I've designed a keychain with a personalised text to be 3d printed.
The idea is to have creo automatically save the keychain model using a new name to my harddisk each time this new name is read from an excel file (which consists of a list of names).
it should also use this name as a parameter input for the extruded text on this model.
creo should repeat this process as many times as the number of names in the excel file.
Still sounds simple doesnt it.. but is it realistic?
AutoIT meet Mr. Bj P. Mr. Bj P. meet AutoIT.
The easiest way is to copy the names to the clipboard and have AutoIT read the names off the clipboard, edit a parameter that is set to drive the text in a sketch, and then proceed with whatever other steps are required.
You'll be looking at SendKey and WinWaitActive for initial functions to control what's going on. Sendkey to run a mapkey that goes through the edit steps.
You might also need MouseClick (pretty sure that's the function name) at some point.
The same AutoIT program could also be checking on other things, like sending files to other software and running that operation as well. Note that this will tend to take over the machine, unless you are careful at programming. You might include a message that simply asks "OK to proceed" at each loop to give you the chance to stop it if it's not performing the way it should
Much of this can be done with VBA, but it's less easy to learn and the AutoIT users have a more interesting support group.
That is certainly doable. I think it would be easier using VBA over AutoIT or Autohotkey (as similar program I use). I have tried to automate Creo using Autohotkey and can't connect to the session yet. If you google VBAPI or search your Creo folder for that you will be on the right track. The excel part is actually really easy to write in Autohotkey or VBA. Let me know if you need help with that. Also anyone let me know if you have figured out how to connect with a Creo session using Authotkey or AutoIT!
You could also create an excel or mathcad analysis that could maybe be referenced in a family table? But your talking about Creo! I guarantee if you don't already know the answer to your question it is going to take you longer to learn and setup an automated solution than to paste each name in and save the part manually!
Here is a simple family table part. It only take 5 minutes to create the family table.
As for exporting the instances as separate stl files Pro/Batch or Distributed Batch, depending on what version of Pro/E you are using.
Wouldnt it be nice there would be a small app which would be able to load .prt or .asm files, then detect certain unlocked parameters, after which they will be presented in a window where you an fill them in and hit the export button, after which a new (stl) file is created. In this way it would be cool to share customisable Creo models with people who dont have Creo (or would know how to use it) but will be able to do powerfull stuff with Creo models anyway. This will crush the competition and make Creo the mac daddy of 3d printing
I like the idea, but Creo is not the best platform for it, especially licensing cost.
Blender is a much better candidate as it is built on Python (not that Python is so terrific) and every feature of the software is reachable from Python. The zero-dollar cost of a Blender license is also attractive. The Blender group has been adding features to directly support 3D/deposited material manufacturing.
I have recently learned that you could fairly easily do what you are looking for with a trail file. Trail files are written using the same syntax as mapkeys. You just open Creo, do what you want with one part. Close the part, open the trail file (in your user folder with your config.pro files and everything else) delete the parts that aren't required (by trial and error). Then you can overwrite the saveas name and input for your text to modify as xnamex xsavenamex or something like that. Paste the loop of commands including open, edit, save, close etc... as many times as parts you want to change. Then write a simple autohotkey script (or do it by hand using search and replace) that pastes in the names and filenames you want for each new part.
Then you load Creo, and run your trail file.