Freesteel Blog » Try the web-interface

Try the web-interface

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 at 11:19 am Written by:

We’ve had several people asking for the exe download of our algorithm after I rashly noted that I’d send them out to anyone who asked “nicely”. Let me rephrase this in the context so far: “Nice” means you have complimented us on our lovely web interface of our algorithm, which we have put a lot of effort into. And the most effective way to compliment it is to use it… or tell us specifically what we need to change to make it more useable, wait for us to do it, and have another try.

The exe version isn’t a whole lot better, except for the animation, and we can’t go handing out too many copies of it without getting anything back (such as a specific offer of rigorous cutting trials). The contract I have seen so far for selling this algorithm to a CAM company for money has a “best price clause” — we refund them the difference if we sell it cheaper to anyone else — and I need to keep my options open.

One of the serious flaws in the interface is the post-processor, obviously. Someone has sent us a load of necessary corrections to us, and Martin will work out some effective way of handling it properly. If any other user finds any issues, we need to be told.

A little hint about helping with posts — we don’t need to know reasons. Just say what text needs to be converted into what, and we’ll deal with it. When I joined NCGraphics in 1992 I was put onto doing post-processors in the first day, and was having to do support calls within the first week. The system they had was so bad (the posts were written in FORTRAN) than I designed a universal post-processor after the first month, which is still used today. It wasn’t until after six months that I even saw a machine tool. All I had to get from a user was that they wanted the “X” letter and the “Z” letter swapped around, or the decimal points taken out, and I could do it, but they could be explaining their machine which I knew nothing about for twenty minutes before I got to this point. It’s like when you are in a city you don’t know, but you have a map, and you ask where the train station is, the road name is enough: a full explanation of how to get there from here is going to be forgotten. But once you get people started you have to let them run through until they reach that critical piece of information at the end of the tape loop.

1 Comment

  • 1. Martin replies at 19th April 2006, 8:25 pm :

    The gcode postprocessor has been changed following those hints from this helpful user.

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