Installing SpoolFab

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Get up and running by installing SpoolFab on your Windows machine.

What SpoolFab Does

SpoolFab is used to produce piping isometrics and to track fabrication and NDE. It can also help you keep track of purchasing, heat numbers, inventory, and production. If you already have some kind of tracking system, SpoolFab can likely provide much of the data it needs. SpoolFab can even suggest which spools to fabricate in order to make better use of your current stock. It imports PCF/IDF files as installation isos and allows you to break them into fabrication drawings. It even produces files for use with various profiling and bending machines.

Documents and Videos

More documentation and links to instructional videos are available at spoolfab.com/docs

What You Get with a SpoolFab Package

A SpoolFab package includes a USB flash drive containing the program, plus a numbered purple Sentinel SuperPro USB key which keeps track of the drawings used. Typically the key comes preloaded with 100 drawing counts. Additional counts can be purchased at a later date and added to the key. Any SpoolFab package can be used as a single machine installation, or to support multiple users on the same network. If you lose or damage the flash drive, you can email support@spoolfab.com and request a download link, or contact tech support at 1-866-432-6540or +1 780-434-4452.

Single Machine Installation

Single machine installation is appropriate for a lone user, or for someone who operates at remote locations. To proceed with a single installation:

  1. Set aside the purple key for now, don’t plug it in yet.
  2. Insert the flash drive.
  3. Run the SpoolFab Installer. Install both the SpoolFab program and the Clients folder on the same machine. The default location for the Clients folder is C:\SFClients.
  4. You still need to install the driver for the Sentinel key. Run the Sentinel Protection Installer program and choose the complete installation.
  5. After the Sentinel Driver has been fully installed, plug in the purple key and wait several seconds. Normally there will be a message saying the Sentinel SuperPro key has been installed.
  6. Click on the SpoolFab shortcut to launch SpoolFab. You should see a screen along the lines of that shown below.


If this window appears only very briefly, i.e. SpoolFab does not really spend any time looking for the key, you may need to adjust Data Execution Protection to allow SpoolFab to run. <cf>

Multiple User Installation

A single SpoolFab package can also support multiple users in the same office. Drawings are stored in a common SFClients folder, which is usually placed on a server that is backed up on a regular basis. The program is installed on each user’s computer and is then “pointed” at the SFClients folder. The USB key needs to be located on a machine that is always on, as the program will not run unless the key is detected. The Sentinel Protection Installer needs to be run on the machine that hosts the key. This should be done before the key is plugged in. Before you start, decide which machine will be the key server and which will be the file server. These could be the same machine.

  1. Set aside the purple key for now, don’t plug it in anywhere yet.
  2. Plug the flash drive into a workstation.
  3. Navigate to the SpoolFab Install folder and run the SpoolFab Installer. Install the SpoolFab program on the workstation.
  4. Install the SFClients folder on the file server. Be sure to allow each user read and write access to this folder.

    Repeat 1,2,3 above for each workstation.

    Carry out steps 5 and 6 below on the key server only.
  5. On the key server, install the driver for the Sentinel key. Run the Sentinel Protection Installer program and choose the complete installation. Be sure to allow the installer to modify the firewall settings, otherwise the workstations may not be able to find the key.
  6. After the Sentinel Driver has been fully installed, plug in the purple key and wait several seconds.

    Carry out steps 7 and 8 below on each workstation.
  7. Launch SpoolFab on one of the workstations. In most cases, the USB key will be found automatically. If the key is not found, select File/Key Location/Set USB key host name and enter the address of the key server. Exit and relaunch SpoolFab.
  8. The first time you run SpoolFab on each workstation, some of the menu items on the startup window will be disabled because the location of the Clients folder is undefined. Select File/Set Clients Folder, navigate to the file server, and select the Clients folder.