Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

edwardrford
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Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by edwardrford » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:50 pm

Hi All,

I've been a little quiet on the forum the last week or so. But, I haven't stepped away from the project or anything. Instead, I've been working on what I hope to be a very sustainable open source software 'stack'. (By working on, I mean learning not developing...)

As of now I've had a lot of success with the following Stack:
1.) CAD: For basic parts, I've been really enjoying Inkscape*. I've also started using FreeCAD, it's parametric and it's fantastic, but the learning curve is steep if you are new to CAD programs.
2.) CAM: Here's the stickler right? To this point we've been pretty unsuccesfull in really nailing down a CAM package that works and is cross platform. We may have found a solution in HeeksCNC.
3.) Simulation: OpenSCAM.
4.) Sending: I'm still using the old gcode sender, but one ofthese days I'll start using Will's Universal Gcode sender because I really like that he's involved in the community and from what I can tell it looks to be pretty solid and robust.

This is pretty rough around the edges, but I think most of that is due to a lack of documentation at this time. From what I can see, the software is solid, we just need to both learn how to use it efficiently and share what we've learned with the rest of the community. I've started a wiki page that has a rough outline on how to get started.

What I'm hoping for is people to jump in and take the lead on one of the sections. For right now, I'm going to focus my efforts on the heeksCNC part of the page. I've watched a couple of tutorials on youtube and am starting to feel like I'm getting the hang of it.

So.. any volunteers?

-Edward

*blog post on using inkscape to export DXF files
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 3 #2 - Stock

bobt
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:08 pm

Re: Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by bobt » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:21 pm

Edward - Thank you for the start on this. Where is the link on the left hand side of the wiki? Just thought I would ask. I am willing to help but just like you I need to learn how to use the software.

Bob Teeter
"What Box???" ShapeOko #397

edwardrford
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Re: Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by edwardrford » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:27 pm

Hi bob, thanks for the reply!

I put the link under Assembly Step #17: What now?

Think it should be somewhere else?

-Edward
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 3 #2 - Stock

bobt
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:08 pm

Re: Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by bobt » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:50 pm

How about Assembly Step #17 - Basic Workflow

Bob Teeter
"What Box???" ShapeOko #397

edwardrford
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Re: Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by edwardrford » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:18 pm

Good thinking.

I actually revamped the assembly step layout to exclude the word 'Step' and instead replaced it with just the number. Our new section is now '17 - Basic Workflow'. I've moved and renamed 'Now what?' down to step 18 'more' as that seemed like a logical way to end the sequence. Although, maybe that link should be at the bottom of the basic workflow page?

-Edward
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 3 #2 - Stock

bobt
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:08 pm

Re: Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by bobt » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:55 pm

Great - I also have a suggestion that after some basic items on each tool we do one master example. So for an example. We attach an 3/4" piece of MDF as a base and clamping attachment. Just a set of operations from beginning to end such that when we are done we have slots in the base board that the T-bolts can be put in and used to clamp work to the surface. How does that sound? Also we need to include the operation of flatten the surface such that the base is exactly flat in relation to the Z axis.

Bob Teeter
"What Box???" ShapeOko #397

edwardrford
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Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by edwardrford » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:40 am

Bob,

Those are fantastic ideas. I can see those becoming the next step in the process or maybe a parallel step, as both (basic workflow and what you are talking about) are worthless without the other.

Should we start another page? Reorder the existing steps? Put a link at the top of the basic workflow page? Or something entirely different?

-Edward

Sent from my BlackBerry 9930 using Tapatalk
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 3 #2 - Stock

bobt
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:08 pm

Re: Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by bobt » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:59 am

Edward - I think that we need to build an outline of the basic steps that need to be done as if we did it by hand. That way we will have a basis that most people can follow. We then do it again using each tool to develop it's part of the process so that when a person goes thru the document there is a one to one correspondence between the hand built and cnc process.

Hand process.
1. get a 18 inch by 18 inch by 3/4 inch mdf base board. Or use a 24" by 24" by 3/4" board obtained at any home center. (no cutting)
2. attach the ShapeOko to the board with angles and screws (be sure that the unit is square when attaching it to the board - the hard part)
3. insert a large surface milling bit that will cut the surface of the board when it touches.
4. move the z-axis down till it just touches the surface
5. move the unit around without any power to see if there are high spots on the wood or any low spots. If there are low spots this will be the height to cut to so that we have a uniform flat surface.
6. power up the cutting unit and manually move it around slowly to flatten the surface. By manually moving the unit we can mill the surface for the full range of the tool.
7. after leveling the surface we then need to install a smaller cutter that can make grooves in the surface at some standardized distance and cut slots for the 1st step in creating the hold down slots.
8. after cutting the slot we need to create the bolt access holes so that the bolt can be inserted and removed from the slot. This should be larger than the t portion of the t-slot cutters widith.
9 replace the groove cutter with the slot cutter and insert the cutter into the hole and slowly move the cutter down the slot to create the area for the flange on the bolt. At the other end remove the slot cutter and go to the next slot.
10. ta-da we now have an hold down and alignment control area for milling other items.

By the way this will NOT be a fast process done this way. :lol:

Now with that out of the way. We should use a computer and a whole lot of software that costs a billion dollars and WAIT........ What do you mean that we spent all the budget on the hardware and now we need Edward to show us how to use OpenSource Software and so it ....right...... OK I wait with baited breath. I just had a fish sandwich. :lol: :lol:


Bob Teeter
Last edited by bobt on Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"What Box???" ShapeOko #397

dointhangs
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Re: Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by dointhangs » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:47 pm

Edward quick question do you export inkscape files as svg or dxf or are both doing fine in meekscnc as far as you know? Unless I am missing something Sketchup seems painful in terms of dealing with text shape output using phlatscript... Yes I exploded the letters but then I have to click on each individual face one at a time which was a struggle as the faces arent always easily recognized by the phlatscript cutting tool... right? So inkscape will be an advantage there I hope and am learning about creating paths!
Shapeoko #298, dual drive upgrade, acme z axis, open bed endplates and a slightly larger ("expanded desktop") work area!

dointhangs
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:31 pm

Re: Basic Open Source Workflow Instructions!

Post by dointhangs » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:27 am

Alright I imported a capital S into heeks from inkscape using the big blue saw plugin. Thats a nice shape as there is no inside profile to worry about but it will show off some nice curves? I made a sketch from the face I made which shows up in the objects box on the left. The sketch absolutely has a bunch of lines which go around the S shape, each line holds a couple of points. I select the sketch and hit the machining -> add new milling operation -> profile operation. Then some properties stuff shows up, yes outside is selected, most of the properties options look good. Yes a profile shows up right under operations in the objects (but the little box next to it is blank, not checked). Is there some other step though that is missing from the wiki, some other button press, as when I hit the post process button I am only getting a little snippet of gcode, some machine code and then a g17 g90 g21 line... who has got this to work?
Shapeoko #298, dual drive upgrade, acme z axis, open bed endplates and a slightly larger ("expanded desktop") work area!

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