SheetCam For Vinyl Cutting Plotter?

I have the drag knife plugin license (somewhere) and see the included HPGL post processor, but do not see a way to specify knife downforce and some other functions a vinyl cutter can use. Plus the plotter is more like a printer when it comes to sending the job to be cut.

Can SheetCam be adapted to produce the HPGL language the cutter knows what to do with while sending the code to a “printer” from SheetCam?



If you tell me what HPGL commands are used for downforce I can modify a post to suit. As far as printing to the plotter is concerned, is the plotter on a serial port? If so SheetCam should be able to send code directly to it using the DNC tool (View->dnc tool).

I’d have to look up the code for the downforce, but I believe I am looking for a way to include the down force setting in the tool setting. That way I can save a job for one type of material and be able to program another job using a thicker vinyl which could need different speed, downforce and acceleration. Sort of like a different tool for different plasma cutting material. This plotter is now hooked up via USB using a raw printer driver using command line to send options to plotter. Serial port is also available.

Also may be interested in the future for using other features of the plotter like contour cutting.


It is possible to add tool options from the post processor. For instance I can add a ‘Down force’ parameter to the tool options. I’ll make up a post for you if you tell me what codes are needed by the plotter.

Great! If you could show me how to do one, maybe I can add all the others that I need.

For speed, the command looks like this:

! s[,n] \x03

where “s” is the speed and “n” is an optional configuration setting.

Downforce command:

  • a,f[,n] \x03

where “a” is for acceleration, “f” is downforce and “n” is the optional config setting.

The \x03 is the command termination.

Thank you…


Give this a try. Save the file to any convenient folder on your computer the run SheetCam and go to Options->machine->post processor. Click on the ‘import post’ button and open the post. Now restart SheetCam (you need to do this for the custom options to be installed). After restarting go to Options->machine->post processor and click on the ‘edit post’ button to edit the post.

I assume by \x03 you mean the ETX character. Is that needed anywhere else in the code?
HPGL-plotter.scpost (2.69 KB)

Thank you Les,

I will give this a try. Via command line testing directly to the plotter I am actually sending \x03. I will try this pp and modify as needed.

Thanks again!!