The Valkyrie projects blog
January 31, 2010
If no one has anything against it, I will use this blog to post projects done with the Valkyrie.
To start with, here is the design flow I found to work well for doing stuff with the Valkyrie. Actually there are two flows, one for PCB making and another for cutting, milling etc. Note that I'm using Linux to do all my stuff, for Windows I have no clue which software to use.
a. The PCB is designed with Eagle which can be found here: http://www.cadsoft.de/
b. The board is then passed to the the pcb-gcode Eagle plugin available here: http://www.pcbgcode.org/
c. The pcb-gcode then generates g-code files for the top, bottom and drills
d. To visualize the output before actually doing anything, I'm using EMC (http://linuxcnc.org) in simulation mode.
e. Once I'm happy with the outcome I feed the g-code files to the machine using my python script (see robot page).
2. Cutting, milling, engraving, etc.. etc..
a. I found this open source CAD program: HeeksCAD http://code.google.com/p/heekscad/ which has a rather nice CAM plugin: http://code.google.com/p/heekscnc/. It required me to define a new machine for the Valkyrie, because by default it makes use of arcs (G02 and G03) to define the corners in the generated toolpath, but my machine can't work with them. So after a little hacking around
I managed to remove the arcs and replace them with lines, scratch that it wasn't so simple, it works fine for things with straight angles but not for things with curves... I'll have to implement arcs on the arduino ... baah.
So basically you create your design and then apply NC operations to the design to generate the g-code. All generation is done using Python, and the machine definition too so it is really easy to adapt to pretty much anything.
b. After the g-code is generated as above I load it in EMC to check it
c. When I'm happy with the g-code I send it to the machine.