Microvellum contains complete nesting optimizer and complete sawing optimizer solutions. It also supports the third-party optimizer Cut Rite manufactured by Stiles Machinery/Homag Group.
There are two methods of communication between Microvellum and Cut Rite. One is through an MDB database. The other is using a parts file of the type Pattern Exchange, better known as a PTX file.
The PTX parts file contains everything the Cut Rite needs to know to calculate the best parts layout according to its optimization algorithm.
Microvellum gives you tools to configure the data output to that parts file. Some of the data in the parts file are passed automatically. You pass other data to the optimizer using the processing station associates. Regardless of the type of data, Microvellum creates the data and the parts file, the parts file passes the data to Cut Rite, and Cut Rite optimizes the data, creates the G-Code, and prints the part label.
As you probably already know, Microvellum contains all the data necessary to design and manufacture cabinet products. When you use Cut Rite, the process diverges from that of using the Microvellum optimizer at the point of processing a work order and optimizing its parts. Instead of processing with a station of the type Microvellum Sawing Optimizer, you process with a station of the type “CutRite ASCII.”
When processing, Microvellum reads the file named CutRiteV7.xlsx for mapping data, so it knows where to locate various data within the transfer file. You might think of it as the configuration properties file for the PTX transfer file. The PTX file is named with a text string constructed from the project name, room name, and batch name, with a PTX file extension. It is this PTX file that Cut Rite later imports as the parts and sheets (boards) used when it optimizes. See the section in this article “Pattern Exchange File (PTX)” for more information about the PTX file and its properties.
Set up processing station associates if you want data associated with a secondary machining process to appear in the PTX file. Set these up on the Associates tab of the Processing Station.
For example, you may want the horizontal boring data produced by an edge boring machine station to appear in your parts file and thus be available on the labels produced by the optimizer software. Add and configure a new associate of the type “Edge_Bore,” as explained in the tutorial below. This will result in a parts file containing data produced by a separate processing station.
Click here for a tutorial demonstrating how to set up a CutRite processing station.
The CutRiteV7.xlsx file is created by Microvellum and is used by Microvellum when generating the PTX file. This is regardless of the Cut Rite version being used. For example, if you are using Cut Rite version 11, the name of the CutRiteV7 file is still valid and will not change.
The first time you process with a CutRite ASCII station, the program creates this file, located in the Microvellum data folder of the current configuration. After that, if, for any reason, a file with that name does not exist at that location, the program creates a new one. To force the program to create a new file, either delete or rename the existing file, and the program will create one containing data from the latest program settings.
The file CutRiteV7.xlsx is the means of mapping or defining what is contained in the data transfer (PTX) file from Microvellum to Cut Rite.
Columns A & B are used by Microvellum for certain information when writing the PTX file. They contain properties and the values of those properties.
Columns C & D and E & F are the mapping columns. Column D contains various types of Microvellum data, and column C contains row identification numbers for each of those cells. Column F contains the target Cut Rite fields. Column E contains a number taken from column C that defines the data in column D for the Microvellum data that you want in that target Cut Rite field in column F. If nothing is populated in a cell in column E, nothing will populate to that field in the UDI column of the PTX file, and thus nothing in the corresponding Cut Rite field and Cut Rite part label.
Columns A & B, rows 1 - 21 are for customer reference only, the program does not look at them, and they should not be modified by the user. Column B, row 22, should be set to a value of 1 if you are using Cut Rite v8 or greater. Columns A & B, rows 23 – 28 are used for a limited number of users, and the names explain their effect on the PTX file data written.
It does not affect Cut Rite if you add data in columns C & D as Microvellum does not recognize those additional fields and will not add the data to the PTX file it produces. The only way the end-user has of customizing this file is to modify the data in column E. The data in that column functions as a mapping field, connecting the Microvellum data in column D with the Cut Rite data in column F. Enter the number in column E from column C for the Microvellum data needed, in column E next to the Cut Rite where it should be populated when Cut Rite imports that data.
Column F contains INFO1 – INFO60 that is populated in the PARTS_UDI lines of the PTX file. This is user-definable by using column E to map data from the Microvellum data in column D.
The CutRiteV7.xlsx may be found in one of two locations.
In the second location, all users with access to the configuration will also have access to the mapping file (CutRiteV7.xlsx). Therefore they will all create a PTX file in the same format when processing from their machines.
Modify this file to set up the mapping when initially configuring Cut Rite, as explained in this section.
CUT RITE NOTE: Information Boxes within the Cut Rite software of the type “User-defined ()” beginning on the row labeled 1 in the first column correspond to the CutRiteV7.xlsx file, column F, row 1 (INFO1).
The sample of the CutRiteV7.xlsx file shown in figure 1 above was created by Microvellum and is attached to this article. Be careful not to replace your working copy with this one, it has all default settings and will move your Cut Rite fields around. It should be used for reference only.
Some additional fields have been added to the CutRiteV7.xlsx file. Below is a list of them and their usage.
Additional fields for use on the label. These fields would be used if you need a different barcode style for your different stations. You can use these fields to populate the station name and the Barcodes for that station on your labels.
The PTX file is created by Microvellum and is the file that Cut Rite imports for the parts and sheets (boards) to be optimized. When processing with a station of the type “CutRite ASCII,” Microvellum produces a PTX file at a location specified in the processing station setup. This path must point to the same location on the disc as the Path to Import Data property within the Cut Rite software.
It is a comma-delimited file in the format required by your installed version of Cut Rite. Since this is a comma-delimited file, the successive commas represent placeholders for blank data.
The only fields that can be ‘mapped’ from Microvellum to Cut Rite are the rows beginning with “PARTS_UDI.” These are “user-defined information” fields where the content may be modified by altering the mapping data in Cut RiteV7.xlsx column E.
The sample of the PTX file shown in figure 5 above was created by Microvellum and is attached to this article. Download and view these files using a text editor app such as Notepad or Notepad++.
Cut Rite supports “grain matching,” but the data must be passed from Microvellum to the PTX file first.
The type for the Cut Rite software “Grain matching” field is the single exception to the rule that all data passed to Cut Rite must be set up using the User Defined type. Instead of the User Defined type, it must be configured in the Cut Rite software using the type “Grain matching.”
In this example, field INFO23 is set up in Cut Rite to consume the grain matching data contained in Microvellum field 62 (Subassembly Comments). In other versions, it may be INFO13 or another field. You must verify which row has the Description “Grain matching” with a Type “Grain matching” and match that row number with the corresponding pair of cells in columns E & F in the CutRiteV7.xlsx file.
The perfect graining data is then passed into the PTX file, and subsequently, Cut Rite for use when it optimizes.
Cut Rite must contain a grain matching template pattern with the layout configuration to correctly reproduce the intended door and drawer front grain matching patterns from Microvellum.
For example, a Cut Rite grain matching pattern for a 2 Door Base cabinet requires that you have a Cut Rite template pattern to match that door configuration. If a Cut Rite pattern does not exist that matches the layout, you will need to add one in Cut Rite using their Help System and add the Microvellum requisites as outlined in the next section.
This populates the PTX file with the pattern name, followed by the index number of that part in the grain-matched set. As an example, if you have a 2 Door Base cabinet the PTX part rows for one door would include “2Door:1,” and the other door would include “2Door:2” where the text “2Door” indicates the Cut Rite pattern, and the 1 or 2 indicates the index number of the door in the matched set.