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Author: pmcoltrane

THINC App: Panel Mode

THINC App: Panel Mode

Let’s code a panel mode switcher application for Okuma THINC! An app that lets you switch panel mode from a VNC or other remote desktop application.

Wait, but why? After all, there’s already a panel mode application on the Okuma App Store, and it works quite sufficiently.

Just about every THINC developer has, at some point, coded a panel mode app. It’s the THINC equivalent of “Hello, world!” And since it’s been eight years since I last wrote about it, now’s a good time to look at how THINC app development has changed.

A panel mode switching THINC app.

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7 Basic Tips for THINC Apps

7 Basic Tips for THINC Apps

What to do (and what not to do) in your THINC App.

So you’re developing a THINC application to run on your Okuma THINC CNC. You’ve read the fine documentation in the Okuma Open API SDK, right?

If you’re new to THINC, and you haven’t yet read the documentation, you might have missed out on some helpful tips. So to get you started, here are seven very basic tips for THINC app development.

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AWS Machine Monitoring

AWS Machine Monitoring

Although I no longer work in machining, I still follow news from the industry. This evening I was surprised to see an article on Ars Technica entitled Amazon to roll out tools to monitor factory workers and machines.

Is Amazon getting into the machine monitoring business?

Not in the sense of providing a CNC machine monitoring solution.

Amazon is introducing two new services for AWS (Amazon Web Services). These services, named Panorama and Monitron, use web-connected sensors installed in a facility to feed data back to an appliance or to the AWS cloud, respectively, so that ML (machine learning) can do its magic.

Keeping in mind that I have not touched either of these services, and that my knowledge of them comes entirely from the news articles, here are my thoughts.

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A Quick Intro to Okuma THINC

A Quick Intro to Okuma THINC

What is a THINC app?

In the broadest sense, a THINC app is an application made to run on Okuma OSP-P controls. This is Okuma’s line of Windows-based CNCs.

Even though normal Windows apps will run on the OSP controls, THINC apps are generally built to use the THINC API.

Ok… So what is THINC API?

An API — or application programming interface — that allows applications to interact with the CNC. For example, the THINC API provides methods for an application to read and write common variables, load part programs, read and write tool offsets, etc.

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P/Invoking Native Libraries

P/Invoking Native Libraries

You’re a VB.NET developer. You’re writing code, and you need to integrate with a machine tool, automation system, sensor, scanner, or some other bit of hardware.

Lucky for you, the manufacturer provides a library. But wait… it’s not a .NET library. You can’t just “Add Reference…” the DLL.

If you’ve never used P/Invoke, this is where you start.

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