Freesteel Blog » 2005 » August

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005 at 5:05 pm - - Machining

Subject to a few problems now being debugged, we can have arcs in the virtual stock model.

The main sticking point is to ensure that all arcs are cardinal which, in my invented terminology, means they remain in one of the four quadrants and don’t cross an axis even slightly.

Many wrongly designed calculations cause arcs to cross an axis by about 1e-16.

Once this is all fixed we will squash all bugs before I go away for a week cycling through Wales.

No sign of any kayaks in the post.

I have printed off most of a coloured survey of Er Wang Dong and crashed the A1 printer. I did most of the work on Bank Holiday Monday after a weekend in Lancaster and the Lake District with Becka’s parents walking th Fairfield Horseshoe. Their tree has excellent apples.

Still no sign of Machining Strategist showing up anywhere useful in the google search engine.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005 at 3:21 pm - - Machining

I’ve been trying to get the words Machining Strategist and Depocam into the tagline under “Machine tools don’t need friends”, but I can’t get a linefeed into there.

We’ve also updated the front index page of Freesteel to set the record straight. Maybe this will start to get us some hits. The theory is that nobody out there knows anything about who programs what, so why not tell them.

Anyway, latest coding I’ve done finds the full intersection between a circle and a slice of an annulus, so we can rest rough against toolpaths that have their arcs still in them. There are probably some bugs hidden in there, but I don’t know how to find them all out. They should emerge with enough asserts in the area.

Now I’ve got to make the boxset accept arcs properly. That’s coding for the rest of the day when I get round to it.

Oh, and I think I’ve ordered an inflatable dive yak to experiment with. Should be here in under two weeks.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005 at 7:49 am - - Machining

Hmph. Still failing to get anywhere with phrases like “Machining Strategist” onto the search pages of Google. The pages distributing cracked versions come much higher, which is unfair.

Yesterday I think I finished the flat area detection stuff in freesteel. We’ll see if I got it right this time. The Danes are pretty sharp at picking out flaws in what I give them.

Martin and I also experimented with putting the zslicing and the area clearing into separate threads. Don’t know if this will improve things, but it appeared that the effective technology to use is the Queue class in Python, where the thread calling the “get” function is forced to wait until something is “put” into it.

We need to get the online toolpath calculator working again. I’m popping away for a day to LLandrindod Wells.

Friday, August 12th, 2005 at 2:07 pm - - Machining, Weekends

Worldcon was successful, and I eventually settled on some good accomodation in traffic island embankment in between carparks near the SECC, instead of the 6 mile cycle up the road to a campsite.

On the freesteel note, I went south to try selling this software. It’s not often that someone comes up with a new machining algorithm. So we had a long chat about how the business could but didn’t work, and so forth. I can sense it’s not ever actually in a software company’s interest to bring something like this to the market, since it’s only ever work, and merely gives the customers something further to complain about.

The only way to market this is to advertize it to customers directly, like they do with drugs with the saying: “Ask your doctor about brand X for your heart.” I think we need to get it shown to users at the bottom end of the market, say with a cheap and nasty user interface that lets them make toolpaths. Then they will demand the suppliers of their CAM software to integrate it into their system. Otherwise, it’s just not going to happen.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 at 12:01 am - - Machining 2 Comments »

What’s happened today? I’ve finished the flat area detection and stepdown stuff, implementing the similar sort of thing that was in Machining Strategist. Don’t know if it is more sophisticated or less, since I can’t remember exactly what I’d done there. Probably it’s exactly the same, since the same programmer writes the same thing in the same situation, usually.

Still making plans for the trip to Glasgow and Worldcon. I’ve bought a bivibag and booked my bike on the train so I can cycle to a campsite, as there’s going to be room there.

Tomorrow’s job is to pick potatoes and blackcurrents if it’s not raining. I’m also going to put in a serious session of publicwhip, if there’s no crying from Cimco about how horrible my program is becoming.

Today was the first day of The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, and people got arrested. I’m sending a letter to the police asking for permission when I go there.

Monday, August 1st, 2005 at 8:22 am - - Machining, Weekends

As usual, I always find of more easy to waste time writing the Myron Ebell Climate Blog than doing anything else. I seem to have tapped into something there. Shame I can’t persuade others to tap into this vein of Think Tank Shadowing as well, because it’s fun.

Last night I had a headache and completed another freesteel function which measured the radial change in size between two weave models of a zprofile area. This is used by the adaptive stepdown and horizontal area detection routines.

This week I’m going to big SF convention in Glasgow, and have neglected to find anywhere to stay. Looks like I’m going to have to find this campsite place 5 miles out of the city and live in a bivibag. If Brian Haw can manage in Parliament Square, I’m sure I’ll be able to cope.