View Full Version : Back ploting in Vector ?

02-12-2001, 01:46 PM
Hello There,

It says on the Vectore feature list on there web site that it can
" Back Plot G-Code Files & Draw the Tool Path into a Drawing Window"
How do you do that ?
I would like to import parts made in 3D tool path generation software back in Vector to reorganise them on a sheet.
Thanks for ideas ?


11-09-2001, 09:01 AM
I just received the Vector 9.3 and thought I would let you know what I have found.

1. It is much faster. I did a reorganize in Vector 9 and also in 9.3. 14 to 15 minutes in 9 and under 2 in 9.3. I used the windows clock in the task bar so times are approximate. In any case way faster.

2. 9.3 seems much faster in normal drawing and certainly pocketing.

3. 9.3 allows you to do other tasks outside of Vector while it is in reorganize or pocketing. You still can't work on another drawing in Vector but I was downloading from the internet and working in my sign wizard program.

4. Long file names. No more test1 through test50 and no idea what they are.

5. You can also make a new folder while saving or exporting a file. Great for those of us that can't plan ahead.

6. Some new hole drilling routines that only require input to layout. Easier to do than explain.

7. You can backplot sbp code to a drawing. The steps that are contained in the manual update on the cd leave out the fact that you need to special-translate to get the sbp into g code and then backplot. The whole routine is very easy and very quick. Now all those sbp files that litter my hard disk can be backploted and I'll know what they are.

8. The ability to bring in large dxf files over the 32,000 bit ceiling allows the manipulation of shopbot probe files. Some of the probe files are quite large.

There are some other items that I haven't had a chance to use. Will let you know how they work RSN.

In my opinion worth the upgrade price.

John Forney

11-09-2001, 02:50 PM

If you're using version 8, you will have to export the G code file as something more generic than Shopbot code. RS-274 works with Stlwork.

In Vector, open or create an NC window, go to File, Import, change the list of files type to "All Files", click on the file you want to open, copy and paste the G-code into the drawing window. It's pretty slick.

Thanks to Fred Smith for this technique.

11-10-2001, 01:40 PM
I'll second John's comments on Vector 9.3. The increase in speed and long file names were worth the price of the upgrade for me - not to mention the new features.

Dave D.

11-11-2001, 01:23 PM
I've been able to spent a little more time with 32 bit Vector upgrade (version 9.3) and in addition to what John said, here is what I've found out:

1. There is a neat feature which allows to paste "metafile geometry". With this feature, you can essentially import (with the paste special command) .wmf clipart and graphics created with Microsoft WordArt.

2. Files donít appear to be backwardly compatible. In other words, once you open/create a file with 9.3 it canít be opened with 9.0 (no real surprise). I didnít see a save feature which would allow you to save back to a previous version either.

3. The Vector 9.3 CD also contains a knowledge database - it contains answers to about 1000 questions asked on the Vector website Users Forum.

4. There is a dynamic rotation feature which allows you pan around a drawing object (in the CAD window) by dragging the mouse around when the left button pressed.

5. You can now open a second file by clicking a Vector file name in Windows Explorer. Previously, if you had a drawing open in Vector, you could only open a second file by using the File - Open command in Vector.

11-11-2001, 03:57 PM
Have you tried saving a 9.3 file as a dxf and then opening it in 9.0. I have done a couple and it seems to work. Only value I can see is if someone sends you a file in 9, you work on it and then send it back as a dxf.


02-13-2002, 10:23 AM
I've been asked this a couple of times so I'm posting the instructions here and on the Vector user forum:

To backplot a Shopbot .sbp file in Vector 9.3:

In order to backplot you must first convert to G-code.

1)Install the sbptogc driver from the 9.3 CD. Insert NC using it.

2)Import your SBP file. Select all the text, Special-Text Convert (this file can also be used with QSIM or any other G-code simulator)

3)Select All, Special Backplot

In the Cad Window, Edit-Paste.

Have Fun.

Best Regards,

Fred Smith

02-13-2002, 10:49 AM
Fred, can this be done in Vector 8?

02-13-2002, 01:03 PM
No. It is available only in 9.3

11-25-2002, 08:58 AM

Will Vector 9.3 take a 3D SBP file (e.g., from the probe) and do a backplot? Are there any limitations on the size of the file?

11-25-2002, 08:57 PM
From the vector Forum:

"You cannot backplot with Vector Cad. You must have access to Vector Cam.

The process is as follows:

Select the CNC code to be backplotted in the NC editor
Special Backplot
Move the focus to the Cad window

The following commands are supported in most of the drivers:

G00, 01, 02, 03, 17, 18, 19, 90, 91

Vector Cam can backplot lathe, mill, 4 axis wire EDM (X-Y-U-V), Heidenhain, and Shopbot SBP code. This may not be activated in our demo version. 3D arcs in ISO g-code are supported as well."
depending on the part, it is sometimes better to use less points in a file and model the part from there.