Basic workflow 2D
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Basic 2D Workflow via Fully Open Source CAD/CAM Stack
Create part file with Inkscape
- Open Inkscape
- Create Text with text tool (scale your text to the size you want)
- Select your text (with the arrow) and move it to X=0, Y=0 via the menu bar (shown in red rectangle -> )
- With the text selected, click Path -> Object to Path
- Ungroup your new paths, click Object -> Ungroup (you'll notice each letter now has a box around it)
- Save your file as DXF via the Big Blue Saw Plugin (*.DXF), close inkscape
Create toolpaths with HeeksCNC
- Click File-> Import, browse and open the DXF file created in step 6
- You may have to rescale your drawing.To rescale your drawing select it and then left mouse click drag on the double circle in the top right. I find it easiest to make the ruler visible as a reference, the ruler is available in cm by default, but can be changed to other units in that menu.
- On the left hand toolbar, Right click "ENTITIES Layer_1" and select "Split Sketch", this will create a separate object for each of your letters.
- Select all of the letters
- With the letters highlighted, click the "Profile Operation" button or under the "Machining" menu select "Add New Milling Operation" then "Profile Operation", this will produce a new operation called "Profile" under the Operations section on the left hand side of the screen. Highlight the new operation to expose it's properties.
- To do an engrave function (what we would want if drawing with a pen), select the value on for the tool on side option. Click the green check mark at the bottom to apply the settings. Change the final depth to -0.1 (you may have to adjust this depending on what marking device you're using)
- To generate the tool-path, click G0. Your tool-paths will turn green
- At the bottom of your screen you will see the actual g-code output. You can copy and paste that to a text file. OR, click Machining -> Save nc File.
Simulate toolpaths with OpenSCAM
- Click File-> Open
- Find the NC file you saved from HeeksCNC
- OpenSCAM will process the file, resulting in what the part will look like *finished*
- There is a slider bar in the middle of the left hand window, slide that all the way to the left. Toggle the direction arrow to the right
- Click Edit -> Project
- Add a new tool: Click +, define tool at 10mm length 0.5mm diameter. Make note of the tool number!
- Open your NC file and find out what tool it's expecting to find. Towards the top you'll see the T command. Maybe T16?
- In the NC file, change the T# to match the tool you just created in OpenSCAM. Save your NC file. You will notice OpenSCAM re-rendering the toolpaths to accomdate the change in cutter size.
- Switching back over to OpenSCAM: Click the 'Play Button' under the 'Animate Toolpath' Section.
- Watch in amazement!
- If you are impatient, click the fast forward button, directly to the right of the 'Play button' to speed things up.
Run your job with the Communication / Control program of your choice
- Check the machine (all bolts and set screws tight, belts tight and in good shape, everything clear and safe)
- Secure the workpiece to the worksurface using a technique appropriate to the material (see Workholding
- Mount an appropriate spindle and endmill
- Home the tool to the proper place in relation to the workpiece
- Ensure the work area is clear and all cables and wires run w/o interference
- Browse for the NC file we just simulated
- Send it to the machine
- Monitor the machine, keeping clear of the work area