# HPGL file to X-Y Motion

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#### Kelly McFarland

Hello List,

Here is a project that us woodworkers have probably thought about...

motors, cables, and PMAC card for about $5k... Still lots of stuff left to purchase, though. Davis Gentry Carpenter Company R #### Ramer-1, Carl Kelly: You might try researching the saw drive mechanism used by the clothing manufacturing industry. They run a fabric cutting saw to cut pattern pieces in a stack of fabric about 6" thick. I have no idea whether the drive accepts CAD file input, but the applications are very similar except for the blade up/down command. It may be easier to adapt from that process than develop a new one. Carl Ramer, Engineer SGS Controls & Protective Systems Design Kennedy Space Center, Florida B #### Brandon Ellis Kelly: If you are seeking a complete system consisting of a two axis controller (I assume you will need the ability to perform circular interpolation), two drives, motors, cables, actuators, and/or gearheads for$5000 or less, then that is going to be very hard to come by. If, however, you are
looking for just the two axis controller which can accept CAD drawings (i.e. .dxf files), then I
would recommend you check out Galil Motion Control. Their URL is www.galilmc.com
Galil offers a software package called CAD-TO-DMC that will translate a .dxf file to the Galil

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#### Guy H. Looney

Kelly,

I very seriously doubt you will be able to accomplish this application with your client's budget. I have been very successful in doing 2 axis gluing applications at multiple locations. I have successfully taken CAD files (DXF format) and used them to generate the 2 dimensional path for the glue head. There are several motion control companies who have such a utility (Parker Compumotor, Galil, Camsoft, to name a few). As far as HPGL goes, Parker Compumotor is the only one I know of; the others mentioned support DXF and DWG formats.

drives, high quality encoders, and extremely rigid frames and guideways, etc. These items are necessary to maintain the tolerances required for this type of application. When one takes the price of these materials into consideration, they will soon see that a $5000 cnc router is a pipe dream. Respectfully, Tim Jones F #### Fong Kin Fui Hi Kelly You may want to consider Galil motion controllers (website: www.galilmc.com). I believe they have a DXF/HPGL to motion commands translator. Haven't used the translator before so I can't give you the details, but I have used their hardware products -- they are very good. The next thing is probably to look for suitable amplifiers and motors. For US$5000, I think you may be able to scrap together the electrical parts. I guess you would have some reasonable-priced source for your mechanical parts?

Have you also looked at the XY-gantry robots to see if they can do the job? Brands like Yamaha, NSK, IA comes to mind. They also have attachments for the Z-axis.

Regards
Fong Kin Fui
Centre for Intelligent Control
National University of Singapore

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Hello... Your clients may be much better sticking to existing CNC technology for this purpose. I say this for several reasons. The least important being their budget. I doubt $5000.00 US would be enough money for you to purchase the servo motors and amplifiers. The biggest reason I suggest they stick to established CNC methods is... have you ever watched a plotter produce a plot of an ACAD drawing. You will find that there appears to be no rime or reason as to the order used when the lines of a plot are drawn. With a router in wood, or any material, a very special sequence must be determined then followed in order to remove the proper material at the proper time. Best Regards... Rick Kelly Chief Technician Natural Cuts Cheese Operations Kraft Canada (613) 537-8069 V (613) 537-8057 F [email protected] A #### Art Bourdeau K #### Ken Brown$5000 parts cost on ebay.com if your lucky and have a few months to watch for the right stuff . . . + figure on donating labor (you are doing this for the thrill of it), next, plan on dedicating yourself to the project 99% of the time after it's built because you will be the
only one in the world who will know all the tricks and traps on how to get it working . . . and oh yeah, get ready for the re-design when the
only amp you have leaks a little smoke and you have to buy something completely different because you can't find that particular part again.

Realistically . . . any woodworker worth (his or her) salt wants to do quality work and use quality tools because they know that paying a
little more for the tool is well worth it in the long run. $5k for a cnc router?? plan on lots of frustration, headaches, inaccurate cuts and worn out mechanisms after a few weeks or months of hair pulling operation. That will be$.02 please . . .

Ken Brown
Applied Motion Systems, Inc.

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#### Julian Purcell

Try Galil servo boards. They wrote a file for me some time back to convert HPGL to DMC ( their native language ) HPGL can support a Z axis (Tech80 group I think.) Another route is to use the command for the 8 pens as levels in the Z
direction. We have altered HP plotters to do similar tasks as you outline, A0 Plotters are given away here in Australia!

Regards Julian PURCELL
Surveyor Resources
Canberra Australia

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#### Tanweer Ahmed

IIEE (Institute of Industrial Electronics Engineering) had build exactly a similar device controlling 3-axes servo driven motors, a PC based
control system interfacing with CAD. They demonstrated it at an engineering exhibition.

Contact:
Director.
Institute of Industrial Electronics Engineering
ST-22/C, University Road, Gulshan Iqbal, Karachi-75300
Phone: +92-21-4982353

Regards.
Tanweer Ahmed

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#### Kelly McFarland

As usual, I have been very pleased with the "list" response. I have received several emails and one phone call on this and it seems this is a popular project for a variety of businesses. Lots of applications and data out there. At least three companies are offering the electronics
and driver software below the $5000 dollar mark. One company is offering a package with steppers for substantially less than this. As you imply, I am a slightly skeptical about the ease of implementation and use of these systems and want to review additional information. My client is basically a "mom and pop" operation with little or no CAD/CAM experience. They are able to build the table and gantry. However, they are looking for a"package" for the motion and CAD side. Kelly D. McFarland Automation Specialist-PLC Tulsa Technology Center Business and Industry Training 918-828-5417, [email protected] M #### Mark Hutton There are also a number of engravers that do exactly the same thing. These are the type of engraving machine that produce the traffolite labels on many control panels (among other things) and anything up to a small engraved mimic panel. CAD files are downloaded and the plate is engraved. Similar machines are used by sign makers to cut vinyl. I agree that$5000 for a self design machine is extremely light. This might be the purchase price of a manufactured machine (though it is unlikely - the controls alone could easily cost this much). The design costs could easily be more than ten times this.

How big an area must the machine cover? How heavy is the router? What accuracy is required?

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MancNc makes a CNC router for less than $1000.00 and this can take CAd files So we could make a router for less than$5000.00