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Using MS Excel to convert M3 files to M5 files for the ShopBot Indexer. -Wrapping a flat project around a round blank

The following assumes that your ShopBot Indexer is oriented along the x axis and is connected to the "B" drive.


Start with your material. What is the maximum clean diameter of the blank.

Take that answer and use the function "Circumference = pi times diameter". Your circumference will be the maximum Y value of the project you create.

For example, I can take a 6"x6" post and get a clean 5" round blank. 5" diameter times pi (3.14) = 15.71. So that 15.71" will be my circumference and "width" or Y value of the project. If I have a 3.5" x 3.5" post, I'll get a clean 3" round blank and my project width (Y) will be 9.425".

Project Design

It is very important to recognize your Z-zero setting in relation to the indexer center of rotation! Your project thickness should be your material RADIUS, NOT the diameter!

Create a v-carve or relief project using your maximum Y value from the C = pi times diameter function and your material length for the x value.

Toolpath your project in x,y,z just as would for a normal "flat" project and output the *.sbp file.

File Prep

Now remove the header (everything down to the first J3 or M3 move) and footer and save these in a seperate text file.

Change the original *.sbp extention to *.txt

MS Excel

Note: MS Excel has a ~64,000 line limit. If your file has more lines than that, you'll have to break it up. There are several programs to do this. One is in Bill Young's ShopBot Lab.

Start MS Excel and open the new *.txt file as a TEXT file, choosing "delimited", then "comma" as your options.

Your 4 main columns are... Command(M3s),x,y,z --- You WANT ...... Command,x,y,z,a,b

In your Excel sheet, in field I1 (That's EYE-ONE, like ...."i") type the circumfrence (example; for 5" diameter, it's 15.71 - No units or quotes, just the number)

In field H1, type "+360/$I$1" - no quotes. The result will be your Y to B conversion factor

In field G1, type "+$c1*$H$1". - no quotes. This is your actual Y to B conversion. Copy Field G1.

Click onto the G1 field header. The entire G column should be highlighted. now hit Paste. The G column now shows degrees of rotation. Take note that they should be between 0 and 360, with some higher and lower where your bit reaches past the edge of your project.

Now select the entire G column. Select Copy.

Click into Field F1 and select "Paste - Special". When the Paste Special options box comes up, select "Values". The result is your new B value.

Now select the entire G,H and I columns and delete them.

Now select the entire C column (your Y values) and delete those values. You'll now, using cut and paste, replace all of your Y values with a "0" (zero). You'll also paste a "0" (zero) into every field in the "E" column.

So your spreadsheet columns should now be Command,x,y,z,a,b.... or really....Command,x,0,z,0,b .

Now save this file as a *.CSV (comma delimited) format. You have to select *.csv from the file type box. A warning will come up saying "your file may contain features not compatible to csv, blah, blah." Just hit "Yes"

File Prep

Now in Windows Explorer, change the file extension back to *.sbp.

Now using the ShopBot Editor, replace the header and footer. Then use the Find and Replace function..... Find M3...... Replace with M5. I also like to change the Jogs to Moves using the find and replace function - Find J - Replace with M.

Also be careful to visually check the file, looking for errant values or commas or anything that can go wrong.

Save it. You are ready to run this as a Shopbot indexer file.

Run it!

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