LaserCAD File Import Woes

Discussions and help on this commercial controller.

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LaserCAD File Import Woes

Postby iGull » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:59 pm

Hi All

Finally bit the bullet and ordered a 2012 DSP controller from LO the other day.

We had some discussion before with Tim regarding it's use on the Mac - all looked OK, and it certainly runs very well using virtualbox on the Mac (snow leopard on an intel macmini) - not slow either - very responsive.

I downloaded the latest version 5.88 of LaserCAD to have a proper serious play with. My main software for doing laser stuff is Adobe Illustrator CS5 Mac (although I have loads of other graphic and CAD apps).
I had assumed (stupidly it seems) that the AI import on LaserCAD would import illustrator files - I have tried all flavours of illustrator file 8/9/10/CS/CS1/CS2/CS3/CS4 and CS5 - none will import - most of the time the application just crashes. I then assumed that it might be because it's Illustrator Mac (although all Illustrator files can be pushed back and forth mac/pc without issue) - it seems that this was one of the issues - at least it imported some of the files now. However, it leaves a huge pile of 'artifacts' on the display - mostly garbage, but sometimes stuff that I have never seen - things like sworls/graphics that I have never created ! You can remove them sometimes, but most of the time its just too time consuming to weed them out from your artwork (and why should I have to).
I downloaded a copy of RDCAM/LaserWork which is essentially a clone that Shenhui laser uses with the 'same' controller (I know it's not exactly the same) - it is much better in many respects regarding interface/tools/chinglish etc - importing the latest adobe illustrator CS5 files with no problem (OK, I had to convert the line endings to PC CRLF format, but at least it worked !). The zoom tool worked as well :lol:
Considering the cost of these controllers, the very least I would expect is that it supported the file types that it purports to! I'm wondering if I made a bad choice with the LO controller now - I really liked the network interface, that was one of my main considerations - perhaps I was wrong.

I'm hoping someone has a solution here otherwise I just have a white elephant. Please don't go down the Coreldraw route :D

I was really surprised that there wasn't an SVG import (scaleable vector graphics) - considering that practically all modern graphics apps support this XML style format, I'm surprised that it isn't included - it DOES support some really oddball formats 'though that I have never even heard of in nearly 40 years of engineering/graphics work !

Anybody help here ?

Cheers

Neil
EMOs are a sign of weakness ...
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Re: LaserCAD File Import Woes

Postby twehr » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:09 pm

iGull wrote:Hi All

I downloaded the latest version 5.88 of LaserCAD to have a proper serious play with. My main software for doing laser stuff is Adobe Illustrator CS5 Mac (although I have loads of other graphic and CAD apps).

Neil


Neil,

I know that Marco has asked the software developer to include compatibility with Illustrator 10, CS, and CS5 along with the requested PPI functionality in the next update. Hopefully, that won't take too long. The programmer has been pretty responsive to requests from Marco.
tim
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"The answer is usually easy and obvious once you know what it is." tw

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Re: LaserCAD File Import Woes

Postby iGull » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:37 pm

Thanks for that info Tim, I look forward to that - hopefully very soon.

Perhaps an online wiki with bugs/feature requests would be an idea? Lasercad interface certainly needs a serious makeover :-)) I think I already iterated that making it opensource could make it into a good piece of software - after all, it's really hardware they are selling.

Cheers

Neil
EMOs are a sign of weakness ...
iGull
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:59 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Re: LaserCAD File Import Woes

Postby twehr » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:24 pm

iGull wrote:Thanks for that info Tim, I look forward to that - hopefully very soon.

Perhaps an online wiki with bugs/feature requests would be an idea? Lasercad interface certainly needs a serious makeover :-)) I think I already iterated that making it opensource could make it into a good piece of software - after all, it's really hardware they are selling.

Cheers

Neil


You may not realize it but nearly ALL of the various controller developers are licensing the same basic desktop software, so none of them can independently make it open source. They all distinguish themselves by the software they write specifically for the controller - what actually gets sent from the desktop software to the controller - and that is the proprietary part.

The big advantage that you get with the LO DSP, is that Marco has a very good working relationship with the software and hardware developers. They are willing to add and fix the features he requests. Others, (thunder, etc) rely upon older versions of the controller which cannot (currently) be updated or modified. If they get their own programmers and engineers, they may be able to do something in the future, but for now, what you buy is what you get - forever.
tim
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"The answer is usually easy and obvious once you know what it is." tw

DIYLaser Blog
SemiHomemadeTools.com
twehr
 
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Re: LaserCAD File Import Woes

Postby Groover » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:16 am

I do most of my work in illustrator and the files can be imported. Sometimes it works well and sometimes not so well.

I save the files as CS5 format with no compression. If you use compression it will not import. Another funny thing is that the files imports some other things that I have no idea where they comes from, just some random lines but they can be removed fairly easy.

Some complex pathways effects doesn't work, best bet is to keep it fairly simple. And in worst case I have found that exporting as dxf works most of the times.
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Re: LaserCAD File Import Woes

Postby iGull » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:29 pm

Groover wrote:I do most of my work in illustrator and the files can be imported. Sometimes it works well and sometimes not so well.


Yes, most of the time not so well in my case :D

Groover wrote:I save the files as CS5 format with no compression. If you use compression it will not import. Another funny thing is that the files imports some other things that I have no idea where they comes from, just some random lines but they can be removed fairly easy.


Really? For simple testing, I was just importing a 100mm rectangle - I couldn't even get down to the rectangle with the amount of detritus that surrounded it :lol:

Groover wrote:Some complex pathways effects doesn't work, best bet is to keep it fairly simple.


I'll remind my customers to do that LOL

Groover wrote:And in worst case I have found that exporting as dxf works most of the times.


Yes, the operative word being 'most of the time' :D Like most 'standards', there are loads of DXF (and DWG) flavours - even the dreaded AutoCAD can't import it's own file formats correctly sometimes :lol: Using a Mac doesn't help the issue either as line endings are different and the software doesn't even consider that there might be other files on the planet that don't conform to windows 'standards' /rant :lol:

I'm sure Tim is correct and that we'll see a real importer soon - it's just a shame that software is released like this in the first place without careful and considered testing beforehand - a lot of the tools don't even work correctly - the 'zoom' tool doesn't and the 'move' tool (AKA a 'pan' tool) judders all over the screen. There are a pile of other gui issues I could winge on about, but I'll save that for another day :lol: :lol:

I don't think I'm being unkind, I'd really just like software that does what it says on the tin without having to jump through hoops to get it to work. I'm sure that if your copy of Illustrator or CorelDraw worked like that, you'd be pretty unhappy - there's not much difference in cost between them either.

It's good when you nail down a toolchain process that you know is going to work each and every time and that you won't have to spend (precious) time screwing about with when under pressure from other areas.

I'm looking forward to getting the hardware soon to see how it performs on my laser.

Cheers

Neil
EMOs are a sign of weakness ...
iGull
 
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