Batch Dieline Generation in Origami

Origami lets you use online dieline generator right inside the application. You can read more about this here. This is useful when you need just a single dieline, but when you need to make a series of similar dielines of different size, it might take longer. To save your time Origami has “batch” option that speeds the things up.

When To Use Batch Dieline Generation Mode?

Use it if you need a series of dielines of the same type and only dimensions are different. If you need different types of dielines, you can still use the batch mode, but you will need to run the batch for each type of dielines separately.

How To Use Batch Dieline Generator?

Let’s say you need to make 3 FEFCO 0427 boxes of different sizes: small, medium and large. All will have the same paper thickness, but width, height and length will be different. For instance the dimensions you need are (LxWxH in millimeters):

First of all, let’s see what options do we have in generator. Start Origami and Illustrator, wait till Origami connects and start dieline generator by clicking its button in the toolbar. You will see the list of dielines, find FEFCO-0427 there and click it. You will see the generator parameters:

FEFCO-0427 in dieline generator in Origami

There are four items under the Parameters section that you can control: width, height, length and paper thickness. Assuming that thickness is fine, all we need to configure is the three dimensions of the box.

Origami needs CSV (comma-separated values) text file with all the sizes for batch processing of dielines. Open your text editor (plain text, this is important) and type at the very first line:

Name, Length, Width, Height

This is like a header row in your spreadsheet application. It defines the titles of the columns. We’ll have 4 columns: one for name and three for dimensions. Column names (and values) are separated by commas.

Then add three more rows with the parameters of the boxes you need. You should get this:

Name, Length, Width, Height
Small, 100, 70, 30
Medium, 150, 100, 50
Large, 200, 200, 75

What we did above is we simply added a line for each of the box types we need with its name, length, width and height separated with commas.

Save this file as “three-boxes.csv”, make sure it is in plain text format as otherwise Origami may not understand it. When done, check Batch generation option in dieline generator and click Load CSV button in the bottom right corner.

You will see the data grid:

Data grid for batch dieline generation in Origami

Click Open CSV button and select the CSV file you’ve just created. You should see your data in the grid:

Data grid filled with FEFCO-0427 dimensions in Origami

The numbers may look not rounded enough, but it doesn’t really matter as the difference is almost zero. What we have here is our three boxes are now loaded into the grid and are ready to be created.

Now click Generate button to start making them. Origami will request dielines one by one and send them to Illustrator:

Generating multiple FEFCO-0427 boxes in Origami

Now if you switch to Illustrator you will find three new documents named “Small”, “Medium” and “Large” with the generated dielines. You can save or edit them the way you need and see their previews in Origami.

The CSV file is no longer needed after loading to the grid and can be deleted.

Default Parameters

As you probably noticed, our CSV file had just 4 columns, but Origami displayed 7. Two of them were flipping flags that are explained below and the last one was “Paper Thickness” - the parameter from the dieline generator panel that we had no column for in our CSV file.

So how did Origami fill it? Simple. Origami takes the parameters you enter in the dieline generator panel as defaults and then applies CSV file values on top of them. The paper thickness was “1” in the panel and Origami used it for all the boxes.

This means if all the boxes you make have similar width and length and only height is different, you can have just one dimension column in your CSV file with height values. The rest can be configured manually in the dieline generator panel.

Flipping Flags

Besides dimensions, you can specify flipping flags in CSV file. Just name columns “FlipH” and “FlipV” and put true if you want to flip, or false if you don’t want to. Here’s what our CSV will look like if we want all the boxes in normal and horizontally flipped states:

Name, Length, Width, Height, FlipH
Small, 100, 70, 30, false
Small Flipped, 100, 70, 30, true
Medium, 150, 100, 50, false
Medium Flipped, 150, 100, 50, true
Large, 200, 200, 75, false
Large Flipped, 200, 200, 75, true

It is pretty simple and works exactly the same way as any other parameter.

Possible Issues, Problems, Questions

Below are some questions you may still have after reading this tutorial. Contact us if your question is not answered here, we’ll try to help.

Can I make a batch of multiple types of dielines?

You can’t. Origami generates only one type of dielines in the single batch. You need to run a couple of batches, one for each type of dielines you need. The reason is that each dieline may have its own parameters, so we don’t mix them together.

Can I use semicolon or any other symbol instead of comma?

This is not currently supported. Simply replace your symbol with comma before saving to CSV for Origami. Any text editor can do that in a few clicks.

What if I have decimal comma in my numeric values?

This is not supported, you need to replace it with periods. Again, any text editor can do that. It is probably better to do it before adding separating commas, so they don’t get mixed up.

What units should I use in CSV files?

You can use any supported units: millimeters, centimeters, inches or points. There is a units selector in CSV loading window that lets you tell Origami how to process the input parameters.

What’s Next

Have a look at other advanced Origami topics:

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