer and paste it. With both layers visible, you should not be able to tell them apart, but you can toggle which one you see hiding or viewing it in the layer viewer. If you paste it in and it isn’t lined up, you can move it and it will snap to the other layer.

after pasting, they may not line up, so move it if you need to.

  1. GCODE setup:
    A. Create a tool for each layer: select each layer and do this step for each layer. I find it easiest to hide all layers, select the layer I want to set up, unhide it and then proceed. When finished, hide it, unhide the other and do it again.

Extensions->gcodetools->Tools library

select your cutting bit (cylinder or cone both work depending on the bit you are using) click apply. You will see a dialog box pop up while it works and then you can close the box. A new green box will be visible and associated with the layer you have selected. The second layer you do will have a blue box.
-Within that green box change the settings for your cut:

-You need to edit the numbers. Do this by double clicking on them and then when you get the text curson you can edit them. If your attempts to edit add numbers over the top, then undo and retry. or just click on the text and then click on the text tool bar on the left or the right side of the page.
-change diameter to 6.35 if you are using a 1/4" bit or 3.175 if you are using a 1/8th inch bit.
-Set your feed rate based on your material in mm/min (between 300 and 800). You can cut at 750, but it may not be good quality and your tool will dull faster if it gets hot.
-Penetration angle is always 90 for maslow because the router on the sled is flat on the work surface.
-Penetration feed is 800.
-Depth step is the depth your tool will cut in 1 pass in mm. You can do 3 mm step pretty easily. I’ve had success with 4 mm. I’ve done as much as 5 mm, but there is a proportional speed drop that must accompany it to keep the bit cool so you don’t overheat (Based on what I’ve read and the quality of cuts that resulted when I tried - your mileage may vary - I’d love to have more info on what settings to use to be efficient and high quality).
-Leave tool change as none.
B. Set up origin points with the same layer selected
Extensions->gcodetools->orientation points

orientation points tell your maslow where to cut with respect to home. Wherever you place the first orientation point on the left, that will be home. The second set of numbers represents your workpiece total cut depth that maslow will cut to in x passes of step depth defined in the colored box previously made. I’m doing 3/4" ply, so the total depth will be 19.1 mm. I prefer a -4 mm cut depth, so -4, -8, -12, -16 will be the cuts made on the “cut” layer. and the last layer will be the tabs. I want to cut to the left of the center home, so I moved my orientation points to the right. Always move the two points as a pair and do not change them with respect to each other. You can edit the right number if your material thickness changes.
  1. Edit the tabs.
    -You need to first Hide the cut layer, make the tabs layer visible. Your green box and orientation points should disappear when you hide the cut layer.
  • select your cutout, then choose the node tool (second one down below the select arrow.
    -NOTE ON TABS: you will want to put a tab in on any completely cut out part. such as the center of the O, the piece between the M and E, and the little pieces between the O-H and O-M and of course the larger cutout and the sheet you are cutting from. I don’t have a good feel yet for how large the tabs should be. These ones will be 3 mm thick because the last cut will be from 16-19 mm and we are simply going to cut part of the design so it doesn’t get cut. We will start with the little one between H and O and I’m going to try to make it about 5 mm.

to cut the tabs, zoom in and select the cutout where you want to insert, select the two nodes where you want to remove the segment, and click the break node button above on the toolbar. If the nodes are spaced too far apart, double click to add a new node where you want to make your tab. If you are on a curve you might need to break the path first and then delete the segment.

Do this at all places you want to create tabs. I’m interested in learning the rules of thumb for tab placement. This could likely be automated with a script in inkscape if desired, but I’m not the one to do it. This is what I came up with:
  1. keeping the tab layer visible, add a tool and orientation points as in step 6
    Should look like this.

    the Orientation point start depth will be -16 because that is where the last layer cut stopped and where this will begin, so the tabs will be 4 mm thick and 5 mm wide.
    with both layers visible, it will look like this with the orientation points on top of each other
  2. Make a header file in folder where you will save the gcode (only need to do this once)
    text file name is “header”
    I have these lines in my file:

G90 (absolute)
G90 (absolute positioning)
G21 (All units in mm)

  1. Generate Gcode:
    -First make both layers visible and select everything.

Extensions -> gcodetools ->path to gcode
-click on preferences:

Enter the file name
enter the file path (only need to do this the first time as all these values are persistent)
Enter the height your Z axis is safe to move over a blank (I use 5 mm)
units are in mm.

-click on path to gcode tab

depth function is d, cutting order is path by path (cuts entire job at each depth), if you do path by path, it cuts each path segment layer by layer, so it will cut part of the H 4 times and then move to the next piece completing all of the cut layer then go back and do the tab layer.
-If the preferences tab is selected, it will not generate gcode, so make sure the path to gcode tab is selected then click “apply”
an error will pop up, always does.
click ok then you will see this if it is working:
It will take a while depending on how complicated the cut is and how many segments there are.
when the working dialog closes, it is finished and you can close the path to gcode window and go upload the gcode file.

That’s it. If no gcode is generated, then there is a problem. Double check your numbers and try again.
Good luck!

EDIT: One last point of frustration. between each segment, the generated gcode raises and lowers the z axis. I started taking those out and it really speeds things up because the stock z axis is super slow, but only take them out if the location before and after the segment change is the same.


Sours: https://forums.maslowcnc.com/t/inkscape-for-gcode-generation-quick-instructions-to-get-started/12049

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31 programs for "inkscape/gcode tools"

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Sours: https://sourceforge.net/directory/?q=inkscape/gcode%20tools
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An Intro to G-code and How to Generate It Using Inkscape

In last week’s post we discussed how to create vector graphics from bitmaps in Inkscape. The third suggestion on why to do such a thing involved creating toolpaths for machines. As a natural continuation from last week, we’re now going to talk about such toolpaths, called G-code, and how to generate those in Inkscape.

What is G-code?

G-code is the most widely used programming language for controlling industrial machines such as mills, lathes and cutters as well as 3D-printers. G-code has many dialects or variants, but most (or all) adhere to certain common rules.

A CNC mill interpreting G-code

A CNC mill interpreting G-code in real-time

Structure and Commands

Each new line (called block) in the G-code can be roughly regarded as a new command. Everywhere you look in the code you will mostly see letters with numbers behind them. These letters corresponds to different types of commands. The most important ones are arguably G (used in most movement commands), M (miscellaneous commands), X, Y and Z (the last three are used to define positions in the X,Y,Z space, absolute or incremental). A complete list of all of the letters with explanations can be found here. A list of the different G and M-codes can be found here and here.


A trivial example of a couple of blocks:

G90 G21 G00 X1.1 Y1.1 Z1.1 G01 Z-1.0 F100 G01 X2.2 Y3.3 Z-1.0 F500

The first block does two things and is kind of a very simple setup block. G90 is the command that defines all coordinates as absolute with an origin as a reference. G21 defines all numerical values as millimeters.

The second block makes the machine run rapidly to position (1.1,1.1,1.1) in the XYZ space from its current position. How fast this movement is done is defined in hardware.

The third block moves the machine in the Z-axis to -1 with a rate of 100 mm/min.

The last block moves the machine in a straight line to position (2.2,3.3) in the XY plane with a rate of 500 mm/min.

A snippet from a G-code file

A snippet from an actual G-code file

Generating G-code in Inkscape

Writing G-code manually for more than a simple square would be practically suicide, so luckily we have programs which do this for us.

Important Considerations!

When generating G-code this way it’s important to know what kind of machine you’re generating G-code for and how it interprets the code. Using Inkscape to generate G-code is NOT recommended when operating CNC mills, lathes, cutters or anything of that sort. For that it’s too dangerous! For those kind of machines you should use more professional software, such as anything from Vectric. However, if you’ve made a machine on your own which need some kind of motion, such as a drawing machine or a laser engraver, generating G-code in Inkscape is both quick and easy.


You’ll need an extension (that’s what they call plugins in Inkscape) to be able generate G-code in Inkscape, and the only one that we’re aware of which is capable of doing so is Gcodetools (yes, this forum thread is the closest you’ll get an official page). It is far from perfect and poorly documented, but it does the job.

Gcodetools' main features according to the developer(s)

Gcodetools’ main features according to the developer

Step-by-step Tutorial (by example)

In this example we will generate a toolpath for our laser engraver to engrave a drawing of a dinosaur. The way the laser engraver interprets the G-code is that it turns on the laser when the virtual Z-axis has a negative value and off when it’s zero or positive.


Edit February 2018:
First we follow the guidelines on Gcodetools’ page to install the extension. The gcodetools extension is now included in Inkscape’s default extension library. A dev version is also available from githubif that’s what you prefer.

Since the drawing of the dinosaur is a regular bitmap image we need to trace the bitmap. Read this post to learn how to do this.

The object needs to be in an own layer(click the link to see how to use layers). Just cut-paste it into a new one to be sure.

We want to have control of how large the result will be in real life. Therefore we scale the object such that it is as large as we want it in millimeters (click the padlock icon or hold ctrl down and drag a corner to lock proportions). In this example we want it to be maximum 100 mm in either axis. Also, we position the object where we want it. We want it to be at least 10 mm away from the X and Y axes.

Scaling and positioning our dinosaur

Scaling and positioning our dinosaur

If we select the object, we can see at the bottom of the Inkscape window how many nodes that exist along the path. We have a rule of thumb that it should stay below 3000 (or 10000 with only straight lines) so that the G-code generation won’t freeze up on us or take too long. If you have too many nodes, simplify the object by pressing ctrl+L as many times as necessary until the node count is low enough. Our dino is at 528 nodes, so we don’t have to simplify.

The Tools Library and the Green Thing

We need to choose a tool for the job, whether it’s our actual tool or just a virtual one. If we click the Extensions menu, and under Gcodetools we click Toolslibrary…, we get to the window with the same name. In all our appliances for this type of G-code generation (laser engraver and plotter) we have used the cylinder option.

When pressing apply, an obnoxious green thing pops up in our drawing. We close the previous window and move the green thing away from obstructing our dino. This green square is part of the image and at the same time used to set up the G-code generation (weird, right!?).

To change the parameters, we select the text tool and click on the numbers. Let’s set the tool diameter to 1 (doesn’t have too much to say, but it’s best to not have it too big), the feed rate to 200 mm/min (in our case, this decides how strong the engraving will get) and the penetration feed to 10000 (just an arbitrary high number to quickly turn on and off the laser). We’ll leave the rest as it is.

Dino is not happy at the green thing invading his space.

Dino is not happy about the green thing invading his space.

Orientation points

These are a bit cryptic, but we do need them. Select Orientation points… from the Gcodetools menu.

In the window that pops up we select the top option, set the Z surface to 0, the Z depth to -0.1 (we just want it to barely go below zero to turn on the laser quickly) and the Units as mm. Then we click apply and close the window. It is best to leave those arrows with the numbers in parenthesis that pop up where they are and don’t mess around with them.

The mysterious orientation points

The mysterious orientation points

Path to Gcode

Now we are ready for the magic. In the Gcodetools menu we select Path to Gcode….There are four tabs in the window that pops up.

We start in the Preferences tab. We name the file dino.ngc and places it in a convenient directory (e.g. C:\Users\Mads\Desktop). We set a low safe height such as 0.1 since we’re not actually moving along the Z-axis at all. Units: mm and Post-processor: None. The rest is blank.

Under Options we leave everything as they are by default.

In the Path to Gcode tab we make sure Subpath by subpath is selected and that Sort paths to reduse (yeah, we know) rapid distance is checked. The rest is as it is by default. Make sure that only the object you want to generate G-code of is selected (in our case: the dinosaur) and make also sure that you have the Path to Gcode tab selected before pressing apply (you will, believe it or not, get an error message if you have a different tab selected).

If we don’t encounter any errors, our dino will look like this after the generation process is done:

The G-code generation is done! Notice the arrows along the dino.

The G-code generation is done! Notice the arrows along the dinosaur.

Visualize the G-code

To confirm that the newly generated G-code will result in something that looks remotely like our dino, we need something to visualize the G-code. There are probably many programs out there which can do this, but we like to use OpenSCAM. Here we can see how long it takes to perform the whole job as well as see how the machine will travel along the path in real or accelerated time.

Screenshot from the OpenSCAM simulation

Screenshot from the OpenSCAM simulation

If you want to have a look at the G-code file, it’s available here.


February 3rd 2018 – Updated with how you acquire the extension (it is now included in Inkscape by default).

Sours: https://www.norwegiancreations.com/2015/08/an-intro-to-g-code-and-how-to-generate-it-using-inkscape/
Gcodetools Tutorial 3 Filling inside area one object

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Tools gcode

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Tutorial Inkscape + gcodetools

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