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IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > Uncategorised CAM Discussion > Software suggestion to automate pen plotting on a CNC mill/rou. Excel/.CSV --> Gcode
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2020

    Software suggestion to automate pen plotting on a CNC mill/rou. Excel/.CSV --> Gcode


    I run an electrical panel shop. I'm trying to automate the process of pen plotting electrical terminal markers. Basically this -->


    I have a Knee Mill running Centroid Oak and a CNC router running Centroid Acorn. I can put a pen holder in either one to get the job done. The terminal markers, cable tags, etc. sit in custom trays, like in the video.

    I already engrave switch & cabinet labels on the router, but it's a few per job, so I just modify a template by hand and generate the Gcode using Vectric V-Carve pro.

    For the terminal strips, it can be dozens to hundreds per project. My electrical drafting software (AutoCAD Electrical) can generate an excel file with all of the labels (1023, 1024, 1051, 1066, etc..). I'd like to create a template with placeholders to populate from the excel file.

    V-Carve pro has a "plate production" utility. but this generates the layout on the fly using preset X/Y sizes and gaps. This may work, but I'd prefer to have full control over the layout as some of the marker holders are not regular spacing, have rotated labels, etc.

    Software suggestions?
    What I already have:
    Fusion 360
    V-carve Pro
    Tag Print Pro (label printing software)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Hy, i can help with creating a custom application, particularized how you like.

    It will have graphical if you wish, gcode creation, excel sheet read or write, or other kind of input, like on screen table, list, etc / kindly
    Ladyhawke - My Delirium, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bFO1SNRZg

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2020

    Re: Software suggestion to automate pen plotting on a CNC mill/rou. Excel/.CSV --> G

    For anyone in the future, I found an easy way to do this with the software I already have.
    AutoCAD has an express tool called ATTIN to import block attributes from a .txt file. An AutoCAD drawing is created for each type of label sheet that needs to be plotted with a block attribute for each label. The data to populate the labels is imported using the ATTIN command.
    I then can import the AutoCAD file into V-carve to generate the G-code.

    The AutoCAD to V-carve workflow is the way I do a lot of my engraving. I find it much faster to create the artwork in AC than VC. I have a template file for both softwares with the layer names mapped to a toolpath in VC ("eighth_inch_text", "quarter_inch_text", "borders", "cutouts", etc.). In VC within the "EDIT TOOLPATH" dialog, hit the "VECTOR SELECTOR" button, tick "SELECT VECTORS ON --> SELECTED LAYERS ONLY" and tick the appropriate layer. Make sure the "ASSOCIATE WITH TOOLPATH" box is ticked. All you need to do is import the AC file into VC, recalculate all toolpaths and generate your G-code.

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