VTube-STEP v2.7

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Vtube-step logo 2.png

Revision 2.7

Vtube-step-1.87 screenimage.png


BUILD 103 - February 11, 2017


VTube can now import BENDTECH BTTX files.

The following information is imported from a BTTX file:

  • Part number
  • Date entered
  • XYZ centerline data (including bend radii)
  • Diameter
  • Wall thickness
  • Default radius
  • Linear units (Inches or Millimeters)

Vtube v2.8 bendtech bttxfiles.png

Check.jpg NEW: IMPORT ALPINE and CSM M4 MBF Files

VTube can now import MBF files from Alpine and CSM bender files.

The following information is imported from an MBF file:

  • Part number
  • Diameter
  • XYZ centerline data (including bend radii) - if it is in the file
  • YBC data

Vtube 2.7 b103 newMBFimports.png


Build 102 would sometimes print reports with blank pages. This has been resolved in this build (103).

Vtube 2.7 b103 printpreview.png

Check.jpg ENHANCEMENT: New French, Chinese, German, English UI Files

This build includes updated French, Chinese, German, and English user interface files.

Vtube-step v2.7 chinese ui.png

Language translation icon.png

BUILD 102 - January 30, 2017

Check.jpg NEW: Shortcut Keys Window and New Shortcut Keys

This new window displays all the shortcut keys in a popup window.

New shortcut keys include:

  • Ctrl-F1 - Display the Shortcut Key Window

  • Ctrl-B - Perform a quick project backup (see below)

  • Ctrl-T - Toggle TRANSPARENCY of parametric tube models

  • Ctrl-Z - Undo the previous change.

Step v2.7 shortcutkeyslist alone.png

Check.jpg NEW: Ctrl-B Shortcut Key for Quick Backup of VTube Project Files

Now you can press CTRL-B to create a backup for insurance against failures or changes-of-mind during an experiment.

CTRL-B saves a copy of the current setup of the VTube project as a backup file.

It creates a backup of the current setup without having to consider where it's saved or what to name it.

The backup files are always stored in the "C:\Users\Public\Documents\VTube" folder, and are given date-time stamps in the filenames.

For example, this backup file:
vtube_backup_ 20170116_19_38_45.vtp
...was created on January 16, 2017 at 7:38:45 pm.

Hotkey ctl b backup.png

Check.jpg NEW: Reverse Calc from MIL-D-9898C Absolute Bender Data to Centerline XYZ Data

"Reverse Calc" is our term for calculating new centerline XYZ data from LRA data.

MIL-D-9898C bender data can now be converted by VTube-STEP and VTube-LASER in the new ABSOLUTE LRA grid section of the Part Data menu.

Read More About How To Import MIL-D-9898C Data Into VTube

See VTube Reverse Calc from MIL-D-9898C Absolute Bender Data to Centerline XYZ Data for information about this bender data specification.

Vtube mil-d conversion.png

Check.jpg NEW: Reverse Calc from Springback Compensated LRA Data

There may be situations where you are required to send centerline XYZ data to a bender for setup - but you want to include springback compensation before you send that data.

This feature will allow you combine the springback compensation into the master centerline XYZ and master LRA. When you send the XYZ data to the bender, it will be compensated.

This features responds to the Undo command (in the toolbar) - so you can undo the calculation immediately after.

Vtube-v2.7 reversecalc springback compensated lra.png

Check.jpg NEW - VTube-STEP Snap to Axis Transformation

Snap any of the tube straights to any of the major axes in VTube-STEP mode.

Vtube-step v2.7 snap2axis example.png

Check.jpg NEW: "Calculate New Cut Length?" Dialog after Reverse Calc Incremental LRAs

VTube will now ask you if you want to calculate a new Cut Length in Part Setup if you perform a Reverse Calc on the Incremental LRA or Springback Compensated LRA data.

Vtube-v2.7 calc new cutlength from reversecalc.png

Check.jpg SEVERAL NEW Bender Communication Protocols Added

NEW: BLM VGP 3D Bender Communications

We've embedded Benderlink for BLM bender communications inside VTube-LASER.

  • This protocol uses communications through a standard Ethernet connection.

  • The protocol modifies YBC data inside BLM data files.

Blm e-bend76.jpg

NEW: SOCO Bender Communications

A new SOCO-specific bender communications protocol is now built into VTube-LASER.

  • This protocol uses communications through a standard Ethernet connection.

  • The protocol can send XYZ data for building new parts, or modify YBC data in the Execution File page when the bender is running in Auto mode.

  • See VTube Communication for SOCO for details.

SOCO Logo with Bender.png

NEW: CRIPPA Bender Communications (for legacy CRIPPA benders with Siemens Sinumerik controls)

A new CRIPPA MPF bender communications protocol is now built into VTube-LASER for older CRIPPA benders that do not have Supravision Network communications capabilities.

  • This protocol uses communications through a standard Ethernet connection.

  • The protocol reads and writes CRIPPA MPF files.

  • It can build CRIPPA MPF files without the use of existing templates.

  • It can recall and correct EXISTING CRIPPA MPF files for bender corrections.

  • See VTube Communication for CRIPPA MPF for details.

  • See also CRIPPA

Crippa bender with siemens control.png

NEW: HVAC OMS Benders Communications

VTube can now export new data to HVAC Machinery's OMS benders using a direct network connection.

The data included is the LRA converted to YBC, and the radius level data.

Hvac oms bender.png

Check.jpg ENHANCED - Import the Tube Centerline TeZet XLS Data File

In order to help with migration from TeZet to VTube-LASER, customers asked us to enhanced the Excel XLS file import in VTube-STEP (included in VTube-LASER) to handle TeZet file data better.

  • The import automatically discovers the XYZ row with no data in order to set the point count.

  • The import lets you set the part number from the XLS data.

  • The import lets you set the diameter from the XLS data.

  • The import lets you set the wall thickness from the XLS data.

  • The import automatically sets the default radius value in the Part Setup menu.

Vtube-step v2.7 import XLS TubeCenterline.png

Check.jpg ENHANCED - Path Manager Checkbox - Offer to Add New Paths

A new checkbox in the Path Manager allows you to control if VTube offers to add new paths detected.

Some customers find the repeated offer by VTube annoying. This will allow you to turn this feature on and off.

Vtube v2.7 pathmanager OfferAddNewPath.png

Check.jpg NEW - Part Setup Popup Menu: "Set Date/Time to Now" Feature

The Part Setup popup menu lets you set the Date/Time stamp for the project file to the current date and time.

Vtube 2.7 SetDateTimeToNow.png

Check.jpg NEW: Improved License Control Tools

We improved license management by giving messages in the status bar at the bottom of screen that report on license health.

The message always include the source of licensing - like local USB or Network License Manager.

The message will include specific information about any problems with the license in advance of VTube asking you to take some sort of retry or close action.

  1. If you see "License OK", then there are no problems communicating with the VTube USB hardware key or NLM server.

  2. If problems occur, then you will see "License Warning" followed by a description of the problem for one minute.

  3. Then you will be allowed to retry accessing the hardware key from inside a dialog box that asks you to RETRY for another minute.

  4. If VTube cannot verify the health of the license, then it will ask to shut down - but it will always automatically create a BACKUP file of the project (see the hot key backup feature above) before closing.

Vtube v2.7 license health indicator.png

Vtube v2.7 license health indicator extended notes.png

Check.jpg ENHANCED: Loaded Project Filename Automatically Moves to Top of Recent List

VTube Project files loaded are now always moved to the top of the Recent Projects list - even if they are already in the list.

Vtube recent project move to top.png

Check.jpg VERIFIED: VTube is Compatible with SOLIDWORKS 2017

VTube is verified as compatible for building directly to SOLIDWORKS 2017.


Vtube-v2.7 solidworks2017.png

Check.jpg ENHANCED: Network License Manager Setup Change - No Receive Port Necessary

Only one port is now required for connection to the Network License Manager.

We've remove the VTube Receive port number value. See the configuration text on the right from the "vtube local settings.cfg" file.

Enable Network=0
License Type=Laser
NLM IP Address=
Network Timeout=10
Send To NLM Port=17502

Other Changes

  • This version of VTube works with a new version 9 of the Network License Manager that has a redesigned user interface and a new communications engine.

  • New splitter bars are added between the menus and the viewport.

  • VTube can now properly save and load DATES and TIMES in the project file regardless of the Windows locale settings. Previous versions could not handle non US standard dates and times in the project file.

  • We made a major optimization by reducing the amount of memory required to run VTube. This optimization also makes VTube run faster.

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