Configuring Windows Platforms to Plot Using a Command Line Interface
The following are simple techniques for plotting from Windows to a local or network plotter.
Plotting from Windows to a Local Plotter
One method for sending a Pro/ENGINEER plot file from a Windows workstation to a locally connected serial plotter is to copy the file to the computer's COM port. To perform this, enter the following:
copy filename com1:
The COM port settings should match the settings on the plotter. The following batch file will ensure that the correct settings are configured on the workstation:
Example batch file, plot.bat:
mode com1: baud=9600 data=8 stop=1 parity=n xon=on
copy %1 com1:
To use the above batch use the command:
You can enter this command from the DOS command line or the config.pro option "plotter_command" can be set to "plot" to enable Pro/ENGINEER to send the plot file to the plotter.
To ensure a flawless communication between computer and plotter, verify that the settings used on the computer are also used on the plotter:
Baud = 9600
Data = 8
Stop = 1
Parity = No
Handshake = Xon/Xoff
This batch file technique may also be used to plot to a plotter connected with a parallel cable.
Example batch file plot.bat:
copy %1 lpt1:
Hereís an alternative method for setting up a local plotter is to configure the Windows Print Manager.
- To configure the print manager select the Print Manager icon in the Main menu.
- From within the Print Manager, select Printer > Create Printer. This selection will bring up the Create Printer dialog box.
- In the dialog box enter a name for the plotter and select an appropriate driver from the driver list. If an appropriate driver is not found, contact the plotter's vendor or manufacturer to get a proper driver.
- After a correct driver has been selected, specify a description if desired and select the appropriate connection port (LPT# for parallel or COM# for serial).
- The buttons Details and Settings may now be selected if desired. For more information regarding these buttons refer to the Windows manuals or help functionality.
- When all of the appropriate fields have been entered, select OK. At this point, Windows may ask to have the Windows CD inserted into the drive. This is necessary to read the appropriate plotter driver onto the workstation to allow for proper configuration.
To print to the plotter with this configuration, at the DOS prompt you can type:
This will send the plot to the default windows printer. As in the previous example, the config.pro option "plotter_command" can be set to "print" to enable Pro/ENGINEER to send the plot file to the plotter.
Suggested Technique for Plotting from Windows to a Network Plotter
- To plot to a network plotter from a Windows workstation, the workstation that the plotter is directly connected to must have the print manager configured for the appropriate plotter. To configure the print manager refer to Method 2 above.
- The plotter must also be configured as a shared printer to allow other workstations on the Windows network to plot to it. To do this, the button marked Share this printer on a network must be checked off. In the space marked "Share Name" enter the printer name. In the space marked "Location" you may enter the computer name that the plotter is connected to.
- From a remote workstation on the same network, the plotter may be accessed by typing the following at a prompt:
print /d:\\(host_computer_name)\(shared_printer_name) filename
- For example, if the machine named Antigua had a printer named Testprint installed, you could plot file1.plt to Testprint from a remote workstation by typing the following:
print /d:\\antigua\testprint file1.plt
- This command may be used to plot directly from Pro/ENGINEER by setting the config.pro option "plotter_command" equal to:
- Connecting a plotter to a network via its own ethernet card is not utilized by PTC. For support of this type of configuration, the vendor or manufacturer of the ethernet card should be contacted.
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