[Noisebridge-discuss] Sending HPGL (e.g. converted PostScript) to Vinyl cutter from the command line

Henner Zeller h.zeller at acm.org
Thu Jul 30 20:44:19 UTC 2015

On 30 July 2015 at 11:12, Casey Callendrello <c1 at caseyc.net> wrote:

> Henner,
> That's awesome! I know you like to program in raw postscript, but for the
> rest of us...
> Will programs like Inkscape generate sane postscript?

I guess they will. I don't know what happens if you use colors and thick
lines or filled areas, so that would need to be explored. I think pstoedit
also has options to trace around the edge of filled areas or thick lines. I
might explore more of this when using the cutter more.

Typically though, most vector programs should also be able to output HPGL/1
directly, so that could always be an option when sending it manually with
socat; however, the fact that this cutter uses a non-standard scaling
(1/1000" instead of 1/40mm) compared to standard HPGL would require some
slight scaling when exporting (125 / 127 ~= 0.98425) .  HPGL has a scaling
option which could be added by manually editing the file, but I think it
only accepts integers so is probably not suited.

So maybe the route via PostScript is still an easier idea (and it is really
something any program can output).


> As for the baud rate, it shouldn't matter at all, since the cutter
> supports RTS/CTS (hardware flow control). I suspect the 2400 baud bit came
> from someone with their flow control turned off.
> On 7/30/15 5:22 PM, Henner Zeller wrote:
> Hi,
> So when you are doing precision work that you want to cut with the Vinyl
> cutter, you typically don't want to be using InkScape (which is more
> helping with artistic things), but typically use other tools that directly
> generate PostScript or similar (personally, I like to write the PostScript
> directly, because it is essentially a very comfortable fully featured 2D
> programmable CAD program).
> Using that with the vinyl cutter turns out to be easy; it even works with
> faster serial line speeds than the InkScape plugin. Also, much more user
> friendly, you never have to leave the comfort of your shell :)
> Updated the wiki
> https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Vinyl
> -h
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