Path Project Digest

Here's the place for discussion related to CAM/CNC and the development of the Path module.
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sliptonic
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Path Project Digest

Postby sliptonic » Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:54 pm

Development on Path seems to be moving ahead but also appears sporadic. It's difficult to keep up with the status of various projects so I thought to do a periodic 'digest' of activity. I'm summarizing things as I see them (strictly an end-user's point of view). Please reply to this thread if you're working on anything related to the Path workbench. A more detailed update of any of these items is welcome.

Profiling. Image
Regular profiling works by selecting a face. Simplest cases work well but many of the options don't work at the moment. Particularly troubling is that the user can't select which side of a face to profile. So if the face has a hole, the profile will always select the outside edge of the solid and the user can't select the edge of the hole.

Pocketing. Image
Pocket operation isn't really useful yet but Is functional as a demonstration. Most options and parameters haven't been enabled yet but I've been able to produce a crude tool path.

libarea integration. Libarea is the profiling and pocketing operation used in HeeksCNC. It's stable, fast, and is license compatible with FreeCAD. Dan Falck has integrated libarea into Path so it's automatically installed with FreeCAD. (DAN: you can probably give a much better summary)

libarea profile Image
operation partially working. Instead of selecting a face to profile, the user selects individual edges. This works for individual contiguous edges but not for circular edges or multiple disconnected selections.

libarea pocket. Planned but not started.

Post Processors.
Roland Modela MDX - user jonner working on this.

Maho CNC - user chrisb working on this and has done some work to make the post processors customizable by regular humans.

Other Integration
microelly2 prrvchr is building a workbench to communicate with an arduino via PySerial USB. This will be useful to stream GCode from Path to an external device.

Projects and blogs:
Even with Path still limited in functionality, I was able to make a simple project.
Last edited by sliptonic on Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DeepSOIC
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby DeepSOIC » Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:23 pm

Thanks, interesting look into a workbench that I can't compile yet!
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quick61
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby quick61 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:28 pm

Other Integration
microelly2 is building a workbench to communicate with an arduino via PySerial USB. This will be useful to stream GCode from Path to an external device.
Hi sliptonic, wish we saw more of you here. :) One small correction, it was user prrvchr that started the PySerial USB work. Arduino PySerial USB Connection Other than that, great post.

Any knowledge of work being done on Z axis contour?

Mark
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sliptonic
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby sliptonic » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:01 pm

quick61 wrote:
Other Integration

Any knowledge of work being done on Z axis contour?

Mark
Nothing I'm aware of yet but Dan's work with libarea gets us a lot closer. I might be wrong but I think all the remaining development necessary is in Python.

The way HeeksCNC does 3D surfacing is by creating a pocket of a bounding sketch. Then a solid is referenced under the pocket as a 'surface' to define the Z depth of the cutter. Since the pocketing is done with libarea, 3D surfacing is a natural extension of pocketing.
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sliptonic
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby sliptonic » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:02 pm

DeepSOIC wrote:Thanks, interesting look into a workbench that I can't compile yet!
All the Path stuff is merged into master now. Are you unable to compile the Master branch?
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quick61
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby quick61 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:05 pm

If you need to compile and can't use any of the snapshots/PPA's

Mark
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DeepSOIC
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby DeepSOIC » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:17 pm

I can't compile it on Windows because boost-python is not present in libpack yet. I had to disable building path module.
I don't use development snapshots because I am way too accustomed to unlimited external geometry in sketcher. My workflow now is almost completely based on this.
And finally, I am happy with Slic3r. The only thing I'm thinking Path may be useful for me is generating some very special path that is impossible to knock out of a regular slicer.

And by the way, I have an idea of some 3d-printing with a very custom path. The idea is to make a dashed extrusion, to make a permeable ... cylindrish ... thing :) .
prrvchr
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby prrvchr » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:29 pm

Hi,

thank you for the correction ... :lol:

And I also want to tell that a pre-release is available on Git ...

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=12656&start=10#p102400

It's amazing what you can do in FreeCAD, thank to the community ...

I need testers, thank you in advance ...
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yorik
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby yorik » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:51 pm

DeepSOIC wrote:I can't compile it on Windows because boost-python is not present in libpack yet. I had to disable building path module.
Hmm I wasn't aware of this... I think boost python is only used very sporadically here and there, we might be able to change that code to use something more generic.
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Re: Path Project Digest

Postby wmayer » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:52 pm

yorik wrote:
DeepSOIC wrote:I can't compile it on Windows because boost-python is not present in libpack yet. I had to disable building path module.
Hmm I wasn't aware of this... I think boost python is only used very sporadically here and there, we might be able to change that code to use something more generic.
Getting created a boost-python lib on Windows isn't easy at all. The Release version is doable but getting a Debug version is very difficult. After many attempts I succeeded to get the debug version linking the debug of Python but when using it with the Path module it still crashes and I have no idea why.

So as long as boost-python is not used too heavily it would be indeed nice to switch to something else. I would suggest python-cxx as alternative.