Auf arbofaktur.de bieten wir ein Raspberry Pi Gehäuse aus unserer Werkstatt an. Die Erstellung konnten wir komplett mit freier Software umsetzen: Design in OpenSCAD (in Debian und den freien Radeon-Treibern), Werkzeupfad-Generierung in PyCAM, verfahren wurde mit LinuxCNC.
Just in time with the start of spring in northern Germany I happened to take another week of holiday for working on PyCAM again.
I started on Monday with some previously reported issues (handling of special characters and whitespace in the "recent files" list) and some involuntary easter egg process settings that were revealed only ofter some specific activities.
Recently a discussion passed through the linuxcnc-users mailinglist that encouraged me to demonstrate a nice new feature of PyCAM (currently only available in the development repository). The thread starter asked for software that he could use for engraving a 2D model onto a specific non-flat button.
PyCAM is - as the name implies - based on the scripting language Python. Python is a very efficient tool from the developer's point of view: even complicated features can be implemented quickly and cleanly in a structured way. The downside of this ease of development can be a source of annoyance for users: number crunching applications are not as ressource efficient as their compiled counterparts. But today PyCAM gained a useful feature to fight its own ressource hunger.
PyCAM's architectural rewrite is close to its completion. Around 50 plugins with limited scope replaced a formerly huge pile of fairly complex GUI code. Some few features were added and most of the existing features of release v0.5.1 are working.
The current development version of PyCAM gained another visualization feature. An optional base grid puts your models into their proper dimension. This should make it easier to estimate the relative size of toolpaths, models and all other visual items.
A dimensioning scale (comparable to the one used in EMC2 Axis) is on the roadmap and will probably be part of the next release of PyCAM.