[chiplotle-discuss] Plotter Tinkerings

douglas repetto douglas at music.columbia.edu
Sun Nov 13 16:31:19 EST 2011

Hi Brian,

I've been on a bit of a plotter hiatus, but am about to get back into it.

However, I have recently been using Chiplotle to generate vector files 
for use in my laser cutter, which happens to read hpgl files. All of the 
enclosures and whatnot in this piece (a collaboration with my Chiplotle 
collaborator Victor) were designed with Chiplotle and then cut on the laser:


I believe Victor also used Chiplotle to make the scores as well. There's 
just one little piece of a score on the website above, Victor will post 
photos of the whole score soon.


On 11/7/11 12:29 PM, Brian Boucheron wrote:
> Hi all,
> I don't think I posted to the list about this, but apologies if I'm
> dupe-ing myself. I've been doing some tinkering with chiplotle ever
> since I got my behemoth DPX-3300 a few months back, and I have a
> little code and a few pictures/movies to share.
> First off, I started by figuring out how to patch together enough
> tools to get webcam input automatically traced and sent out to the
> plotter. This involves some OpenCV, autotrace, and pstoedit (as
> discussed here on the list previously). You can find that code here:
> https://github.com/beardicus/ronald_toys
> It's in a bit of a clunky state, to be honest, but it'll be a good
> start for anybody looking to noodle around with this stuff.
> I was a bit dissatisfied with the path my plotter was using to draw...
> it was a very inefficient top down path with lots of seeking back and
> forth. I assume it was based just on how the EPS file was constructed.
> So I made a really naive sort routine that basically slurps in an hpgl
> file, strips everything down to a simple group of paths, and then
> sorts so that at the end of a line segment, it looks for the next
> nearest line and goes there. That code, along with some other silly
> stuff, is here:
> https://github.com/beardicus/ronald_tools
> And you can see some time-lapse video of the difference at the end of
> this post (and in the chiplotle group on flickr):
> http://interlockroc.org/2011/09/13/plottopotamus/
> Finally, I wanted a neat drawing bot to show off at the local BarCamp
> here in Rochester, but I didn't want to lug my 110 pound plotter
> around, so I built a junkbot plotter that draws on 4x3 inch tractor
> feed cardstock. It uses mostly the same toolchain mentioned above, but
> spits out some ugly gcode at the end to send to an arduino running
> grbl  ( https://github.com/simen/grbl ), which turns the gcode into
> steps and pen up/down movements. It turned out pretty neat, and there
> are pictures and video here:
> http://interlockroc.org/2011/10/30/barcamp-rochester/
> So that's what I've been doing for a few months. Has anybody else been
> tinkering with chiplotle and plotters lately?
> -Brian.
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