Programming language opinions for powder bed open source?
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  1. #1
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    Question Programming language opinions for powder bed open source?

    I have not kept up with my programming for about 25 years and versions have gotten a bit unfamiliar to me. I have been examining the "PWDR" and "Plan B", the open source powder printers which seem to show the most promise. Something which is, and will continue, to hold back open community progress is the Gcode generator for full color printing.
    I am leaning towards Python or whatever form of C the community college teaches now. "slic3r" is a python app and may give a good start that could be altered. "Plan B" uses Slic3r so adding extended function seems plausible. "Repetier" seems to be C# based, at least that is what they want extensions programmed in.
    I think of programming as that nasty stuff I have to do to make my toys do what I want. I can do it with practice and patience. I don't keep up with it because I just don't really like it. I am running through an "arduino" programming book now to get my head back into things and because it is the most stripped down version of C that I know. The only language I've tinkered with in a long time but I use it for home printers all the time.
    If you were going to take a hack at this what would you use? I've got a couple months to decide before the semester begins but I'd love to start exploring the selection to get a feel for where the world is today.

    "I realize I do not know anything. That is why I'm a student. Ignorance is the one terrible affliction with a simple cure."

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptnBlynd View Post
    I am running through an "arduino" programming book now to get my head back into things and because it is the most stripped down version of C that I know. The only language I've tinkered with in a long time but I use it for home printers all the time.
    Arduino is pretty amazing within its limits, and wonderfully reasonably priced.

    It's an outcrop of the MIT processing project, which is built on Java.

    Processing.org

    The neatest feature of processing is its ability to automagically bridge to many other hardware sensors, controllers, software applications and programming languages, and it can handle all sorts of basic internal data/geometry elements with incoming formats, such as DXF and OBJ: Libraries \ Processing.org.

    Combine raspberry pi + processing with arduinos, it's an extremely compact and affordable form of software-hardware glue.

    Best bit of this is the extensive sharing of code and useful libraries, chances are anything you need to get done can be lego-adapted out of existing codebases, rather than having to write a whole bunch of stuff from scratch.

  3. #3
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    +1 on the Arduino.

    I have a GRBL shield for stepper motors (plan to make a small router or laser engraver) and it only cost me around $40 CAD (on eBay) for the Arduino, GRBL shield and the pololu stepper drivers.

    Arduino is by far the easiest, least expensive, and most widely used open source platform.


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