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PowerMill drilling automation\hole tagging plugin

111 REPLIES 111
Message 1 of 112
10572 Views, 111 Replies

PowerMill drilling automation\hole tagging plugin

Hi Everyone!


We’re excited to share the following news… PowerMill Elite users have been asking for a better way to automate their custom drilling processes within PowerMill. Today we’re thrilled to announce a plugin that allows users to tag holes in PowerMill according to a user-defined CSV database. That database can be manually accessed but everything you need to build it also has a interactive UX inside the plugin. Users can now take more custom control of their drilling automation to suit their company’s needs.


Please view the teaser video below, to see if this will be of value to you

If you wish to investigate further, install the plugin and put it through its paces. Please go to the following page where you’ll have access to the full length tutorial recording, the sample files, and also a link to download the plugin.



Please note that this plugin was written as a giveaway and that the source code will also be made available soon. This will allow power-users to modify or enhance features to your exact needs.  Please send an email to, once the code is available, and we will make sure you receive instructions for access.

Michael Grenier
Senior Solution Engineer
111 REPLIES 111
Message 101 of 112

Yes you’ll need to uninstall the previous version first.  The installer will block you if you don’t.



Michael Grenier
Senior Solution Engineer
Message 102 of 112

Is there any plan to update the source code for this plugin on github? If I remember correctly the code is quite out of date.

Message 103 of 112



Good morning Michael,


There seems to be a bit of a glitch.

Using the plugin...if I go back to change the max depth of a feature for example...the color somehow changes....and will not update no matter how many times I attempt to change the color values and press modify.


Big thanks to all who contribute!
My opinions are my own and are not intended to reflect yours.
Message 104 of 112



First of all, sorry for the delay, I was out of the office for 3 weeks.  Secondly, I was unable to reproduce the max/min depth modification problem but was able to reproduce the color that could not be modified so I fixed that.  Here is a new version of the plugin for you to try.

Michael Grenier
Senior Solution Engineer
Message 105 of 112



Hi Michael, I've tried following all the steps for this plugin as I think it would be of great assistance in a job shop environment, hopefully from watching the videos its able to do all the center drilling / drilling / chamfering and thread milling for any given hole size in the definitions. 


however, I managed to get the option file opened once, was a little out of my depths, followed your video, however I cannot get anything to work at this point, I've restarted and reinstalled the latest plugin from 2022 -07-22 


Please could you perhaps give some guidance for the newbies, I have read most of this thread trying to get it to function. So far I've got my own hole CSV with your first line as first data entry, So far I have not managed to add any holes to it. 


I have absolutely no idea how to build the plugin from scratch based on the GitHub data. 


So far My Power mill Crashes straight as I launch it and "hover" over the Drilling automation Plugin window. or it just hangs when I try and get into the  options for your drilling plugin. 


We are running Power mill 2024.

We are running .Net Runtime v4.0.30319


Kind Regards Nathan

Message 106 of 112

Hi @nathanANTQX ,


Can you share a screenshot of the plugin option window and a zip containing your CSV file and your folder containing your machining templates?


Most of the time it's just a very little detail that does work.



Michael Grenier
Senior Solution Engineer
Message 107 of 112

Good Morning, I have removed and reinstalled the plugin. The minute I Enable the plugin (In a blank Power mill project) it seems to default to the settings I set the first time around, (Most definitely  incorrect) and crashes. 


I pointed the csv file correctly, but pointed the toolpaths to our general saved strategies folder. ( I cant seem to get the option window to open up and correct those settings. 


Have been following this thread in more detail from the first posts and see I need to create the folders for the toolpaths to use in the macro. 


Any ideas how to reset powermill/plugin to the original state to try and follow the video again?


kind regards Nathan


Date/Time: 2024-04-19 09:48:55 +02:00
Application: pmill.exe
Error: CLR exception - code e0434352 (first/second chance not available)
Crashed Module Name: mscorlib.dll
Exception Address: 0x00007ffe4ce8ab89
Exception Code: e0434352
Exception Flags: 1
Exception Parameters: ffffffff80131537, 0, 0, 0, 7ffe3de20000
Managed Exception Type: System.FormatException
Managed Exception Address: 0x000002902a8b0858

Message 108 of 112

Haaa I see, the settings are saved into an INI file that doesn't get deleted when uninstalling.  You can remove it from the following folder and that should help you out:




Let me know if that helps!



Michael Grenier
Senior Solution Engineer
Message 109 of 112

Good Morning @michael.grenier4GVTU 


So far I have found the INI file and cleared the database / toolpath folder directories, however the plugin still crashes Powermill when I touch anything to do with the plugin, I tried to bring up the option page again, however powermill just does nothing. (just to check I disabled the drilling and brought up the excel setup sheet option window, and that works) 


Having looked into your videos and our work we see on a daily basis, the plugin might not make the world of difference. (We are a job shop doing custom R&D and low volume high mix work.)

Thank you for developing the plugin for the Toolmaking Guys, as the plugin would be of great use to them.


I humbly apologies for  giving you the run around and not committing to using it.

Kind regards Nathan


Message 110 of 112


is always appearing this error, why?

Message 111 of 112
in reply to: Bnuno608

Make sure you set paths for your hole database and toolpath templates in the plugin manager window.

Message 112 of 112
in reply to: bfaberBB7MX

What advantages can i gain instead of drilling method?

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