Sunday, February 27, 2011

Generating G-Codes

As I said in my previous post, there is a dearth of CAM programs available for Linux, so I mostly have to write my G-Code by hand or combine output from various code generators. To make this task a little easier, I wrote a preprocessor with some code generation features too: JGCGen.

JGCGen is written in Java and uses Apache Velocity as its templating engine. This allows you to easily combine input files, write macros, generate code with loops, etc. Check out JGCGen's readme for a more comprehensive introduction to what it can do.

The g-code for the little name plate on the image to the right is, of course, generated with JGCGen. Yeah, it's not all that pretty and finished, but the code is only 24 lines long!

Addendum to the last post: You can cut plastic with a 2 flute endmill. Just keep the feed rate high enough to keep the chips from melting and clogging up the blades.

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