Control (.CTL) File for combining winding paths

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A control file can be created in the Combine Programs on the NC Post-Process Menu. This consists of a sequence of payout files that the user has generated for winding different angles and joining paths to wind from the end of one layer to the start of the next. It is like a 'play list' for the post processor.

When the user later selects a post-process option it will ask for a payout (.pay)  or .ctl name. If <name>.ctl exists it will read this control file and will thus process all the payout files in the control file. The end position of one pay file and the start position of the next should match up. If they do not match you will either need to create a joining paths or stop the winding at this point and cut the fibres so they can be attached at the next start point. For most winding machines Cadfil outputs an absolute starting position in the NC data for each wind program. Small amounts of mismatch may not matter as the machine will just make small position adjustments automatically. The post-processer 'INCREMENTS' option can also be used to manually add incremental machine position adjustments or other motion also.

In Cadfil 9.64, 2 new columns were added to allow greater control for the individual files when post-processing a combined program.
The FeedR column allows the user to modify the feedrate for each individual program.
The FeedMode column allows the user to change the feed calculation mode. This number will be a value from 0-4. The different feed calculation modes are explained in the Selection feed rate calculation method page.

Values for FeedR and Feedmode are automatically filled in using the value in the post-processor (SM) file. The relevant variables are $FEED-DEFAULT-MODE and $FEED-DEFAULT-WIND

Note that as of Cadfil 9.67 the Combined winding editor automatically creates a default thickness list file when you save, this option only applies if the Cadfil systems has the FEA options enabled for use. If the default thickness list file is not found or any of the files referenced by the thickness list file or the .Ctl file are not found then error messages will be given.

Note that as of Cadfil 9.77 the general attributes CW-Extra1 and CW-Extra2 were added and the Modify option described below was significantly improved. The .CTL file format was updated and whilst older formats can still be read the new format is not compatible with older Cadfil versions.

Cadfil Combine Programs Dialog

The Control (.CTL) file editor for combining programs

The control file editor consists of an easy to use dialogue. The options are:

The OPEN option asks for the file name of and existing control file. These have the .CTL file name extension, the file will be loaded and the data displayed.

The ADD option allows the user to add a new line of data. A dialogue box pops up show all the payout files available and the user can select one. The system then asks for the number of times to repeat the program (i.e. the number of layers) and the position in the winding sequence list, the default is to add at the end. The position (number) of existing items in the list is displayed on screen in the control edit dialogue.

The MODIFY allows the user to modify a selected line in the combine programs table. This can be particularly useful for editing the Feedrate or feed calculation mode of particular programs. In the picture above you can see a line has been selected and is highlighted. Clicking the Modify button will launch the edit dialog shown below.

Cadfil Combine Winding Line Edit Dialog

Cadfil Combine Winding Line Edit Dialog

As can be seen in the above figure the values that can be modified are shown in edit boxes. The last two columns CW-Extra1 and CW-Extra2 the value can be left blank if this feature is not used. On clicking OK to accept the changes then if there are any errors the dialog will stay open. In this case you must correct values at error and then click OK again or click the Cancel button instead.

CW-Extra1 and CW-Extra2 are optional attributes that the user can associate with a particular .pay file. The text added can be output in the NC machine output by using the @@CW-EXTRA1@@ or @@CW-EXTRA2@@ tokens in the machine configuration (.SM file). The attribute could be anything the user wants to configure so for example CW-Extra1 could be populated with winding tension values and CW-Extra2 could take the text for a token that switches a mandrel heater on or off for that layer. Note @@CW-EXTRA1@@ tokens should only be used in blocks $BLOCK-SPF-START, $BLOCK-SPF-MIDDLE, $BLOCK-SPF-END or $BLOCK-START-POSN as these blocks are processed for every pay file and will get the values specific to that .pay file. If you used the token in block $BLOCK-MAIN-PROGRAM you would get the value for maybe the first or last pay files, the result being unpredictable and dependant on other options set.

To REMOVE the user clicks on a line of data (this will highlight it) and then clicks on the remove button to delete that line

The JOIN PATH button launched the Joining path Wizard to help create a jopining path. The user clicks on a line of data (this will highlight it) and then clicks on the button to launch the joining path. The join path will take data from the selected payout files and the one that follows it in the list. If you click select the last file then nothing happens. If the selection is valid the combined program (CTL) editor will exit but you will given an option to save the file first.

The FINISH saves the CTL after asking for a file name. You can overwrite (update) the file that was read or create a new file.

Updated: 15 November 2021