Same as most software packages, simCNC uses the operating system standard file-open prompt. When using a touch screen I found the standard window hard to use – and in addition wanted to get some more information on the files presented.
simCNC gives plenty of options to customize the frontend… here is my result.
Default file prompt
- Display of CAM generated comment
- Count of lines the file has (still working on a way to get estimated processing time from CAM)
- Used work coordinate systems (WCS) from parsing the GCode
- Stock size from CAM
- Used tools the GCode
In a next step I will have the funtion check tools for a) existence in tool table and b) if tool is currently in the magazine. This will reduce setup time and risk.
As I am using the actual GCode to get most of the information, this tool will work wish any CAM software or post processor.
Currently I have the script set to pull the information for all .tap files in the folder straight away – delay is bearly noticable. Okay, admittably this was just 40 files with a total of 2MB in size. A folder full of heavy 5-axis 3D operations will probably take much longer… Probably I will soon adjust my Post Processor to output all relevant information in the header of the GCode file, so they are easier to fetch.
I am currently working on the first version of the file explorer / open-file prompt.
As soon as I have a tested stable, I will release it on Git & here. But you can already have a glimpse at the current alpha version on my Git repository.
# Code available on GIT https://github.com/AndreUeberbach/simcnc/tree/main/File%20Manager
Some restrictions, the code currently has:
- In order to read wcs, tool, stock and comment information, some changes to your post processor are requried to post this information in the expected way. I have my settings in a separate article (Fusion360 PP, based on the Fanuc standard)
- Currently only one folder can be selected and it’s hard-coded
- Copy script and folder „icon“ to profile/<yourprofile>/
- Create a new tool button in your GUI and trigger the fileManager.py script
- On start, this script generates an interface with the Python Tkinter package, containing a treeView object.
- The list is populated with all .tap files found in my NC program folder, which I host on Dropbox.
- Each attribute is a single line in the treeView, below the „file“ element. This way the information can be collapsed and is not shown in a full tabular structure.
- On expansion of the file name treeView node, the following steps are carried out
- Fetch of the date/time of last modification from operating system
- Reading the first line of the GCode to extract the comment the Post Processor has set. Here we can put helpful information about the program
- Parse the file (i.e. run through the lines) and extract information on:
- Used work coordinate systems (WCS), i.e. G53, G54, etc.
- Used tools – script will search for M6 Tx commands
- Count number of lines to show size
- Items in the treeView can be selected by clicking on them. A double-click will trigger d.openGCodeFile( string filePath ) to load the selected file into simCNC.
Discussion in the official simCNC support forum can be found here.