24 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Free utility converts HPGL to motion commands

Free utility converts HPGL to motion commands

Baldor has developed a free program that converts HPGL (Hewlett Packard Graphics Language) commands on-the-fly into moves and commands for real-time motion control.

The HPGL protocol is used widely in plotters and printers and is supported by many low-cost graphics and CAD software programs. Baldor`s new interpreter, written using its high-level Mint motion language, will allow users to adapt commands originally designed for applications such as controlling plotter pens, to control tools such as laser cutting heads or to drive axes such as tangential knife blades.

Baldor says that the utility, which runs on motion controllers from its NextMove family, will cut the time taken to develop machinery for processing two-dimensional shapes. It will, for example, provide an economic way of creating machinery for applications such as cutting, routing, engraving, and glue-laying.

“This software release demonstrates the real-time programming power of the Mint language, which provides a complete machine control and communications environment,” says Baldor`s Mark Crocker. “Traditionally, a utility like this might require code developed using an embedded language such as C, in order to obtain the necessary speed of execution.”

A datasheet and example code for the HPGL utility can be downloaded from Baldor`s Web site.