Quality of life improvements requests

I have 2 requests that would significantly help my workflow.

  1. after loading the GCode, how hard would it be to compute and display the carving time? In theory, all the feed rates are included…
    I can see myself generating multiple GCode paths, and having a backlog to carve when I get to the workshop, so that information would be lost if I didn’t include it in the filename.

  2. after loading the GCode into the maslow visualization tool, can you please add information about how far the tool path is set to go? (What’s the maximum and minimum values of X and Y).
    That way, i can re-set the 0,0 coordinate so it carves the section of the plywood that I want. Without it, I’m being overly cautious and only carve near the center; I’d like to optimize the material utilization


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You can already change the home location and start cuts not homed at 0,0.

If you want to increase reproduce ability of selecting the same non 0,0 coordinate for setting home location, it may be helpful for you to do what I’ve been doing, or what I intend to do from here on out.

I have, so far, set up all of my jobs as if I was working with a full 4x8 sheet so that I could always visualize where the cutting would be happening on my frame. After all, the cnc only cares about what it’s being told to do, it doesn’t care if you’re lying about the workpiece. This has made it much easier to set things up for my test cuts and the other cuts I’ve made up to this point.

What I plan on doing from here on out is using g code files that move the machine from 0,0 to coordinates on a grid and having all of these saved on the machine. What I can do then is have the machine home to 0,0, run one of these g code files, and then set home after it reaches the desired location. This will allow me to easily ‘jog’ to any of these locations with a single click.

If I ever managed to need a specific coordinate that isn’t a part of this grid already, I would just create another for the specific file that needs that new home location.

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This is where my workflow suffers the most:
I do the CAD modeling and gcode generation in a computer that’s in my office as it has nice displays connected to it.
I then send the gcode to a machine in my workshop, get there some time later, and load the plywood onto the frame. At this point, making modifications to the model or re-generating new gcode is hard as I don’t have access to the software that I used in my office.

Sure, I could spend time and set up a networking tunnel and do it remotely… Or I can ask to include the min/max X and Y values to be displayed before sending it to the machine so I can quickly adjust it prior to the cut

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This actually ends up being remarkably difficult :melting_face: But I agree that it would be really nice. The problem is that GRBL is doing a lot of acceleration planing to accelerate the machine up to speed and slow it down in the corners which leads to a lot of complicated to compute difference between the time in theory and the time in practice (ie in theory a 100mm straight line and a 100mm squiggly line should be the same time, but in practice the straight line is faster). It’s 100% possible, but it might take some doing.

This on the other hand is 100% doable pretty quickly. How about a box drawn around the shape with the size of the part…sort of a bounding box for the shape?

I’ve created a github issue for it to make it so we don’t forget here: Add a bounding box around the part preview with the size · Issue #120 · BarbourSmith/FluidNC · GitHub

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There is a feature in openbuilds control (I think its called size checker) that jogs the tool from origin to outline the bounds of the cut of your loaded job. Super helpful to see the extents of your cut against the workboard and would be nice to have here also


How about a box drawn around the shape with the size of the part…

yup, and please include the dimensions relative to the origin (so I can measure the piece on the workboard)

feature in openbuilds control that jogs the tool from origin to outline the bounds of the cut of your loaded job.

That is equally nice, though it serves the purpose of validating the placement as opposed to estimating it through the bounding box

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One of the reasons I went with this work flow is that I have the same issue. I can use my workshop laptop to create the single-line ‘offset file’ and it has no issues because of how simple that path is to generate gcode for.

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