A nifty work-around for HeeksCNC Kurve offset error

HeeksCNC can be finicky about profiles.  Often I’ve found that a sketch which should be easily profiled won’t generate any gcode at all.  When I look in the console, I find an error like this   File “/usr/lib/heekscnc/kurve_funcs.py”, line 247, in profile     raise Exception, “couldn’t offset kurve ” + str(offset_curve) Exception: couldn’t offset…

Understanding My Enemy

My interests in CNC and machining developed over a period of years in a very organic way.  I have no formal training in either engineering or manufacturing –my interests were born out of necessity.   Learning that way is great if you have the time and patience.  Sometimes, however,  it’s just frustrating.  You find yourself…

Understanding Tool Path Generation in HeeksCNC

When I first started using HeeksCNC I was totally confused.  It seemed overly complex.  When I finally understood it, I realized what a great model it is.  I still won’t claim to be an expert but from my perspective it meets three really big objectives.  One of these is compromised in every other solution I’ve…

All about HeeksCNC post-processing

In HeeksCNC, ‘Postprocessing’ is the action that turns your project file with all the operations and geometry into g-code that your CNC machine can run. Machines in the real world vary greatly. They use different controllers, have different capabilities, and are customized for different uses. One of the most powerful features of HeeksCNC is the…

No Secrets: Open-source CAM Application Bares All

Note: The following article appeared in Digital Machinist Volume 5 No. 3 Fall 2010. HeeksCAD has continued to mature since then. The current user interface may vary significantly from the images below. No Secrets: Open-source CAM application bares all. In the opening scene of the 1981 movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, explorers come upon…

HeeksCNC does additive printing…sort of .

Here’s my first attempt at using HeeksCNC to generate g-code for my makerbot.  I wanted to print a part with a screen.  That should be a pretty easy part, but since skeinforge wants to slice a .stl,  it turns out hand coding it is easier.  Enter HeeksCNC.  I used the pocketing operation with a custom…

Arrow of Light – Finished!

The Arrow of Light is the highest rank achieved in the BSA Cub Scout Program.  It’s usually earned by boys in the 5th grade.  Our pack had 9 boys earn the award this year.  Most of them went ahead and crossed over to the troop to become Boy Scouts. It’s tradition to award a “career…

Arrow of Light – Drilling

The last CNC operation we need to do is drilling.  The arrows will be mounted in the large pocket and will be epoxied to two posts.  The posts will be glued into holes drilled into the plaque.  I drew two circles in HeeksCNC to represent where I wanted the holes drilled.  Then I selected the…

Arrow of Light – Keyhole

To hang the plaques, I’m going to cut a keyhole on the back.  This is done with a keyhole cutter. The cutting process works like this: The cutter does rapid movement to position itself over the hole location It plunges into the material to the desired depth. It moves forward toward the top of the…