jondale

Cutters that work well from Inkscape

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I am interested in one for the local makerspace but would like to make sure I get a model where everything (including sending) can be done in Inkscape.  From my understanding, as long as it has a usb serial connection and supports standard hpgl that it should work but I'm having a hard time verifying this with anyone or with internet searches.

Does anyone here only use Inkscape with their Vinyl Cutter?

What brand/model if so? 

Do the latest uscutter ones work?  I have spoken to someone who said an older version he owns does not.

 

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 Inkscape is really great at designing, which is what it was created for,  but not so much with cutting.   Any cutter purchased here comes with cutting software,  Your designs in Inkscape can be saved and imported in your cutting software.(You will want to save your files anyway).  You do not state which operating system you plan to use.  PC or Mac?    I only know of 1 person on here who cuts for a hobby with an MH vinyl cutter and Inkscape.  They do not recommend Inkscape for cutting.   We also steer buyers away from the MH vinyl cutter, too many known problems, Any vinyl cutter above it is better. 

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I'm that one person. :) As Skeeter said, I do it as a hobby and have a lowly MH cutter. I started using Inkscape for cutting because it was the only free software I could find that allowed me to add a bit of over cut. I had been using Signblazer which worked great but did not offer any overcut and the MH really needs a bit of overcut to work well.

That being said, yes, pretty much any cutter that uses HPGL and a serial port. Inkscape can send a cut file to it. It's not ideal, and not something I would try to setup for a makerspace as it's not very intuitive to someone not familiar with how cutters and Inkscape works.

Best bet is as skeeter suggested, using Inkscape, or any design program really, save the design off as an eps and import it to the cutting software that comes with the vinyl cutter. 

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Bad idea.

There are several functions within VinylMaster's cutting operation that you will prefer having access to, and would be deprived of those elements using just the "plot" extension with Inkscape.  (InkCut)

http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?/topic/54289-install-mh721-as-a-printer-to-cut-from-inkscape/&tab=comments#comment-434699

 

 

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I can sense I'm moving against the grain here a bit.  Our decision here is clearly not going to be the best for some if not most people.

The goal is to have the entire software stack as open source.  Inkscape is already in heavy use for us with laser cutting, a small silhouette cutter (has it's own inkscape extension), and other applications so it was my natural goto.  It also works on Windows, Mac, and Linux so it hits all our members. 

We were thinking something like a Roland 24" with stand.  As with the other tools we'd figure out the process and teach classes on it for those interested as well as have laptops setup and ready to go with the configuration.  I just want to make sure whatever we get will work.

slice&dice It is not evident to me what operations would be missing with the plot extension.  Can you speak to that?  We have altered extensions in the past to add functionality and make things easier.  Maybe we can add it to the extension ourselves.

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I haven't looked , but maybe your best bet would be, go to the Inkscape forum and see who is using inkscape with a vinyl cutter. Most here run a business, and we want to get our products out with the least problems possible.  Most of us old timers are using Graphtecs.  Graphtecs are great for very detailed designs. I have had mine since 2008 and never a problem.  Commands are HP-GL as well as GP-GL   Your Silhouette is made by Graphtec. 

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True cut programs such as VM have extra function like auto weed boxes, auto weed text, nice graphical representations of what is to be cut and the orientation of the cut on the plotter/vinyl, cut by color, are just a few. All this can be done by changing the design and therfore you can do it all in Inkscape, but a true cutting program can make things quite a bit easier and faster.

For a hobbiest, Inkscape works for me but I'm not running a business and have time to play with settings and break images down to cut the way I want. Sounds like for what your wanting to do Inkscape will work as well. Getting it all setup initially can take some doing to figure it out and understand what is going on, but once it's done, it's not hard to cut from Inkscape.

It took me awhile to wrap my head around how the orientation setting of the plot option was working. Once I figured that out, I made a temp. cut file with the page size set to the width of my vinyl and the "home" corner marked. Then when I do a design I copy and past it into my temp cut file so I don't have any confusion on how it's going to layout on the vinyl when cutting.

One other oddity of Inkscape, is it will NOT cut text. Text has to be converted to paths before Inkscape will "see" them and cut them.

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Thanks everyone for all your answers. 

I think design orientation and converting objects to path before sending to cnc is something we're all very familiar with and equipped to teach.

The built in plot extension doesn't seem to do weedlines but Inkcut does... slice&dice's link up above caused me to take another look at it.  I had assumed it was a dead project but it seems to have been recently redone and more fancy.  Looks like it handles weedlines and gives a preview of the operations with orientation.  It's worth looking into.

Thanks again.

 

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