Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gcode optimization

I tried the Opti - PCB-Gcode Optimizer from JayC. Tried it on Ubuntu under Wine (Windows emulation), it opened, but wouldn't do the optimization. Had to resort to MS-Windows to run the optimizer. Seemed a bit finicky, but once it ran - WOW what a difference. To the right is how the gcode looks coming straight off the Eagle CADsoft program. Click the image to zoom. All those grey-green lines are where the router is moving in between milling actions. The damn thing spends 60% or more of it's time just moving the router from point A to point B.

Enter the optimizer. DAMN! I'd say 95% of the wasted movement is just GONE! This should have an amazing impact on the overall time to mill.

Now if I only knew enough about C++, I could probably re-compile onto Ubuntu!

I ordered some PC milling bits (30, 45 and 60 degree) from Drewtronics. I should have them in a few days. My router is a 1/4" shank, and these itty-bitty PCB router bits are 1/8" shank. I'll need to track down a reducer.


  1. I recompiled this for linux, if you want a copy, hit me up at dan_*at*_milkcarton*com, replace _*at*_ with @, and the last * with a .

  2. Quick question: are you building the PCB -> Gerber -> G-Code all under Ubuntu or is there some cross platform work going on? I've been dragging my feet for too long on my own build, and preliminary experiments with running the gauntlet from a circuit (I've been using gEDA) to g-code hasn't exactly been as clean as I would like. Curious as to what you're using.