Running RDWorks on Linux

posted in: Laser cutting | 6

As a matter of interest, I thought I’d see if I could use the RDWorks laser cutter control program on Linux, even though its a WIndows only application.

Linux add-in called WINE ( https://www.winehq.org/ ) that allows Windows exe’s to be run under Linux.
However when I tried to install RDWorks using WINE I initially got a load of error messages which implied that loads of RDWorks DLL’s were missing or could not be located.

I initially thought this was because RDWorks had to run in a specific location, but after movingit to various places on my machine, I found the error messages were a red herring, and the problem was that WINE did not have one of the core Microsoft DLL files.

The fix for this was to install something called “Wine Tricks” https://wiki.winehq.org/Winetricks and use it to install the missing DLL.
MFC42.DLL

With this installed, The RDWorks installer will actually run and install RDWorks under Linux

However you do not install the USB driver, as the FT232 driver is already installed on most Linux installations.

Once installed RDWorks does run, but with one strange quirk; the vertical scaling in the design window is incorrect, and you initially get a bed shape that is very tall and narrow.

So I changed settings for page setting, and 900 x 400 looks good on screen. This setting isnt really important to the laser cutter its self, as its completely ignored even my RDWorks, as you can edit and cut objects outside of the bounds of the laser cutter (as defined in the setup)

One thing I have not managed to get working yet is the USB transfer to the laser cutter.
I think the issue is the mapping of the FT232 serial device on Linux to the COM port that RDWorks requires
The solution is probably that I need to map / link the systems’ serial port to the Wine serial port as described here
http://g8ogj.org/files/Using%20USB%20se … %20ipb.pdf

But I have not had time to test this yet.

An easier option is probably to transfer by LAN, as this works well under Windows and its likely to work on Linux.

6 Responses

  1. David Fruehwald
    |

    I tried what you did but on my system the RD Works installer keeps failing. I don’t get errors just a status screen that shows no updates after clicking next. I’m using Mint 18.3 and Wine 2.0.3

  2. Roger Clark
    |

    I have not tried it recently. So I suspect either RDWorks or Wine changed since I tried it, and that more work would need to be done in order to get it to work with your configuration.

    I ended up just using an old laptop running Windows XP to drive the laser cutter, and as its not connected to the Internet, using XP is not a big problem.

  3. Anonymous
    |

    I got RD Works 8.01.26 working with Wine 2.22 and using Winetricks to install MFC42.DLL. It still has the vertical scaling issue you mentioned.

  4. Roger Clark
    |

    Does the USB work ? (or the ethernet ) ?

    I only installed it to view files and to save RD files before taking them to the machine in the workshop (which is running windows XP and is not connected to a network)

    So I didn’t check to see if I would be able to directly connect to the machine.

    BTW. I found Ethernet more reliable than USB, possibly because I needed a long USB cable to get from the PC to the machine

  5. David Fruehwald
    |

    USB and Ethernet give me communication errors but I can save to a U-Disk file.

  6. Roger Clark
    |

    OK

    Thats pretty much where I got to, except I wasnt able to test Ethernet or USB .

    You could try running WireShark to see if there is any Ethernet traffic at all to the laser controller, but there probably isn’t.
    Its possible that the Ethernet issue is not related to running on Linux, as I recall having to out the machine on the same subnet etc as my PC, and I just used a crossover cable (not via a hub) as I just use the PC (running Windows XP), just to drive a 3D printer via USB and the laser cutter via Ethernet and a CNC machine via parallel port (Not at the same time 😉 )

Leave a Reply