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.
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.
For machine tools, hardware enhancements and add-ons are usually the province of a distributor. Software tends to be a different story: available via download rather than expensive shipment, installable with no special tools, and usable at the tap of a touchscreen. For Okuma machine tools, the Okuma App Store provides a central location for finding THINC and other applications that add value to your OSP controls. Let’s take a quick look.