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Hot Folder with GBRipSpool

The GBRipSpool Monitor runs in the background and waits for files to be placed into a "hot folder" to be processed. When it detects the presence of a file in the hot folder it launches the GBR_RIP program, rasterizing the file and producing a bitmap file.

block diagram of data flow

The user can define multiple "hot folders" or directories to be monitored by GBRipSpool. Each hot folder can have its own settings as to the image area, DPI, output directory and other rasterizer settings.

Once the Gerber file has been rasterized, it is deleted from the hot folder. All that is left in the hot folder is a log file which summarizes the time required to RIP.

GBRipSpool Main Menu

From the Main Menu you can configure the monitor, pause or stop it and view the log file.

GBRipSpool Monitor Window

Configuring Hot Folders

Each Hot Folder (also known as a "watched folder" ) can be configured separately for a different RIP behavior. For example, one might set up a "standard" hot folder where the RIP does no rotation, mirroring or scaling. Any Gerber file sent to this hot folder is processed directly as drawn by the user.

A second hot folder could be defined that rotates the input data by 90 degrees around the center of the plate. You could call this hot folder rotate90.

Run in Foreground - When this option is checked, the GBR_RIP Program will automatically appear in the foreground when a new file is placed in a “hot folder”.

Timeout - When this option is checked, the program will stop trying to process a file after the specified number of seconds in which the user has entered. If this item is not checked, the program will continue to process the file endlessly.

dialog to add and edit hot folder properties.

Individual Hot Folder Configuration

In general, for each hot folder the RIP can be configured to run differently. The RIP reads a configuration file but rather than force the end user to manually edit it we have provided a GUI that can read and write the configuration file.

Click on any of the various sections for more details on its function.

hot_folder_configuration hot_folder_id hot_folder_path output_path gerber_format data_transform clip_input_data step_and_repeat rip_settings image_size

The GBRipSpool Configuration File

GBRipSpool reads a configuration program located in the same directory as GBRipSpool. The configuration file is an ASCII table that controls all aspects of how the monitor runs. The GUI reads and writes this file.

# GBRipSpool Configuration File   

DisplayStatus: <Y/N>              changed by "Run in Foreground"

Timeout: <integer>                seconds to timeout       

HOTFOLDER: <string>               name of the Hot Folder

Path: <string>                    path of the Hot Folder

Destination: <string>             output of the Hot Folder

GerberFormat: <RS274X/RS274D>     format of Gerber input files

[Aperture: <string>]              path of the aperture file, only for RS274D

[Archive: <string>]               path to archive folder, only if archive is on

GerberExtensions: <string>        comma-separated list of Gerber file extensions 
Unit: <inch/mm>                   units in Gerber file

DPI: <integer>                    Dots Per Inch

Format: <Tiff/Packbits/           Output format

Flatness: <integer>               amount to flatten curves

Inverse: <Y/N>                    Whether to invert polarity

Rotate: <double>                  Degrees to rotate counterclockwise

MirrorX: <Y/N>                    whether to mirror horizontally

MirrorY: <Y/N>                    whether to mirror vertically

ScaleX: <double>                  factor for horizontal scaling

ScaleY: <double>                  factor for vertical scaling

Clip: <Y/N>                       Y for manual clip region, N for automatic

Repeat: <Y/N>                     Y to step and repeat image, N otherwise

StepNX: <integer>                 times to repeat horizontally, if Repeat: Y

StepDX: <double>                  horiz. distance between repeats, if Repeat: Y

StepNY: <integer>                 times to repeat vertically, if Repeat: Y

StepDY: <double>                  vert. distance between repeats, if Repeat: Y

Margin: <double>                  margin around image

ImageWidth: <double>              width of image, only if no margin

ImageHeight: <double>             height of image, only if no margin

Centered: <Y/N>                   Y if image to be centered, only if no margin

OffsetX: <double>                 image x offset from lower-right, if no 
                                  margin & not centered

OffsetY: <double>                 image y offset from lower-right, if no 
                                  margin & not centered  


# GBRipSpool Configuration File
DisplayStatus: Y
Timeout: 300
HOTFOLDER: 274x - inch
Path: E:\gbrip\274xinch
Destination: E:\gbrip\output
GerberFormat: RS274X
GerberExtensions: gbr,gbrt,ger,art,pho,274x
Unit: inch
DPI: 1000
Format: Bitmap
Colors: 16
Flatness: 1
Inverse: Y
Rotate: 90
MirrorX: Y
MirrorY: N
ScaleX: 1
ScaleY: 1.5
Clip: N
Repeat: Y
StepNX: 1
StepDX: 26.6
StepNY: 1
StepDY: 13.3
ImageWidth: 54.56
ImageHeight: 43.5
Centered: Y

Additional Specifications

Input Format
Gerber RS274X. Standard RS274D cannot be processed without an Aperture File.

Output Format
TIFF-B (with either RLE or Packbits compression), BMP, and Raw Bitmaps.

Operating System
Windows 7 or 10

GBR_RIP is licensed on a per machine/CPU basis. Only one instance of GBR_RIP can be run per license.