Interfacing With Vinyl Cutter

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Ports


The Vinyl cutter had two primary ports on it that are used to connect and send commands to the cutter

  • Serial - Transfer data on one set of pins (RX TX). Less data can be sent however higher overall throughput compared to parallel due to the ability to increase the frequency. (Higher frequency = more cycles/sec = more data transferred/sec)
    • Port = DB25
  • Parallel - Transfer data on many pins at a high rate but lower overall throughput due to frequency limitations.
    • Port = IEEE 1284 (Centronics)

Operating System


Linux

  • Linux is not the primary OS that the cutter was build to interface with however with a few open source tools we are able to successfully send commands to the machine.
  • Due to the popularity of the OS, all commands will be shown with Ubuntu in mind. Please adjust for your *nix of choice.
  • All shown commands are examples. Please substitute correct file names and paths where applicable
Software
  • Download and install the vector editing program Inkscape

apt-get install inkscape

  • Download and install Python Serial

apt-get install python-serial

  • Download the cutter plugin for Inkscape called Inkcut (can be found on sourceforge)
  • Install the cutter plugin
  • Move to the directory containing the download

cd /home/$username/Downloads/

  • Extract the files

tar -xzf $filename.tar.gz

  • Move the files to the correct folder

mv inkcut/* /home/$username/.config/inkscape/extensions

  • Set the correct permissions for the files

chown -R $username.$username /home/username/.config/inkscape/extensions

Parallel
  • Plug the provided cable from the parallel(Centronics) port on the cutter to the USB port on your computer
    • Cable layout IEE1284(Centronics) --> Parallel --> USB-A
  • Check dmesg to determine the device name

tail /var/log/dmesg

  • Device should be located under /dev/usb/lp01
  • Open the inkscape vector file you wish to cut
  • Select all the lines you want to cut
  • Open the Inkcut extension by navigating to extensions --> cutter / plotter --> InkCut
  • Select the options tab and under output uncheck send to cutter/plotter and check Write to File
  • Select where to save the file to.
  • Click Plot Paths
  • Locate the saved file
  • Send the file to the cutter

cat inkcut.hpgl > /dev/usb/lp0

Serial

Windows


You should totally find a windows machine and add something in here! This cutter was made for windows so I am sure it will be much better!