A little something for a 4th axis.

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A little something for a 4th axis.

Postby Andrew » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:34 pm

For anybody interested in experimenting with 4th axis work, here is my attempt at a program that will convert 2½D G-Code into a 4th axis program. It's called Wrapper.
I originally wrote this for my own use and as a way to learn Delphi Programming. It's not perfect, but if any body can make use of it your welcome to have it.
There is a help file included which I recommend looking at.
Although there's a 4th axis discussion going in the Cut3D section I have posted here because I think Any of the Vectric products will produce a program that can be converted to 4th axis work.

Andrew
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Wrapper Screenshot.png
Wrapper setup.zip
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Postby DavidCousins » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:46 pm

Andrew,
Thanks for the program. I still don't have a 4th axis yet. My current JGRO is to small for a 4th axis. I've got to complete my Joe4x4 Hybrid, then on to the 4th axis. I'll be using your program for sure.
Dave
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Postby lovebugjunkie » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:22 pm

Thanks for posting the program Andrew.

No 4th axis but this may give me a reason to look into getting one.
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Postby HoustonFirefox » Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:10 pm

Andrew,

From one Delphi programmer to another, nice job!

Like the others, I'm not yet using my 4th axis but will definitely give this a try :D
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Postby Andrew » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:34 pm

Hi, thanks everybody for your comments, I hope you can get some use from the program.

HoustonFirefox, just curious, do you make a living with programming? For me it's a hobby and this is the first program I have 'released'. I haven't finished with Wrapper by any means, currently working with my new toy INI files!. Next on the list is trying to deal with the way the program seams to slow down when used over and over. I suspect memory leaks, so I need to track them down. Also on the list syntax highlight, and arc conversion. I've got some ideas, but I'm not sure if its possible.

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Postby DavidCousins » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:52 pm

Andrew,
How do you instruct us users to deal with the lack of arc support? Is it just a matter of choosing a Vectric Mach3 driver which does not include the "arc" in the name?
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Postby Andrew » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:06 am

Is it just a matter of choosing a Vectric Mach3 driver which does not include the "arc" in the name?

Hi Dave

Yes, you do need to choose a post processor that does not output arcs.

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Postby Greolt » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:14 am

Andrew

Tried the program. Worked as expected.

Never done rotary axis stuff before and this made it easy to try something with the software that I have.

I wrapped a very long line of text several times around a cylinder. Created it in Vcarve and angled the text a little.

Then wrapped it. At first I thought it would not wrap several times around but it did it with ease.

So I have proved that my fourth axis works and your excellent little program works like a charm.

Thanks for writing it and sharing. :D

Greg
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rotary1.jpg
Rotary2.jpg
Rotary3.jpg
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Postby RichardF » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:15 am

Hi Andrew,
your program seems to be something similar to this one :
http://vectric.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=656&highlight=

Great work. I like it.

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Postby DavidCousins » Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:06 pm

Greg,
Congratulations for the being the first of us to use the program. That's outstanding.
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Postby HoustonFirefox » Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:48 pm

Andrew wrote:Hi, thanks everybody for your comments, I hope you can get some use from the program.

HoustonFirefox, just curious, do you make a living with programming? For me it's a hobby and this is the first program I have 'released'. I haven't finished with Wrapper by any means, currently working with my new toy INI files!. Next on the list is trying to deal with the way the program seams to slow down when used over and over. I suspect memory leaks, so I need to track them down. Also on the list syntax highlight, and arc conversion. I've got some ideas, but I'm not sure if its possible.

Andrew


Andrew,

In a former life at Hallibuton, British Petroleum, Compaq and Chevron I did a LOT of Delphi programming, mainly with very large databases. I'm semi-retired now so I write programs mainly for my own use.

My latest project is a preview program that will let you point it at a directory full of .EPS files. It will fire off VCarve Pro, figure out the parameters, borders, etc. Then it generates the toolpaths, deletes waste material and saves both the face-on and angled view of the project. This is done with a pre-defined border template so people can see the artwork with different borders.

Finally it saves the newly-generated .CRV file in a separate directory. I have about 80,000 EPS files to process and so far the program can self-generate previews for about 30-40 an hour with most of that time being used to preview the toolpaths prior to saving.

I've still got a lot of work to do on it (watermarking, specifying a transparent GIF background color, etc.)

Memory leaks can be a bear to track down. Just make sure you have a DESTROY() for every CREATE construct. In addition I use a .FREE construct before the DESTROY command to make darned sure I get my memory back.

I program in about 13 different languages (C#, php, assembly, delphi, etc) but really like Delphi for quickly getting things done, especially down at the Windows API level.

Let me know if you'd like me to look at the source code; I'd be happy to poke around for any efficiencies. I think the PM on the board works, let me know if it doesn't.

All Others: Sorry about the programming diatribe, Delphi programmers are Rare and Good Delphi Programmers are really hard to find. Nice work Andrew!
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Postby Andrew » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:40 pm

Greg
That's fantastic, I'm really pleased you can get some use from the program, and thanks for posting the pictures. I was feeling sorry for myself sitting here with a streaming cold :cry: until I saw your post. Its made my day. :D I hadn't thought of wrapping a design multiple times into a continuous spiral.

Richard
Yes the end result is essentially the same. For me this is has been a good platform for learning Delphi and I also wanted to encompass the wrapping function into a text editor.

HoustonFirefox
Your program sounds very interesting (and advanced). We are obviously at opposite ends of the programming ability spectrum.
Thanks for the encouraging comments, and especially the generous offer to look over the source code. Not sure there are many efficiencies to be found, there'll be deficiencies aplenty though. Id be mad not to take you up on this, I'll PM you in a couple of days.

Andrew
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Postby Andrew » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:21 am

HoustonFirefox

Sent a PM. Hope you receive it.

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Postby Thkoutsidthebox » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:32 pm

How long does the conversion usually take?

I tried it on a file with "82,037 blocks" converting X Axis to A Axis and it locked up, but I think maybe I didn't give it long enough? :oops:

Its not a major problem, I don't have an A-Axis yet to run it on, I just wanted to have a look.... :?:
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Postby studysession » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:48 pm

This is nice -

Any recommendations on a cheap rotary for a 4th axis?

Thanks
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