How do you convert to G-code

Post Reply
rpe
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:06 am

How do you convert to G-code

Post by rpe » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:17 am

How do you convert these files to G-code? http://www.scrollsawer.com/patterns/cry ... ments.html

edwardrford
Posts: 1250
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:40 pm
Location: Dixon, IL
Contact:

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by edwardrford » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:35 am

The easiest way to do it would be convert from PDF to DXF. Best method I can think of is to use inkscape (free OS vector drawing program). Just open inkscape, open your PDF download, then save as DXF.

Open DXF in your CAM package of choice, define your toolpaths then generate the gcode.

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

rpe
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:06 am

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by rpe » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:46 am

Thanks I have been trying everything I can think of to do this but nothing has worked exactly right.

Will Winder
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:40 pm
Location: Hudson, MA
Contact:

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by Will Winder » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:35 pm

I've had much better luck with pstoedit for converting files to DXF. Unfortunately it's a little cumbersome to use since it is a command line program that requires a bunch of options.

It looks like pstoedit can somehow be included in Inkscape, but I haven't been able to figure it out.
ShapeOko #367: Dual-Y drive, Belt on outside, 1000mm Y-Axis, DW660 Spindle, Nema-23 X/Y motors.

Primary developer on Universal Gcode Sender.

rpe
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:06 am

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by rpe » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:21 am

Thanks Edward, That seems to be working.

levlandau2
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:52 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by levlandau2 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:06 pm

Thanks to rpe and edward for giving me the know-how which let me mill this. As with most new things I do, it took me a couple of tries to get this right. The BlueSaw dxf converter for Inkscape worked well, but for whatever reason CamBam was not able to import the DXF. So I opened it with HeeksCNC, re-saved it as a DXF, and then Cambam opened it successfully....

I used a 1/8" thick basswood with a 0.8mm endmill. Had to use the small endmill so I can mill out all of the small corners and features. Overall it turned out really nice, but the milling time was quite long. I used 200 mm/s feed rate, and was afraid to increase it because of the really thin in diameter endmill. Also, I had the DW660 set to max RPM, and this created a lot of fine dust during the milling, typically I try to decrease the RPM so I get bigger chips and less of a mess, but didn't want to do this with such a small endmill.

Anyway, really fun and good quality, although kinda slow to mill. I think that for small intricate shapes made out of wood, a laser-cutter would be more efficient.... Still awesome performance and quality from the shapeoko though.
Attachments
snowflake-milling.jpg
snowflake-milling.jpg (208.16 KiB) Viewed 2466 times

edwardrford
Posts: 1250
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:40 pm
Location: Dixon, IL
Contact:

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by edwardrford » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:42 pm

That looks awesome! Very impressive. Did you draw the design or download if from somewhere? what are the dimensions? Because the pictures so big I'm having a hard time getting a sense of scale.

Very Nice work.

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

rpe
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:06 am

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by rpe » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:17 am

I did the same one but mine didn't turn out as nice. I need better hold downs. Mine was slipping a little. I need better material to work with too. I was using 3/16 ply floor underlayment. I also need to use a second motor on "Y" axis. I will be putting that on this weekend.

Edward I think he got that from one of the files in my original post.
rpe wrote:How do you convert these files to G-code? http://www.scrollsawer.com/patterns/cry ... ments.html
levlandau2 How deep did you go with each pass?

levlandau2
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:52 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by levlandau2 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:21 am

@Edward, I used the design from the scrollsaw magazine that was posted in the original post. The dimensions are limited by the endmill size. The pattern in the picture above is about 150x150 mm. It was made with a 1.5mm endmill. I have now made a smaller version which is 106x106mm with a 0.8mm endmill. The limiting shape is the tree shape, which has a very narrow trunk, so the endmill has to be smaller than the trunk width.

@rpe, yes I had to experiment with various material to get this just right. The key is to use 1/8" thick piece of wood, because most small diameter endmills have a relatively short cutter and they will not be able to cut through 1/4". I tried balsa wood and basswood first but those wood were very fragile and could barely survive the cutting. I ended up using baltic birch plywood, (1/8" thickness) which turned out really nice. I think any decent hardwood which is 1/8" in thickness would be suitable. You don't want a wood that is too weak or soft because it won't be able to withstand milling, and even if it does, it will break shortly.

I have the double y-axis upgrade, so that helped a lot with the accuracy. Also, for the hold downs you can use screws to attach the wood to the spoilboard, although I used the rockler clamps and double sided tape on the back of the wood to keep it flat.

For the final 106x106mm version I used 200mm/min feed rate with 1mm per pass cut depth. Overall it took about 40 minutes. I was afraid to go faster because the 0.8mm endmill looked really fragile.

Overall, really awesome result. ShapeOko is a great tool. Now to try milling PCBs with a 0.3mm bit :-).

levlandau2
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:52 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Re: How do you convert to G-code

Post by levlandau2 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:41 pm

Ok, here is an image of the final version using the 0.8mm endmill. Fairly good example of ShapeOko's capabilities.
Attachments
CropperCapture[10].jpg
CropperCapture[10].jpg (157.75 KiB) Viewed 2351 times

Post Reply