Inkscape for Cutting Design

Help and Support => Help Using Inkscape => Topic started by: pr8head on November 11, 2016, 04:13:33 PM

Title: Plot times out before plotter is done?
Post by: pr8head on November 11, 2016, 04:13:33 PM

   I'm new to using Inkscape but it's been fun learning how to use it. It seems almost limitless to what you can do with it. I've been trying to cut vinyl on my plotter but it just doesn't seem to work right. I have a copy of SignBlazer that came with the plotter but it doesn't work at all. I have Windows 7 Pro and a Copam CP-2500 plotter. When I send the artwork through extentions\export\plot it takes right off cutting but then when the plot working tab disappears it stops cutting. If I hit apply again it will take back off but slower everytime. I've beat my head on the wall all day checking port settings, cables, grounds, everything I can think of.  :???:

Title: Re: Plot times out before plotter is done?
Post by: brynn on November 13, 2016, 03:11:27 AM
Welcome Tim!

I probably can't be much help with this.  While I look after the forum, I don't actually have any kind of cutter/plotter myself.  But I do know Inkscape pretty well, and I always love a good mystery!

I have a couple of questions about the part where you say it goes slower everytime it restarts.  Does it start back over at the beginning, or does it start where it left off before?  Have you tried some different drawings/files?  Or have you only been experimenting with 1 file?

OH!!  If it's picking up from where it stopped, I might actually know what's going wrong.  When you said the tab disappears at the same time it stops cutting, I thought, well, for some reason, it thinks it's finished, and it just stops.

Depending on how you created the path for it to cut on, the path might not be one single solid path.  It could look like it is, yet still be made of, well, hundreds of individual paths, in some cases.  So you'll need to examine the path more closely than perhaps you have yet.

Click on the object with the Selection tool  :sel: .  Does it select the whole thing that you want to cut?  If not, you'll need to select everything that you want to cut (hold the Shift key to select more than one object, or drag a selection box around everything) and do Path menu > Combine.  Try cutting again, to see if it's fixed. 

If it's not fixed, or if it does select the whole thing, try Path menu > Break Apart.  Is it still one single object, or are there several different objects/paths now?  You can  use the status bar to confirm, because sometimes it's hard to see on the canvas.  The status bar is the bottom part of the window, in the middle.  If it turned into several different objects (or maybe even many) you probably need to Join the end nodes.

To join the end nodes, it's fairly easy if the object is a closed path (well, supposed to be, but isn't) -- which I assume it is, since you're using a vinyl cutter.  Undo the last step where you broke the path apart.  Leave it selected, and switch to the  Node tool  :node:.   (Now you'll see the nodes.  If you want to learn a little more, try grabbing some nodes with the Node tool and move them around.  Otherwise, continue on....) Press Ctrl key and A key at the same time (selects all the nodes).  Then on the Node tool control bar, click the button "Join selected endnodes". 

However, also depending on how the drawing was made, joining the nodes all at once might cause the path to be slightly deformed.  If it does, you'll need to do them one at a time.  We've seen some cases where a path which looks like a single path is actually made of hundred of tiny segments.  If that's the case, we'll need to examine how the path was created, and hope there's another, and better way to do it.  But hopefully you won't have this problem.

Or if you'd like to attach the SVG file (or upload somewhere else, and give us the link) we can check it out for you.  We could probably fix it too.  But you might as well learn how yourself, if you'll be doing more of this in the future.

However, if this doesn't seem to be the problem, let us know, and we'll keep working to find the problem.
Title: Re: Plot times out before plotter is done?
Post by: pr8head on November 13, 2016, 07:44:02 PM

   Thanks for the welcome and reply. I just found your reply and I'm to brain dead tonight to look at it but I will tomorrow. I don't like it when inanimate objects kick my butt. I did get SignBlazer working again but Inkscape is SO MUCH a better program. SignBlazer is mostly just a send it to the plotter program. It was new when Windows 98 was so it is a bit dated. Inkscape from my point of view is like a well you dropped a penny in and never heard it hit bottom.

Title: Re: Plot times out before plotter is done?
Post by: brynn on November 16, 2016, 09:56:49 AM
Sorry for the delay getting your 2nd message up.  I've been a bit "under the weather".  (From now, your messages will come through immediately.)

Yeah, I know what you mean about Inkscape.  Even after I felt like I could edit paths, and do just about anything with that very most basic vector feature, I kept on discovering more and more features that are just awesome!  And as well, there are awesome features that I'll never use, because they are particular to some sub-group of users, which I'm not a part of.  For example, extensions like Function Plotter or Parametric Curves -- I''ll never be able to learn what kind of math formulas to use, to achieve a particular result.  Or the Gcode tools - I don't see myself ever having or using a woodshop.  Or like the command line features - I'd say there's no chance I'll ever want to learn how to do that.

Anyway, let us know how it's going  :)