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 Slow to start own drawings
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By: Anonymous: David Rysdam () on Saturday, October 09 2010 @ 10:34 AM PDT (Read 3018 times)  
Anonymous: David Rysdam

When I've drawn or generated (via the maze thing) my own design and send it to the bot, it takes 5-10 minutes before it actually starts moving. What's it doing and can I shorten that time at all?





       
   
By: Windell (offline) on Saturday, October 09 2010 @ 10:53 AM PDT  
Windell

5-10 minutes? Whoa. 5-10 seconds would be pretty normal... but it should not ever take minutes.

Can you say anything about your platform or configuration that might help?

* As part of the startup process, the extension parses the entire Inkscape file, but in big steps. Unless your computer is particularly old or low on memory (or your file is particularly big) there shouldn't be an issue there.

* The extension needs to locate the correct serial port. The process of scanning the ports can sometimes take several seconds, depending on platform and various other factors. One thing that you might try is running the "strip eggbot data" extension and saving your file. If there's a "bad" serial port named in the eggbot data, that could potentially slow things down.

* If you are plotting a particular layer that can induce an additional delay as it steps through the file to find the right layer. It should still only take a few seconds unless your computer is particularly old or low on memory (or your file is particularly big)

* If you are *resuming* a plot that can potentially take a long time, as it needs to parse the whole file in detail to find the particular step that you were at.




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By: Anonymous: David Rysdam () on Saturday, October 09 2010 @ 12:37 PM PDT  
Anonymous: David Rysdam

Quote by: Windell

5-10 minutes? Whoa. 5-10 seconds would be pretty normal... but it should not ever take minutes.

Can you say anything about your platform or configuration that might help?



Dual core 2.6Ghz with 2GB RAM. Ubuntu 10.04 x86_64. Inkscape 0.47.


* As part of the startup process, the extension parses the entire Inkscape file, but in big steps. Unless your computer is particularly old or low on memory (or your file is particularly big) there shouldn't be an issue there.

* The extension needs to locate the correct serial port. The process of scanning the ports can sometimes take several seconds, depending on platform and various other factors. One thing that you might try is running the "strip eggbot data" extension and saving your file. If there's a "bad" serial port named in the eggbot data, that could potentially slow things down.

* If you are plotting a particular layer that can induce an additional delay as it steps through the file to find the right layer. It should still only take a few seconds unless your computer is particularly old or low on memory (or your file is particularly big)

* If you are *resuming* a plot that can potentially take a long time, as it needs to parse the whole file in detail to find the particular step that you were at.



I'm not resuming and the files are pretty small. The first one was the smiley tutorial and I didn't even do layers (I only have a black pen here for now). File size is around 250KB.

I don't think the port scan is the problem, as the example files start plotting instantly. It's just ones I generate myself (yes, I'm starting with the template) that are slow to start.

I also did a "cow" egg that was kind of like the smiley tutorial's eyes, but all over the egg. Blobs with hatch fills. This one takes several minutes before it draws the blobs, then stops, then takes several MORE minutes before doing the fills. File size is closer to 850KB. Would that count as "particularly big"? I see the examples are more 10-100KB. Why would my file sizes be so large? Maybe I'm generating extraneous data. Not using hand-drawings (i.e. trillions of vector points), I'm using circles, bezier lines and such.

I guess one test could be to draw just a simple straight line and see what I get in terms of file sizes and wait times.

When I try to replot the same file without making any changes, it still takes a long time to start.





       
   
By: Anonymous: David Rysdam () on Saturday, October 09 2010 @ 12:46 PM PDT  
Anonymous: David Rysdam


I guess one test could be to draw just a simple straight line and see what I get in terms of file sizes and wait times.



The template file is ~250KB. Adding a single line and I still have about the same size. And it still waits before printing.

Why is the template so much bigger than a lot of the actual examples? Maybe there's extraneous data in there. I see a bunch of "translate" commands, but I don't know what they are supposed to do.

...OK, I made my own template file and it's only 3K. Starting with *that* template and drawing a line results in a tiny file and fast plotting. So I guess the template in the examples is just fat for some reason...





       
   
By: Windell (offline) on Saturday, October 09 2010 @ 12:58 PM PDT  
Windell

Dual core 2.6Ghz with 2GB RAM. Ubuntu 10.04 x86_64. Inkscape 0.47.

Obviously should be fine.

File size is around 250KB.

That's actually already large enough that it could start to cause slowness. It looks like the cause was actually a problem with our eggbot template file-- try starting with a new document, and changing the size to 800x3200 px, and see if that helps.

I've just replaced the example set too, with a fresh (4 kB ) template file, too:
http://code.google.com/p/eggbotcode/downloads/detail?name=EB_Example_Set_2010_10_09.zip

So... whatever invisible crud was in our template was likely causing problems. I am sorry about that, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I also did a "cow" egg that was kind of like the smiley tutorial's eyes, but all over the egg. Blobs with hatch fills.[...] Why would my file sizes be so large? Maybe I'm generating extraneous data. Not using hand-drawings (i.e. trillions of vector points), I'm using circles, bezier lines and such.



Those hatches actually have a lot of control points-- hundreds of points each --which take finite time for our python scripts to parse. Usually that's not a problem because python is *way faster* than waiting for a stepper motor to move. But, if there's a big blob of data to parse when you're not drawing, it quickly gets annoying as heck. There *is* likely to be some extraneous data if you have lots of hatch fills. Each time that you make a new hatch fill or copy-paste an object with a hatch, it adds a new hatch definition to the beginning of the document-- even if every hatch is identical. If there are dozens of them, there will be several dozen definitions. (Still not sure why it would get *that* slow, though.) You can avoid the data buildup by using the "clone" feature in the edit menu rather than copy and paste.


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By: Windell (offline) on Saturday, October 09 2010 @ 01:00 PM PDT  
Windell

Jeez, if you had just waited another minute or two, I would have seemed really helpful. Wink


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By: Anonymous: David Rysdam () on Saturday, October 09 2010 @ 01:55 PM PDT  
Anonymous: David Rysdam

Quote by: Windell

Jeez, if you had just waited another minute or two, I would have seemed really helpful. Wink



I had plenty of time to think while I was writing that comment and waiting for the plotter to start....Big Grin

But seriously, just the hint that file size could be a problem helped a lot. I didn't even think of that; I was just going by the low complexity of the drawing without checking actual bytes.





       
   



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