022 :: further experiments with MAGIC TRACER

In an unintended itch to find out the conversion throughput scale of MAGIC tracer (another vectorizer program). I accidently discover that this program translates 1:1 scale mm per pixel. the LARGE 3kx2k raster file is interpreted and converted exactly as a 3k x 2k++ DXF file !

look at the Gcode i get from dumping the DXF into DXF2Gcode :
G1 X   3.000 Y   3.000
G1 X   3.000 Y2098.000
G1 X   6.000 Y2098.000
G1 X   6.000 Y2101.000
G1 X3104.000 Y2101.000
G1 X3104.000 Y   3.000
G1 X   3.000 Y   3.000
G1 Z  -3.000

pixel for pixel ! this could well be the only direct RAW converter around. how will this translate for KiCad? Well according to a header code G21, which tells us it is functioning in mm (as usual), by using MAGIC tracer, we can now scale down our raster files to 1mm per pixel. so this dummy PCB with a width of 1.7inches = 43.18 pixels WIDE !!! this is the extreme opposite of using vector magic! Somehow, if there is a way to have a "gear reduction" ratio of 10 or 20 in the milling firmware, this could be a stable answer to a really firm method of KiCad to Gcoding.

on a side note, if i am guessing this correctly, then by using this version of vectorizer, i can probably achieve scale direct to machine in a easier fashion since this guy is already 1:1 throughput. by having a known machine calibration of steps/mm from the machine, this now becomes the primary conversion factor for the raster side of things. which simplifies matters very well actually.

maybe i should quickly make a dedicated PCB mill to just try this theory !

*edit* i have stumbled onto a ver2 of magic tracer, and they have answered my prayers. the DXF export has a arbituary scaling option. YES !!! YYESSSSSS !!! KiCad to GCode is complete !!!!

G1 X   0.002 Y   1.150
G1 X   0.003 Y   1.150
G1 X   0.003 Y   1.152
G1 X   1.702 Y   1.152
G1 X   1.702 Y   0.002
G1 X   0.002 Y   0.002
G1 Z   3.000
G0 Z  15.000 

although the machine gcode mode is still in mm, this app can scale to any scale possible without limitations of pre-rastering large file size jams !!! whoooopeee !!!

If you are wondering why the obsession with 1.700 inches of PCB. it is because i used this dumpster project (see pix on right). in Kicad, the internal ruler measures the board and benches it as a measuring std, so that i can somehow verify the output.

... to be continued !


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