K40 Whisperer

K40 Whisperer

K40 Whisperer:
Control software for the stock K40 Laser controller

Contents

Background
Features
Controller Boards
Download
Documentation
Related Links

Background

K40 Whisperer is an alternative to the the Laser Draw (LaserDRW) program that comes with the cheap Chinese laser cutters available on E-Bay and Amazon. K40 Whisperer reads SVG and DXF files interprets the data and sends commands to the K40 controller to move the laser head and control the laser accordingly. K40 Whisperer does not require a USB key (dongle) to function.

K40 Whisperer is a free open source program released under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

K40 Whisperer Features:

- Reads SVG files and DXF files (DXF support is limited but will be improved shortly)
- Splits SVG design based on color formating (red,blue)
- Blue and red paths in SVG files are interpreted as vectors (everything else is transfered as a raster image)
- Performs cuts on features inside of other features before cutting the outside features. (If you cut the outside first the part might drop out of the stock material)
- Converts gray scale images to halftone images to simulating varying levels of grey (i.e. engraving pictures). This option needs to be selected under "Raster"-"Settings".

Changes in Version 0.01

- Initial Release

Changes in Version 0.02

- Added Min/Max darkness cutoff settings for halftone raster images.
- Fixed bug that could cause raster engraving to start engraving the wrong direction.
- Fixed error messages and added better error messages.
- Removed Numpy dependency.

Changes in Version 0.03

- Added more descriptive text to "No Backend Error" to indicate libUSB is not installed
- Removed debugging code that could have resulted in the head moving 1" away from raster image.
- Updated raster test pattern SVG file.

Controller Boards:

Only boards that work with LaserDRW will work with K40 Whisperer. (Moshi boards will not work)
To see which board you have you can go to "Properties" from the LaserDRW (or CorelDraw) Engraving Manager window and look at which board is selected for the "Mainboard" option. You can also just at the the controller board. (The controller board is the circuit board the USB cable plugs into)

- 6C6879-LASER-M2 (M2 Nano, Yes, this board works)
- 6C6879-LASER-M1*
- 6C6879-LASER-M*
- 6C6879-LASER-B2*
- 6C6879-LASER-B1*
- 6C6879-LASER-B*
- 6C6879-LASER-A*
* I need users to test the indicated boards. If you want to do the testing you can contact me and I will work on getting the code ready to test. I am not writing the code for each of these boards ahead of time because I don't know if there are any of them in use. (My e-mail address is in the image at the bottom of this page)

Download

This should be considered experimental software. I have tested it but there may still be some unknown issues.

(Right click on the link and select "Save target as" or "Save link as")
K40 Whisperer for Windows K40 Whisperer Source
K40_Whisperer-0.01_win.zip
K40_Whisperer-0.01_src.zip
K40_Whisperer-0.02_win.zip
K40_Whisperer-0.02_src.zip
K40_Whisperer-0.03_win.zip
K40_Whisperer-0.03_src.zip

Installation Instructions:

Windows: Setting up K40 Whisperer on Windows

Linux: Setting Up K40 Whisperer on Linux - Instructions not available yet

Mac: Using K40 Whisperer on Mac is theoretically possible but totally untested.
(I can't help with Mac specific questions. I have no experience installing software on a Mac. If someone sends me Mac instructions I will post them here.)

Creating Input for K40 Whisperer

1. Create your a design in Inkscape.
- Use RED lines to indicate cutting.
- Use BLUE lines to indicate vector engraving.
- Use BLACK to indicate raster engraving (this can be shapes, paths or images)
2. Adjust the size of the document to match the area you want to export (You can use "File" - "Document Properties" - "Resize Page to Content" to make the page the same size as your design)
3. Within Inkscape select "Save" to save the design as an SVG file.
4. Open the SVG file you just saved in K40 Whisperer.

Overview Video

K40 Whisperer Main Window

k40w_screen.png

Related Links

Laser Draw Inkscape Extension: Save Laser Draw (LYZ) files from Inkscape.



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