Last two days, I have found a way to communicate with a plotter (vinyl plotter, for plotting sticker, draw big plan use) eventually required a proprietary application to operate. I have been using the proprietary (i.e. Flexisign or CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator) software to send file to the plotter so many years since 1997 when it is the year I start own my first computer! No doubts, the software itself provide many functionality of art design. However due to it is a proprietary and using encoded file format so no further enhancement or any automation I can make with it. Of course this is the reason how a software can make money.
Actually we can archive all of these without purchase any license or cost on software except the plotter, of course. By using any terminal client(serial port client ie. Teraterm) transfer a file with .plt file extension to the com port which the plotter connected.
Here is my approach today:
- Continue all artwork by using open tool like Inkscape (or you can found other, but I found this is the most suitable and easy to use, and svg is a standard yet open format even all browser can support today!).
- Convert the file extension to plotter format *.plt. You can get this done by Uniconvertor.
- Use any terminal client (i.e. Teraterm) connect the com port with baud rate 9600, 8 bit, and none parity (this may differ depends on your plotter preference). Just call the send file command then your plotter will receive the signal it can understand.
Maybe I can write a simple terminal client to archive this task (step 3). Stay tune…