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inkscape-silhouette

Build Status Run Python tests

An extension to drive a Silhoutte Cameo and similar plotter devices from within inkscape. 100% pure python, ontop of the libusb backend.

Here is the wiki with photos and a video: https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-silhouette/wiki

Suported Devices

This extension should work with the following devices:

  • Silhouette Portrait
  • Silhouette Portrait 2 (working confirmed)
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Silhouette Cameo 2
  • Silhouette Cameo 3
  • Silhouette Cameo 4
  • Silhouette Cameo 4 Pro
  • Silhouette Curio (partial success confirmed in #36)
  • Craft Robo CC200-20
  • Craft Robo CC300-20
  • Silhouette SD 1
  • Silhouette SD 2

Installation

Ubuntu 20.10 or newer (features Inkscape 1.0+ natively)

WARNING: SNAP packages may cause issues.

Install Inkscape

  • sudo apt install inkscape

Install requirements

  • sudo apt install python3-usb

Install inscape-silhouette

Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04

WARNING: SNAP packages may cause issues.

Add Inkscape 1.0+ repo

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:inkscape.dev/stable
  • sudo apt-get update

Install Inkscape

  • sudo apt install inkscape

Install requirements

  • sudo apt install python3-usb

Install inscape-silhouette

Other Debian based Linux

  • Download https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-silhouette/archive/master.zip

  • Copy the folder silhouette and the two files sendto_silhouette.inx and sendto_silhouette.py to ~/.config/inkscape/extensions/ or (if you have permissions) /usr/share/inkscape/extensions/

  • sudo apt-get install python3-usb

  • restart inkscape, check the menu entry "Extensions -> Export -> Send to Silhouette"

openSUSE

  • ~/.config/inkscape/extensions/ or
  • /usr/share/inkscape/extensions/
  • and run sudo zypper in python-usb

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S inkscape python-lxml python-pyusb
git clone https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-silhouette.git
cd inkscape-silhouette
sudo cp sendto_silhouette.* /usr/share/inkscape/extensions/
sudo cp -R silhouette /usr/share/inkscape/extensions/

Mac OS X

  • Install prerequisites:
    • install homebrew http://brew.sh/
    • brew install libusb
    • brew install python3
  • Install the extension:
    • ./install_osx.py
    • Add brew python for user extensions. For details on selecting a specific interpreter version see Inkscape Wiki - Extension Interpreters:
      • python-interpreter="/usr/local/bin/python3" on X86 platform
      • python-interpreter="/opt/homebrew/bin/python3" on ARM platform (Apple Silicon)

FreeBSD

sudo pkg install inkscape py37-libusb1
cd /tmp
wget -c "https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-silhouette/archive/master.zip"
unzip master.zip
sudo cp -r  inkscape-silhouette-master/silhouette inkscape-silhouette-master/sendto_silhouette.* /usr/local/share/inkscape/extensions
rm -rf inkscape-silhouette-master/ master.zip
cd -

Windows

Driver

  • Download newest Zadig from http://zadig.akeo.ie/
  • Go to menu options List all devices
  • Look for USB Printing Support in the dropdown list
  • Ensure USB ID is: 0B4D (Graftek America)
  • Select driver libusb-win32 (v1.2.6.0) which will install a libusb0-Port for Windows
  • Click replace driver

Python adapter

  • Inkscape usually comes with a Version of Python; ensure that feature under Program Files/Python is ticked upon installation or change/add features accordingly
  • Install pip (a package manager for python):
    • Download get-pip.py from https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py and copy to the bin directory, e.g. C:\Program Files\Inkscape\bin
    • Open command line and navigate to the same directory, then enter .\python.exe '.\get-pip.py'
  • Install pyusb:
    • Still in command line enter .\python.exe -m pip install pyusb

Silhouette inkscape extension itself

Usage

  1. Open your document with inkscape.
  2. Ensure the unit of document width and height is mm or inch, but not px. (File - Document settings - Page - Custom - Unit mm) Otherwise you may observe differences in dimensions at inkscape 0.91/0.92, because default dpi has changed from 90 to 96.
  3. Convert all objects and texts to paths (Path - Convert object to path)
  4. Select the parts you want to plot.
  5. Open Extension (Extensions - Export - Send to Silhouette)
  6. Set your desired plot parameters:
  • X-Offset, Y-Offset An additional offset of your drawing from the top left corner. Default is 0/0
  • Tool Cut/Pen Cut mode drews small circles for orientation of the blade, Pen mode draws exactly as given.
  • Media Select a predfined media or set to custom settings.
  • Speed Custom speed of the movements
  • Pressure Custom Pressure on the blade. One unit is said to be 7g force.
  1. Press Apply button to start cut.

Templates

  • Templates showing the cutting mat on a background layer can be found in examples/mat_templates
  • Copy those files into the templates subdirectory below inkscapes configuration directory
  • To identify the correct path open inkscape's preferences and selecting System. There you find the path as User templates
  • Those templates can then be selected within the dialog available through FileNew from Template...
  • Once you have created a new document from those templates you can import other *.svg-files and place the contained objects for cutting

Troubleshooting

>>> import usb.core
>>> usb.core.find()
<usb.core.Device object at 0xb720fb8c>
>>>

If this reports no usb.core.Device to you, please help troubleshoot.

python
>>> import usb.core
>>> usb.version_info[0]

This fails on win32/64 with 'module has no attribute 'version info' which then causes Graphtec.py to error even though usb.core is installed.

Using of registration marks

The plotter will search the registration marks at the given positions. If it founds the marks, they will serve as accurate reference and define the origin. Therefore it is necessary to set the correct offset values of the mark. As a result the cut will go precisely along the graphics.

To plot with registration marks do the following:

  1. Open the document which fit to your setup, e.g. examples/registration-marks-cameo-silhouette-a4-maxi.svg for Silhouette Cameo using A4 paper format.
  2. Insert your cutting paths and graphics on the apropriate layers.
  3. Printout the whole document including registration marks. You probably want to hide the cutting layer.
  4. Select your cutting paths in the document, but exclude regmarks and graphics.
  5. On the Regmarks tab:
  • Check Document has registration marks
  • Check Search for registration marks
  1. Set all following parameters according to the registration file used:
  • X mark distance (e.g. 190)
  • Y mark distance (e.g. 277)
  • Position of regmark from document left (e.g. 10)
  • Position of regmark from document top (e.g. 10)
  1. Start cut.

On some devices have an offset between the search optics and the cutting knife. For enhanced precision, you may have to set an offset on X-Offset and/or Y-Offset on the Silhouette tab to compensate.

Features

  • Path sorting for monotonic cut. We limit backwards movement to only a few millimeters, and make the knive pull only towards sharp corners so that most designs can be done without a cutting mat!
  • Coordinate system conforms to inkscape SVG.
  • Exact Margins. Can start at (0,0).
  • Pen mode used to avoid the precut movement of the knive. Those movements are visible a) at the left hand side, when starting, b) at each sharp turn.
  • Bounding Box. Can optionally plot (or calculate only) the bounding box instead of plotting all strokes. This can be used (with low pressure=1 or removed knive) to just check, where the plot would be.
  • The standalone script arrow_test.py can be used to test drive the SilhoutteCameo class.
  • Robust communication with the device. Small writes and timeouts are handled gracefully. Timeouts will occur, when we travel far with low speed.
  • Multipass: Can repeat each stroke multiple times to enhance plot or cut quality. This can also be used to attempt a cut without cutting mat, by applying very little pressure.
  • reverse toggle options, to cut the opposite direction. This might also be helpful with mat-free cutting via multipass.
  • honors hidden layers.

Misfeatures of InkCut that we do not 'feature'

  • object transforms are missing most of the time.
  • Stars, polygons, and boxes are plotted not closed, the final stroke is missing. (Must be me, no?)
  • always plots all layers, even if hidden.

TODO

  • Implement the triangle in a square test cut.

  • test MatFree cutting strategy with the WC-Wunderbach-Wimpern font, which is especially well suited as a test-case.

  • improve MatFree cutting by finding a better scan sort algorithm. Wide shadow casting towards negative y?

  • Implement paper-zip as a seperate inkscape extension.

References

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An extension to drive Silhouette vinyl cutters (e.g. Cameo, Portrait series) from within inkscape.

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