• fromScratchEd

Primo day 3 – March 2, 2014

Date: 2 March 2014 Author: Sjoerd Dirk Categories: Primo 0


Today I spent a couple of hours trying to figure out what to do with the source files for the lasercutter.

I don’t have a lot of experience with lasercutters and I also don’t have to right programs to open the DXF files.

After trying some different applications (both on Linux and Windows 7) my favourite is QCAD.

After some struggles with scaling I found the right settings for the DXF-files.

  • Open a DXF file in QCAD.
  • Go to Edit.
  • Go to Drawing Preferences.
  • Go to General / Drawing Unit.
  • Set both options to Millimeter.
  • Go to Printing / Page.
  • Set the following:
    • Page Orientation: Landscape
    • Paper size: Custom
    • Paper width: 300
    • Paper height: 600
  • Click OK.

We’ve now set the drawing to scale in millimeters.
Also we’ve set the maximum size of the plywood to 30 x 60 cm (the maximum size of the lasercutter I’ll probably use).


The Primo source files aren’t made for 30 x 60 cm plywood (or maybe they do, but I couldn’t figure it out).

I opened all the files and exported the files to 30 x 60 cm PDF’s with QCAD.
Before exporting I deleted everything that shouldn’t be on that particular PDF.
For some files I only had to generate one PDF, for others I generated up to 6 PDF’s.

I’ve ended up with 8 PDF’s (6 for 4mm plywood, 2 for 1mm), but all the parts aren’t efficiently divided over them.

I continued in Illustrator, because it can handle PDF’s natively and has the right tools for image processing.
So I’ve copy-pasted everything and rearranged the parts.

I now got:

  • 3 files for 4mm x (30 x 60)cm
  • 2 files for 4mm x (30 x 35)cm
  • 1 file for 1mm x (30 x 60)cm


The last thing I did was changing the colors.
The lasercutter I’ll be using uses the following colors:

  • RGB Red for cutting
  • RGB Black for engraving

But the Primo files have blue and pink colors.

Luckily Illustrator has a nice feature for this:
Select one part in a particular color and go to Select / Same / Stroke Color.
All parts with this color are selected now.
Change the color in the swatch and the selected parts have changed color.

Don’t forget to save ;) .


I also started these blogposts about my adventures with making Primo.

I now have to wait for all parts to arrive and arrange some time at the lasercutter (hopefully next friday).

Motors etc.

I received an email from AlphaCrucis that the gear motors, wheels and ball casters have been shipped!

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