View Full Version : Using the New [FILE_NOTES] or [TOOLPATH_NOTES] Feature in Your Post Processor

01-06-2010, 12:44 AM
Has anyone figured out a good way to implement the new [FILE_NOTES] or [TOOLPATH_NOTES] features in their post processor?

I'm trying to come up with a way to have these notes pop up as reminders to the operator while the machining file is running.

The msgbox() command works...


But, if your notes are written on more than one line, you get multiple message boxes popping up in succession - one for each line of notes.

I suppose that this quirk may or may not be helpful, depending on what you're trying to display.

I haven't done a lot of testing, but there may also be problems with this display method if you include numbers and/or math operators in the notes string.

When Vectric first announced that they would be including this feature, I immediately thought it would be useful for controlling peripheral devices with simple text flags - something like Dust_Collector_Auto_ON_OFF=1 After giving this somemore thought, I'm not sure if the SB programing language includes commands for parsing strings.

Any thoughts on how to accomplish these two goals?

01-06-2010, 01:24 AM
You can control peripheral devices by adding


to turn outputs on or off.

01-06-2010, 04:42 AM
You could enable the display of comments into the Message Screen by enabling "Display File Comments" in VD.

Or you could amend the Post Processor to use PRINT so that the comments are directly displayed in the Message Screen regardless of the above setting.

I have my Post Processor set to switch output 8 (SO,8,1) on at the start of every job and off (SO,8,0) at the end. My vac is hooked up via that relay on the SB control board.

01-06-2010, 10:01 AM
I haven't used the message screen feature much, so maybe I'm doing it wrong... I tried using PRINT, which showed the comments on the message screen OK. But, I then couldn't close the message screen while the file was processing and the message screen was interfering with other msgbox's that I use during mid-file tool changes. Perhaps I just need to resize and relocate the message screen so that it can stay open for the duration of the file.

To clarify the second part of my post above, I'm already using the SO,1,1 command to control a number of items. At the moment the commands are hard coded into my post processor, so they happen during every file. It would be nice if you could decode the [FILE_NOTES] string in the post processor to determine if the SO,1,1 command should be implemented for that particular cut file. This would allow you to control the outputs/relays from within PartWorks. You could create some files that use dust collection and others that don't, just by changing the [FILE_NOTES].

Gary Campbell
01-06-2010, 02:48 PM
What you are speaking of may be able to be accomplished easier by selecting from a list of postP's that have the proper parameters when you toolpath the file.

01-06-2010, 08:16 PM
Thanks Gary - that's exactly what I decided to do after giving up (at least for the time being) on using the new FILE_NOTES feature.

I can already predict that I will have errors with this method - using the wrong post processor in a forgetful moment. But, it's the best I could come up with.

01-06-2010, 09:24 PM
I sometimes name some extra toolpath "info files" that I save to the toolpath folder but don't run.

They might be titled.
Material 20 x 16 x 3/4
Home position 20, 16, .5

helps keep a few things straight when picking out the toolpaths to run.

Gary Campbell
01-06-2010, 11:11 PM
If you look over the document linked to here: http://www.vectric.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6213 you will find that you can make a few additions to your post and have your listed info and more entered into the file automatically by the postP. There is some very good info in the PDF.