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IGES To Accumark Data Conversion 8.1.2

IGES To Accumark Data Conversion 8.1.2

IGES To Accumark Data

The IGES TO ACCUMARK DATA CONVERSION package is an add-on product for the Accumark product family. It provides the ability to transfer pieces from mechanical drafting packages into the an AccuMark system. Once the pieces are imported, they may be used in a marker (or a nest) and sent to a plotter or a Gerber cutter.

The IGES TO ACCUMARK DATA CONVERSION package translates IGES data to AccuMark Raw Piece data format. The process of conversion is done in two steps. First, the IGES file is converted to a digitize data file. Second, the digitize data is imported into the AccuMark database. An in depth explanation of getting your data into the AccuMark can be found in the sections Converting pieces and Importing pieces.


The IGES to AccuMark Data Conversion package is automatically installed with the AccuMark software. The IGES conversion software is a DOS based application. Therefore, the IGES program must be run from a DOS prompt. To start the application, open a DOS Window by selecting the Start menu followed by Run. A dialog box will appear. Type in “cmd” and Ok to continue.

Once the DOS window appears, change to the IGES directory. In AccuMark V8 the IGES program must be run from the IGES directory.

Note: The IGES program requires MS-DOS command experience.

The IGES directory is installed under c:\Program Files\Gerber

Technology\AccuMark V8\Iges

Refer to the next section to get started. The Iges conversion commands and switches are outlined below in detail.

Before You Start

The IGES data format is designed to handle three dimensional drafting information. The Accumark is a flat, piece oriented system. Because of these differences a number of limitations exist that must be addressed.

The following is a partial list of restrictions to the NBS IGES Specification (Version 4.0) for the AccuMark. This list is subject to change as conversion capabilities are enhanced.

Only one piece may be specified in each file.

IGES files must be in ASCII fixed form.

The file must be in correct IGES format, even though many fields are ignored.

The perimeter must be closed, or nearly closed. If any gaps exist, you will need to specify a closure amount using the "-A" switch.

The perimeters must not have any loops.

The number of points in the file should be as few as possible. Performance of the AccuMark is best when fewer than 256 points are used to specify a piece perimeter, however more points are allowed.

If EDIT_DIGITIZE is to be used on the AccuMark to verify/modify the digitizer data, the piece must not be larger than 99 Inches.

A discussion of the conversion strategy, and technical format issues are discussed in the section Technical issues.

Converting pieces

The program IGES.EXE converts IGES format data to AccuMark Raw Piece data format. There are two ways to get the AccuMark Raw Piece data in the AccuMark databases, described below.

The utility permits you to convert IGES data and store Raw Piece data in a file. The created file can then be imported in the AccuMark using the IMPORT DATA function. The section Importing pieces explains this process in more detail. This method allows you to convert the IGES data on a system that is not an AccuMark system. The files that contain the Raw Piece data have then to be transfered, by means of a floppy or via a network, to an AccuMark system to be imported. This method also allows you to use the converter on AccuMark Systems which are not the latest release of the AccuMark software.

The second way of converting allows you to store the AccuMark Raw Piece data directly into the AccuMark database. This saves you from doing an additional import action. This requires that you work on an AccuMark system or that you have access to an AccuMark database (for example via a network drive). The option /o or -o is used to indicate the AccuMark Storage Area.

The IGES command accepts the following command line parameters :

IGES input-specification output-specification [options]

The input-specification is the IGES data file to be converted.

The output-specification either the file name containing the Raw Piece data, or if you are using the /o option to import the file directly, then it is the it is the Piece name to create in the AccuMark database.

Both the input and output may include wild cards.


IGES P1001.IGS \USER\P1001.RP -t

converts the IGES data file P1001.IGS and stores the result as Raw Piece data file P1001.RP in the USER directory of the current drive using the -t option. The -t option is dicussed with the other options in the Conversion options section.


converts all IGES data files having an extension IGS, to Raw Piece data files having the same file name but the extension RAW and are stored in the root directory of the floppy drive. The IGES converter accepts also wildcards and expands the file specifications similar to the dos copy command.


converts all IGES data files having an extension IGS, to Raw Piece data items stored in the AccuMark Storage Area IGESDATA. The names of the Raw Piece data items are extracted from the expanded input-filespecification. Notice that this example and the previous example produce the same final result. The difference is that in the previous example you need to do a manual import action from the floppy Raw Piece files to the Raw Piece data items into the AccuMark Storage Area IGESDATA.

Please note, that when you use wild cards all the files are converted at the same time using the same options. Any IGES data files that require specific options

should be converted separately.

Importing pieces

Once converted, the pieces are imported into the Accumark database. They are then verified by the system. To do import and verify the pieces, do the following:

Run the Accumark.

Import The Piece

Select the IMPORT DATA editor.

In this editor, select the data type DIGITIZE DATA.

Then specify the input directory, output storage area. Also provide a list input and output names.

Press F1, or select PROCESS, to import the data.

Verify The Piece

Exit the IMPORT DATA editor, and choose PIECE VERIFY. Use the storage area CURRENT. Enter the piece name and do a RETRIEV DIGITZ, followed by a STORE VERIFIED.

The piece is now ready for system processing.

For more information on IMPORT and PIECE VERIFY, consult the Accumark user documentation.

Using the IGES.INI parameter file.

The IGES program makes use of a parameter file called IGES.INI. The parameter file contains some settings which you may want to use all the time. The program will first look for this file in the current directory and then in the directory where IGES.EXE is stored. If the IGES.INI file could be found, the parameters are read and used by the conversion process. Different parameter files may be kept into different directories.

The IGES.INI file is line based : each line has a parameter identifier followed by an equal sign followed by parameter(s). The // (double slash) is used to specify

comments, the rest of the line will then be skipped.


The parameter StorageAreaName sets the AccuMark Storage Area where the Raw Piece data is to be written. It is then unnecessary to use the -o option to indicate the storage area.

The remaining options require some knowledge of the IGES data file format. The start section contains a number of text lines. Some systems that output IGES data allow the user to specify these lines. The AccuMark to IGES converter can be told to

use some of these for piece information.


The parameter PieceNameAtLine marks which line number in the Start Section is the piece name. This parameter is used ONLY when you store directly into an AccuMark Storage area. When the IGES.INI file uses the PieceNameAtLine parameter, the command


doesn't need to specify a output-specification piece name. The output piece name is extracted from the iges data file. If a piece name is specified, you're overriding the piece name that found in the iges file.


The parameter DescriptionAtLine marks which line number in the Start Section is the Piece Description. If this parameter is not specified, the Piece Description will be filled in by concatenating the Author's name and the Company's name found in the Global Section (See your IGES manual for this terminology).


The parameter CategoryAtLine marks which line number in the Start Section is the

Piece Category. If this parameter is not specified, the Piece Category will be "IGES".
A sample IGES.INI file :

// line 2 of the START SECTION, contains the piece name.

PieceNameAtLine = 2

// The description is line 4.

DescriptionAtLine = 4

// The category is line 5.

CategoryAtLine = 5

// Always import to storage area IGESDATA.

StorageAreaName = IGESDATA

Piece Data

The conversion package creates an AccuMark Piece with the following features:

The piece name is the same name as the IGES file name.

The default piece category is "IGES". The default piece description is the author and organization (read from the IGES Global section).

A rule table called IGES is used. It is assigned to all pieces imported using the IGES


The stripe-line will be placed in the middle of the piece (calculated by a bounding box).

As an option, grade points may be placed at the start of each IGES entity. This point number is the line-number of the entity in the Directory Section of the IGES file. The point grade-rule number will be the type of IGES-entity (i.e., 100 for a arc, 110 for a straight line). These rules will have to be defined in the IGES rule table. (currently 100, 104, 106, 110, 112, 116, 126).

Optional trimming of the piece may be done. Points which lie on a straight line can be removed, because they are redundant.

Conversion options / Command lines switches.

The IGES TO ACCUMARK DATA CONVERSION has a number of options:

-A -CLOSURE AMOUNT. The IGES pieces must have a closed perimeter. If any gaps exist the "-A" switch is needed to specify how far apart adjacent lines may be. The amount is specified in 1/100'ths inch. (For example /A10 specifies gaps of 0.10 inches.)

-T<d> -TRIMMING. Eliminate points which lie on a straight line. This reduces points, and can improve system performance. If the optional parameter <d> is specified, conditional trimming is performed. The parameter <d> (in 1/100 inch), specifies the maximum distance that the endpoints of a colinear 3-point-linesegment may be apart in order to delete the middle point.

-G -GRADE POINTS. Each new entity will be assigned a grade point. The grade point number is equal to the IGES line number in the directory section of the IGES file. By default, the system will not assign any grade points.

-MA -ARC POINTS. Sets the maximum number of points used to generate an ARC. This is used to reduce the number of points for very large arcs which overflow the converter's internal tables.(example: /MA13 = 13 points) Default : unlimited.

-MB -SPLINE POINTS. Sets the maximum number of points used to generate a bspline. This is used to reduce the number of point for very large splines which overflow the converter's internal tables. (example: /MB13 = 13 points) Default : unlimited.

-I -PASTING INTERNALS. Enable pasting of internals into the perimeter. If an OPEN internal has endpoints which lie on the perimeter it is converted to a notch.

-L -List data processing as it occurs. This is used for debugging only.

-P -List data processing to printer. This is used for debugging only.

-D -DRILL HOLES. Convert IGES Point Entities as drill holes.

-U<u> -OVERIDE UNIT. Drafing systems often work with abstract "drawing units". On the other hand, the corresponding IGES file specifies the data in a specific unit, a scaling problem might result.

<u> can be one of the following options :

1 : Inches

2 : Millimeters 3 : Feet

6 : Meters

10 : Centimeters

Example : the customer "thinks" in Centimeters but the IGES coverter flags the data as being specified in Inches. Result : a scaling error with factor 2.54. To correct the problem, specify -U10 to overide this (wrong) unit specification.

-S - OVERIDE SMOOTHING. This option assigns a Non-Smooth point attribute to EVERY point.

-O - ONLINE TO THE ACCUMARK. This option allows you the specify an AccuMark Storage Area name to store the Raw Piece data directly into the AccuMark. This option should be separated by a space from the other options i.e. -OIGESTEST-T is not allowed but -OIGESTEST -T is allowed.

Technical issues. Conversion strategies.

When building the AccuMark Piece, the following strategy is followed:

- all entities of the IGES file are converted to lines.

- The point with the smallest x value is used as the start-point; this implies that "internals" must be "internal". In other words, the conversion process requires that the perimeter surround all non-perimeter points. This is needed to choose a start point for the closed perimeter.

- The next line, is the line with an end-point meeting the end of the first line. This line identified and added to the perimeter.

- Lines are added to the perimeter, until the perimeter is closed. It is closed when the end-point of last line meets the start point of the first line.

- If no end-point of a line matches the current end-point while building the perimeter, a bounding box is created around the complete set of points, and this box is then further treated as perimeter. This allows you to load the piece into the accumark, have a look at it and eventually rework the piece in PDS. A warning is also displayed about the amount of gap that is detected.

As an alternative, an accuracy can be specified on the command line. When the gap is less then this accuracy, a straight line is inserted (starting at the perimeter start point ending at the current point) to close the piece.

- All line segments, not used to build the perimeter, will be regarded as internals. Internals are constructed using the same method as for the perimeter. However, no gap filling is done. If lines do not connect, they form separate internal entities.

Technical issues IGES data format

The IGES data format has the following necessary restrictions made to it.

The IGES file must be in ASCII fixed format.

IGES Global section

The only data retained from the Global section are:

the delimiters,

the unit-flag (to support metric/imperial),

the model-scale, the Author and Organization (as comments for the AM300 piece).

All other data is ignored.

Directory and Parameter sections

Entities Not listed below are ignored ( A warning will be issued). Additional pointers in the Parameter section (for associativity instances, properties and attributes ) are ignored.

Data in the Z dimension is ignored. It is meaningless in a marker context. The input is assumed to be in the normal cartesian (X-Y) plane.

Data must have the desired horizontal orientation, as input. An AM300 stripe line is automatically added during the translation process. In the event that a piece is oriented wrong, the user will need to rotate the piece, flip the piece, or adjust the stripe line later.

The level section of the directory entry is currently ignored.

Views are ignored. Data must be in the correct orientation for proper conversion.

Currently, the following IGES entities are supported:

100: Circular Arc Entity

104: Conic Arc Entity ( only ellipses-subentity )

106: Copious Data Entity

The conversion program allows form 1 or form 2

110: Line Entity

112:Parametric Spline Curve Entity

116: Point Entity

126: Rational B-Spline Curve Entity

124: Transformation Matrix Entity

Unknown entities are ignored. Conversion is successful.

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