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One of often requested features is ability to print to cutting plotters or create files for them.

Right now this page is a collection of ideas to to solve the issue in a sane and crossplatform way.

How it usually works

  1. Client brings a EPS/AI file.
  2. Printing service imports it to an application like.
  3. Then the operator runs conversion and looks at preview.
  4. If it's OK, the file goes to cutter.

What available solutions exist

  1. There is a DXF exporter for CraftRobo bundled with Inkscape.
  2. There is a half-standalone project called graphtecprint.
  3. There is a "scrapbook" project by Aaron Spike called cuft.
  4. There is a testing version of an HPGL exporter written by Aaron Spike.

I'm about to adapt the INX file from the HPGL exporter and commit the extension to SVN--Prokoudine 14:19, 4 June 2008 (UTC) The cuft project aims to collect information about the GSD format. Currently there is no externally useful code.--Acspike 15:38, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

What should be done

For direct cutting

We probably do not want to distribute cutter drivers with Inkscape, but at the same time we want cutters to be available for users on all platforms.

What we could do is:

  1. Split functionality between Inkscape and actual printing backend.
  2. Find an upstream project like CUPS to ship the drivers with it.
  3. Make sure we can still use cutter driver on Windows where CUPS is not that widely used.
  4. Create a live path effect (LPE) for creating polylines from Bezier curves (using lib2geom)

Device dependent options (cutting speed, cutting force, knife position fine-tuning etc.) should go to Print dialog (Advanced tab or the like). It looks like Cairo backend would be the only correct way to pass polylines to a cutter.

For just exporting

  1. Use available LPE for previewing
  2. Create as many exporters as required (see below)

File formats

File extension Full name Devices Exporter
DXF Available in current stable version of Inkscape
GSD Available from cuft's SVN
HPGL Getting ready for inclusion into 0.46+svn


Device Protocol Linux drivers Windows drivers Mac OS drivers
Graphtec FC7000Mk2
Graphtec CE5000
Graphtec CC200-20 vidar's page
Graphtec CE5000-120AP
Graphtec Craft ROBO
Graphtec FC2250
Graphtec FC4200 vidar's page + patch from Ulisses (comments in the blog)
QuicKutz Silhouette based on Graphtec CC200-20
Xyron Wishblade Graphtec CC200-20
Roland CAMM-1 Pro GX-300 Cutter
Roland CAMM-1 Pro GX-500 Cutter
Roland STIKA SV-8 Cutter
Roland STIKA SV-12 Cutter
Roland STIKA SV-15 Cutter
Roland CAMM-1 GX-24 Cutter
Roland VersaCAMM SP-300 V Printer/Cutter
Roland VersaCAMM SP-300 V Printer/Cutter
Roland VersaCAMM SP-540 V Printer/Cutter
Roland VersaCAMM VP-300 V Printer/Cutter
Roland VersaCAMM VP-300 V Printer/Cutter
Roland SolJet Pro III XC-540 Printer/Cutter