Inkcut Installation on Linux


Inkcut is a plugin for Inkscape, which allows using plotters to cut vectors. There’s usually a lack of short guides on how to set up this neat little plugin, e.g. when new faces show up in the local hackspace and want to plot something. Most of them (like me) are too lazy or hot-headed to spend a reasonable amount of time looking for documentation online.
I wrote a few lines down when I was still a member and figured I will just leave them here.

Installing the plugin

Installing the plugin is super easy, although there are seemingly no software packages around for major distributions yet. Just download the latest version and extract it into your local Inkscape configuration folder.

tar -xzf Downloads/InkCut-1.0.tar.gz -C .config/inkscape/extensions/

Installing the dependencies

When I last used it, the plugin required me to install some dependencies, which were available in software packages.

For Debian-based distributions, use this:

sudo apt-get install python-lxml pygtk gtk python-pycups python-pyserial

For Arch Linux, use this:

sudo pacman -S python2-lxml pygtk pyton2-pycups python2-pyserial

Inkscape usually doesn’t require a restart after the dependencies have been installed. Just in case it was already running.

In case you have trouble using the dependencies, checkout the Inkcut tutorial.

Plotting

Now you can connect the plotter to the computer and use it to plot. The plotter configuration is best done on the device itself, which I also did in my case. I used the plugin only to send the data, while it was also capable of receiving the width of the vinyl roll that was inserted.

One problem I encountered though was that the plugin wasn’t allowed to access the tty device the plotter was connected to. I don’t know if there’s a permanent way around it. I just added permissions for other users than root to it, as it is reset after the computer gets rebooted. It’s ugly, but it works.

sudo chmod 666 /dev/ttyUSB<N>

Happy plotting!