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Category: Coding

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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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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