Managing custom data

Technote 230
Date: July 2007
Product: All SmartCAM Applications
Version: All

What is the best way to manage my custom data, like macros, Code Generators and customer data?

All custom data should be kept outside of the SmartCAM installation area. In this way no changes are required when you update, the custom data can be placed in an all access area, and in a place that is backed up regularly. There are several other reasons that this method is advantageous.

Create a directory structure similar to the illustration below. In this example the Z drive is on a public drive that is accessible to the shop floor, the designers, estimators and any others that may desire access to this data.

Public access directory structure

Copy all custom files to the appropriate directories. Copy them first, and when you are comfortable that the transition is complete you can (or not) delete the old versions. The file types to look for are MCL, PCB, BAR, SMF/TMP and your model files (PM5/JOF). Model files may also include custom tool graphics and font files. Advanced customizations may also include thread files (THD), material files (MTL), format files (FMT) and others.

Edit any macros and custom panels that point to the areas or files inside of the install area. If there are macro lines similar to the following:

CODE[FN="myGcode.cod", MS1="C:\\Program Files\\SmartCAM\\SmartCAMv14\\MILL\\MSMF\\myMachine.SMF",
MT1="C:\\Program Files\\SmartCAM\\SmartCAMv14\\MILL\\MSMF\\myMachine.TMP",
SH=0, DC=0, ST=0, DT=0, SP=5, DE=0]

Edit the lines to point to the public area:

CODE[FN="Z:\\G-Code_Files\\myGcode.cod", MS1="Z:\\Code_Generators\\myMachine.SMF",
SH=0, DC=0, ST=0, DT=0, SP=5, DE=0]

Edit your custom panels (PCB files) to also point to this area. Using Visual CTK, a panel like this:

Custom panel before

Should look like this:

Custom panel after

See the video, 'Creating custom control panels' for information and the download of Visual CTK here.

Check your application.ini file for things that point to custom files and edit your new application.ini file to point to these. The application.ini file can be found in the configuration directory of the installation and is named using the short name of the application you have installed. (amill.ini = Advanced Milling, afab.ini = Advanced Fabrication, pturn.ini = Production Turning, etc.)

The Configuration Directory can be found by opening Help - About. The configuration directory is shown at the bottom of this form.

For example in the old pmill.ini you might find something like this for your custom Icon Bar:

SetupFile=C:\Program Files\SmartCAM\SmartCAMv14\SHARED\ICON\
Defaults=C:\Program Files\SmartCAM\SmartCAMv14\SHARED\ICON\ICONBAR.DEF

Be sure the new one looks like this:

Defaults=C:\Program Files\SmartCAM\SmartCAMv14\SHARED\ICON\ICONBAR.DEF

Check for other path information to custom items that should point to the new public area and change as needed. Some sections to check in the application.ini files are [Paths], [UserMenu], [PcbPaths] and others. Also check the [Hotkeys] section for custom hot keys that may be assigned to custom macros.

Also see Technical Bulletin 215 for more information about transitioning SmartCAM here.