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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 from within inkscape. 100% pure python, ontop of the libusb backend.

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

Installation

Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu 14.04

Other Debian based Linux

openSUSE:

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 (untested):

  • Download and install the free test version of winzip from http://www.winzip.com
  • Download https://github.com/jnweiger/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
  • untested: if you have a Silhouette Studio CD, install the device driver. Then your Silhouette Cameo may show up as a printer device and the extension could now work. If not, installing pywinusb might help.
  • The following tips are for a Windows-7 64-bit machine:
  • Download and install http://sourceforge.net/projects/libusb-win32/files/libusb-win32-releases/
  • x86\libusb0_x86.dll: x86 32-bit library. Must be renamed to libusb0.dll
    On 64 bit, Installs to Windows\syswow64\libusb0.dll. On 32 bit, Installs to Windows\system32\libusb0.dll.
  • X86 ONLY ARCHITECTURES:
    x86\libusb0.sys: x86 32-bit driver.
    Installs to Windows\system32\drivers\libusb0.sys
  • When you get a number of options, chose the printer option.
  • 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
  • Restart inkscape
  • 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.

Troubleshooting

python

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

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

Using of registration marks

To plot with registration marks do the following:

  1. Open the document examples/registration-marks.svg
  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. Set or ensure the correct values (regmark position/width/height) on the regmark tab.
  6. Enable 'Document has registration marks' and 'Search for registration marks'
  7. Start cut.

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. At my device there seems to be a little offset between the search optics and the cutting knife. For enhanced precision I have to set an offset of 0,1mm for both x and y on the first 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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