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An extension to drive a Silhoutte Cameo from within inkscape.
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README.md

inkscape-silhouette

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 Curio (partial success confirmed in #36)
  • Craft Robo CC200-20
  • Craft Robo CC300-20
  • Silhouette SD 1
  • Silhouette SD 2

Installation

Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu 14.04

Other Debian based Linux

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

  • Copy the 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 python-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 python2 python2-lxml python2-pyusb
git clone https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-silhouette.git
cd inkscape-silhouette
sudo python2 setup.py build && sudo python2 setup.py install
sudo cp sendto_silhouette.* /usr/share/inkscape/extensions/
sudo cp -R silhouette /usr/share/inkscape/extensions/

Mac OS X

  • Install prerequisites:
  • Install the extension:
    • sudo ./install_osx.py

Windows

Requirements

  • Download http://zadig.akeo.ie/downloads/zadig-2.3.exe
  • Go to menu options List all devices
  • Look for USB Printing Support in the dropdown list
  • Use manufacturer ID: 10B4D Graftek America`
  • Select driver libusb0 (v1.2.6.0)
  • Click install driver
  • If you don't have python installed, then install the latest stable version.
  • Download and unpack http://sourceforge.net/projects/pyusb/
  • cd ..\pyusb-1.0.0b1; python.exe setup.py install
  • An error message ImportError: No module named usb.core means you are close, but pyusb was not correctly installed. Please check, if there are multiple python installations in your system, e.g. one that came with inkscape.
  • Find the path to the python.exe in the inkscape directory, e.g. on a Windows 7 (64 bits) it may be C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\python\python.exe
  • Change directory to the pyusb one and run it again.

Silhouette inkscape extension itself

  • Download and install 7zip from https://www.7-zip.org/download.html
  • Download https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-silhouette/archive/master.zip
  • Navigate to your Downloads folder and double-click on inkscape-silhouette-master.zip
  • Click open the inkscape-silhouette-master folder.
  • Select the following three items (with Ctrl-Click): silhouette, sendto_silhouette.inx, and sendto_silhouette.py
  • Extract to My Computer: C:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions or C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\extensions if first does not exists.
  • Restart inkscape

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 addtitional 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.

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.

  • Find out, if inkscape could keep the current selection, after running an extension. It is not nice, that the selection gets deselected, and I have to close and reopen the extension dialogue to re-activate a selection. Idea: Maybe add an option to auto-remember old selections, if it is still the same document and there is no new selection.

  • 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

There is very little documentation about extensions. If so, its often historic.

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