Laser cutting software tool


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OpenSCAD is a good tool for designing parts. It can export DXF files for controlling of a laser cutter. The affordable ones come with a proprietary controller board that’s a crude hack with a USB-to-parallel converter that was apparently a crude way to address the demise of parallel ports. The software is an abomination called MoshiDraw, and its DXF processing capabilities are not stellar. OpenSCAD is exporting everything as individual LINE objects, MoshiDraw rearranges the cutting order in a random-like way, and the seeking of head often takes more time than actual cutting.

So I wrote a preprocessor that converts consecutive lines to polylines, which then are cut in one smooth movement. Their order is still random-ish but now it is manageable. Also, software for assembling several DXF files to one, for cutting more parts in one pass. And software for conversion to bitmaps, with optional annotation of the coordinates of the edges or the objects’ centers. Which is handy for generation of bitmaps for engraving of the cut parts.

Here it is:

Also, another software is being written and tested, also for laser cutting; for making stencils for spray-painting QR codes. In early-ish phase of development. Later will be tweaked for not-only-QR-code bitmaps to allow for stenciling pixel art. So far there is a problem found that many of the QR-code reading apps get confused with the white grid between the pixels.

I did not decide on the code license yet. Maybe GPLv2? Any thoughts about pros and cons of it and the possible alternatives?


Laser cut bamboo drone
#2

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