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The utility is a G-code sender -- in other words, is "glue" for sending a skeinforge-generated gcode file to your arduino-based reprap.

It is a command-line only utility, starting it from your GUI of choice will not be useful.

Syntax is simple: [options] <gcode or file> [<gcode or file>...]

To send your extruder.gcode file to your reprap, type: extruder.gcode

This will print the extruder.gcode shape, and print comments to the console. Typically, comments are such things as (>layerStart< 0.402 ) which can be very useful to track the progress of your build, so these are "on" by default.

There are a simple options that may be useful for special circumstances. These are --quiet, --noreset, --port, and --verbose. These can also be writted -q, -n, -p, and -v for short. If you are writing a script (for instance, the M100 scripts for use with EMC) then I'd recommend that you use the long options, so future maintainers don't have to look things up.

Quiet will suppress all but the most basic messages. It won't supress everything, however. Error messages will still be printed. But it will supress almost everything. Since options are processed in order on the command line, so if you want to supress messages about processing options, you'll have to make Quiet the first option.

Normally, the arduino is reset by dropping the DTR line for 1 second. Since the Arduino takes several seconds to reboot, you will want to disable this behavior when including in scripts.

The verbose option will cause not just comments, but every command sent to and every response recieved from the arduino to be printed out. Useful for debugging, but it prints a great deal of text in ordinary usage.

The port option uses reasonable defaults for most operating systems - /dev/ttyUSB0 for posix systems, and COM3 for windows systems. If you have some other port you'll have to set in manually as " -p COM5 extruder.gcode" or " --port /dev/ttyUSB5 extruder.gcode" or something.

Future improvements: I would like to add support for more g-code contructs on the python side of things. Stuff like variables, subroutines, etc. Stuff that the g-code firmware is unlikely to ever implement because of size restrictions. The current version works, and skeinforge doesn't use these features. It might be nice for a future "print several objects at once, automatically filling the bed area" interface. And if I get my extruder built, I might even take the time to do that!

This, like, was cribbed from Brenden Erwin's code for using EMC. It's been modified somewhat for more general use.

There are only five methods: init reset write read close

Of these, you should not directly use read(). It's used internally by write and reset to verify that the operation was completed successfully.

-- Main.EnriquePerez - 01 Sep 2008