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G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]

Posted by grael 
G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
June 21, 2009 07:51AM
I've just been doing some preliminary research into g-codes and then that led me to gerber files, which if you've been involved in PCB design, you will know are an industry standard PCB layer definition format.

Although I haven't delved very deeply yet, it seems that the gerber files shouldn't be very difficult to handle, and if that is the case, (they have a good degree of similarity to g-code, but in 2 dimensions only), then I'm thinking that adding in an alternative interpreter to reprap-like machines would bring us a BIG step forwards toward self replication. Consider automatically inking in a solder resist layer, or automatically milling out the inverse of the track areas, and all off a an industry standard PCB output file format. Not only that, but solder paste masks could be added as a one off, for prototyping, using a simple extruder, possibly a cartridge with a screw thread driven plunger.

I've been looking around these forums fairly steadily since I started my own project this year, Any particular reason this hasn't been done yet ?

(specifically, Gerber file processing)

And the obvious ones:
-reprap electronics hardware not chosen for surplus memory features,
-some preoccupation on axis additional to X and Y

?


My CNC/extruder creation: [grael-minifactory.blogspot.com]
emt
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
June 21, 2009 11:33AM
There are a number of Gerber to G code programmes for isolation milling of PCBs. There is an add on for Eagle which has good reports. I don't use Eagle so I have coppercam which produces good results.

[www.galaad.net]

Not free but the trial version works on simple files.


Regards

Ian
VDX
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
June 21, 2009 02:13PM
... i use the free version of Target ( [server.ibfriedrich.com] ) with my CNC.

Here an example:


Viktor
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
June 22, 2009 01:01AM
That all looks a lot easier than I had anticipated !thumbs up
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
June 29, 2009 07:13AM
That looks very impresive could you make use the Kicad output in the same way?


Bodge It [reprap.org]
=======================================

BIQ Sanguinololu SD LCD board BIQ Stepcon BIQ Opto Endstop
BIQ Heater Block PCB BIQ Extruder Peek clamp replacement BIQ Huxley Seedling
BIQ Sanguinololu mounting BIQ standalone Sanguinololu or Ramps mounting Print It Stick It Cut it


My rep strap: [repstrapbertha.blogspot.com]

Buy the bits from B&Q pipestrap [diyrepstrap.blogspot.com]
How to Build a Darwin without any Rep Rap Parts [repstrapdarwin.blogspot.com]
Web Site [www.takeaway3dtech.com]
VDX
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
June 29, 2009 09:59AM
Hi Bodgelt,

... which file-formats exports Kicad?

Some thirty years ago i had to convert the data from a pixel image (hardcopy from the screen) into vector-outlines and reprocess them for my first CNC-mill (when home, i'll try to find some of the old prototypes).

Today most PCB-programms can export at least one common format for milling or vector graphics intended for postprocessing in CAD.

Beside 'serious' CAM-formats as Gerber, Exellon and NCP for my mill i can work with GCode, HPGL, DXF, CDR ... and some ten other vector-formats too, so this schouldn't be a big problem ...

Viktor
VDX
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
June 29, 2009 03:09PM
... here an image of my first milled PCB-prototypes (made 1984) lying on a board with my first lasercut-work (around 1994):


The PCB-layout was made with a paintbrush-style program on an AtariST and the outlines then converted to vectorlines and output as HPGL for my selfprogrammed CAD/CAM and drivers for an Isel-CNC-mill.

I made the lasercuts with a 'homebrewed' laserplotter - a 5Watt RF-CO2-laser feeding the laserbeam with mirrors along the arms of a 2D-plotter.

Viktor
Attachments:
open | download - PCB2.jpg (160.7 KB)
open | download - PCB3.jpg (131 KB)
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
June 30, 2009 02:46AM
Bodge it ,
KiCad can output in gerber and postscript, and various format drill files. The only awkward thing, is that I don't know of any good PCB manufacturers who can use KiCad's native output, which would be easier for them, when it comes to things like panelising and setting up alignment markers.

But, as said above, there are some free conversion programs, for gerber to gcode, so it's not too big an issue.

Graham.
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
July 04, 2009 06:42PM
Victor,

Wow they are realy great PCBs for home brew all that time ago.

Oh the days of the Atari ST I migrated from the Nascom 1 + Pluto card to the Atari ST in 1987 mainly to connect a homebrew 433mhz 64kb TNC packet radio setup running on the ST untill a very over clocked 486DX25 took over.

Was the paint package Degas Elite?

The Atari ST the trigerd buying Softstuff Software and producing Educational SW thrugh to 1998.
Thus my Electronics developmet enginner career ended to learn packaging marketing and porting progams to the Amiga and Archiemedies.


Bodge It [reprap.org]
=======================================

BIQ Sanguinololu SD LCD board BIQ Stepcon BIQ Opto Endstop
BIQ Heater Block PCB BIQ Extruder Peek clamp replacement BIQ Huxley Seedling
BIQ Sanguinololu mounting BIQ standalone Sanguinololu or Ramps mounting Print It Stick It Cut it


My rep strap: [repstrapbertha.blogspot.com]

Buy the bits from B&Q pipestrap [diyrepstrap.blogspot.com]
How to Build a Darwin without any Rep Rap Parts [repstrapdarwin.blogspot.com]
Web Site [www.takeaway3dtech.com]
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
July 04, 2009 07:33PM
Graham,

Thank you I think it was both you and Nophead who recomended Kicad as a good PCB design package. I have installed the Kicad package and starting to play with it. Using any kind of PCB design package I am a complete novice so it should be interesting..

Years ago I had a stint in my apprenticeship hand taping black tape 10x size PCBs for 6 months in an MOD drawing office. After that I just handed my rough designs to the Drawing office to be drawn and turned into red and blue tape PCB designs. Since then technology has moved on a little bit. My last comercial design was around 1984 using the Hitachi ACRTC chipset in a 128bit graphics dislay controller with the 64180 CPU for touch screen controll of tote pages to control coal fired power stations.


Bodge It [reprap.org]
=======================================

BIQ Sanguinololu SD LCD board BIQ Stepcon BIQ Opto Endstop
BIQ Heater Block PCB BIQ Extruder Peek clamp replacement BIQ Huxley Seedling
BIQ Sanguinololu mounting BIQ standalone Sanguinololu or Ramps mounting Print It Stick It Cut it


My rep strap: [repstrapbertha.blogspot.com]

Buy the bits from B&Q pipestrap [diyrepstrap.blogspot.com]
How to Build a Darwin without any Rep Rap Parts [repstrapdarwin.blogspot.com]
Web Site [www.takeaway3dtech.com]
VDX
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
July 05, 2009 10:08AM
Hi Bodge It,

BodgeIt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>...
> Was the paint package Degas Elite?
>...

... no, i did most of the BW paintwork with STAD then - and the vector-outlines with a selfprogrammed GFA-basic program, which scanned the image for points and erased/connected them to straight lines with output to HPGL ...

Viktor
Gerber to G code
August 03, 2009 02:21AM
I am going to make Automatic Soldering Machine using AVR Microcontroller. For this i started working on How to convert Gerber files to G code.
I have found many Software like Copper Cam,Copper CAD etc.
I am not able to decide which one is best.
Please guide me in this matter.
Also tell me after converting Gerber files into G code,how can i proceed with my programming in embedded C.
Please reply immediately.
Thanks
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
March 28, 2010 12:58PM
Do you export Gcode from Target? If so, how? I'm having trouble finding it in the menu...
VDX
Re: G-code processing [+gerber file processing! ?]
March 29, 2010 05:12AM
Hi Matt,

... in Target (V13 German) i have: "Datei"->"Ein-/Ausgabe-Formate"->"Produktion"->"Isolations-Fräsen"

And in the production-popup-window select: "Ausgabeformat"->"CNC ISO 6983/DIN 66025".

For english you have to look in your file-I/O tab ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org]
Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
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