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I just got a plotter with a 7W TTL PMW laser. As the original software sucks to say the least (EleksCam), I have started looking for alternatives, and found LaserGRBL, which works great.

However, I'm having difficulties generating a decent gcode from my project. It's true, the file is complex, but it should be possible to generate a simple code out of it - after all, it's all vectors. Here's a sample. Now, I'm aware of the gcodetools plugin, but I cant get it to generate laser relevant gcode (in fact I'm only getting .ngc files, which are not supported by LaserGRBL). I have also tried Repetier laser tool and J Tech Photonics Laser Tool, where the latter produces fine results for simple outlines, and former is simply no good.

LaserGRBL has been presented as being able to generate very nice results from simply tracing a bitmap, but after many tries I haven't achieved a satisfactory result (after exporting my svg to either png or pdf, and then tracing it).

Can anyone recommend a functional solution, please?

I managed to combine the paths in a sensible way in sample.svg, but am now having problems with consistent deviations from a path generated by J Tech Photonics.

  • I'm not sure your controller is supported but if it uses GRBL, there's a strong possibility that Lightburn will work for you. It's not free, but it's feature-packed and well written. You'll get a reply to any queries in a matter of hours from the web site contact at lightburnsoftware.com Also, free trial version is available! – fred_dot_u Aug 28 '18 at 21:14
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because its not about graphic design but manufacturing physical objects. G code is definitely out of scope. – joojaa Aug 29 '18 at 21:49
  • @fred_dot_u thanks, looks quite good, though I'm not sure if it will work with my hardawre, as it's not listed when picking a maker. Can you recommend which one could work? – uhl Aug 30 '18 at 19:52
  • @joojaa Sorry, didn't know where to go with it. Any suggestions? – uhl Aug 30 '18 at 19:52
  • uhl, send an email to the creator of the program and you'll get an answer forthwith. – fred_dot_u Aug 30 '18 at 22:34
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Your sample has A LOT of unnecessary points. Consider cleaning up your art a little.

Have you tried any of these other free software?

LaserWeb / CNCWeb 4.0

HIGHLY recommend this. Frequent updates and bug fixes on their Github and a standalone (no machine connection) version here.

MakerCAM

Kinda annoying to use but a good starting point.

JScut

Hasn't be updated in a couple years but still works nicely.

Fusion 360

Free for hobbyists but requires way more messing around to get a good laser output. I'd only try this as a last resort.

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