• Check the dimensions of your document in the vector drawing program (Inkscape or Illustrator)
    • max width: 82cm (820mm)
    • max height: 125cm (1250mm)
  • Prepare your drawing and export as SVG.
  • Optimize for plotter (Axidraw plotter extension tool, or do it manually by grouping sections of the drawing in layers)
  • In Inkscape: Object > Object to path. The path icon should be visible instead of a circle

Formlab todo: Add simplify steps

  • remove double lines
  • interpret fills
Connect the USB cable from the controller to the computer.
Plug in the power supply for the controller.
Turn on the controller.
On the computer, open the 'OpenBuilds CONTROL' application.
Open the serial connection: select a USB to serial port and click connect. Look at the serial console to see if the connection worked or not. You'll see connect Firmware Detected if the connection was successful. Try another one if it fails to connect. If the menu doesn't list any good ports, close any applications that might have a serial connection. If that didn't work, restart the Openbuilds controller application or restart the computer.
The unlock alarm flickers. Click on it do disable the safety lock.
Click on 'Pen Up'
Click on 'Home All' (This will move the head to the left front corner to calibrate its origin point).

The machine is now safe and ready to use.

Open 'OpenBuilds CONTROL' and click 'Wizards & Tools'. Select 'Calibrate Servo Pen Up/Down'.
Install the pen in the holder.
Pen up: drag the slider carefully. Try to have the tip of the pen hover just high enough over the paper. Write down the value and click continue.
Pen down: drag the slider carefully. The pen should rest on the page now. Look from the side and make sure the servo horn is not touching the pen holder anymore, but you'd also want it to stay close by as you want to minimize servo movements. Write down the value and click continue. Then click Save & Apply
image neededPlace the paper on the bed of the pen plotter.
  • Use easily removable tape (like Tesa light-blue or Tesa yellow) to fix the page to the bed.
    • Only a few short sections of tape are necessary.
    • Try to keep the page reasonably flat.
  • With OpenBuilds CONTROL, move the pen to the left bottom corner of the page.
  • Use the arrows on screen, or the ones on your keyboard
Click setzero
  • Click Pen Up.
  • Move the pen to the top right corner of the page.
  • Write down the values at 'X' (Width of the page) and 'Y' (height of the page).
  • Open a new document in Inkscape and give:
    • For the width: use the value of 'X'.
    • For the height: use the value of 'Y'.
  • Import the SVG drawing into this document and position it how you like.
  • Export this as an SVG file. This will be the file you'll be plotting.
  • Load the plotter settings
    • Download this settings-file
    • On the svg2gcode-website, click 'Settings', then 'Import/Export'. Select the file you just downloaded and click Save
  • Enter the new servo positions:
  • Click 'Settings again'
  • At the 'Tool On Sequence' (pen down) section, change the number behind the M3S value to the one you wrote down for Pen Down
    • * For example: M3S166
  • At the 'Tool Off Sequence' (pen up) section, change the number behind the M3S value to the one you wrote down for Pen UP
  • For example: M3S180
  • Click Save
Select a vector file (SVG)
Click 'Generate Gcode'. The website downloads the gcode file to your computer.
In Openbuilds CONTROL, click 'Open Gcode'.
Select the Gcode file that was downloaded by the svg2gcode website.
image neededClick on the Gcode editor-tab and scroll all the way down and remove the line containing 'M2'. This gcode command results in a glitch that puts the pen back on the paper after the whole plot has finished. It's better that the pen stays up after plotting. No need to save the gcode file. The changes are already active.
image neededClick again on the '3D-view' tab and double check the dimensions on the X and Y axis. Pan with CTRL pressed to pan the view around and use the scroll wheel to zoom.
Image neededMake sure the pen is in the UP-position
  • Click 'Run Job' (or space bar) to start plotting.
  • Click 'Pause Job' (or space bar) to pause.
  • Click 'Abort' (or escape) to stop plotting.

After the plot, close the Openbuilds Control software, turn off the driver and unplug the power.

  • openbuilds_acro/workflow_-_how_to_plot.txt
  • Last modified: 2024/07/01 06:01
  • by formlab