Calculating from a "database" using a form?

I haven’t had as much time as I want to program and that means I feel that this post should be added in the beginners category.
However! I got corrected when doing so and thinking back to when I did my first lines of code, this project would seem way to big for that category… (Moved to “Project guidance”)

I have an idea and I would like your input on if processing is the way to go and if so, I would love if someone could help me by creating a sample for me to continue on.

The problem
I want to calculate how much it would cost me to manufacture a part using a couple of machines and different materials.
I have data on machines and materials in Excel at the moment and I have the calculations working just fine. However, Its not efficient to do the calculation in Excel when I want to calculate a part that is made up of several sub-parts that is manufactured in different machines with different materials. In this case I need to make a new calculation for every sub part and then a final for the complete part.

I tried making a form in Excel that could make me create the complete part and its sub-parts in the form already and get a finished output right away but Excel just isnt made for that.
I started to look in to Access but got recommended not to by everyone I spoke to about it.

So, Processing… Maybe its the way to go??

I need to be able to pick data from some kind of database that I also can edit and add data to. If its possible to use my spreadsheet as database it would be awesome??
The lines not picked should be text fields for input of text or numbers.

The form
In the program, All I want to see is a form with these fields:
Form headline: Create part

  • Part name
  • Part number
    *Finishing processes (Controls a later form)
  • Sub-parts (The number of parts the main part is made of)
  • Batch size (How many parts I am going to manufacture at a time)
    Button: Submit

Here I would need a function that creates new fields depending on the number of sub-parts typed in above when pressing a submit button.

Form headline: Create sub-part 1

  • Part name
  • Part number
  • Parts needed (the number of this sub-part needed in the finished part)
  • Number of processes (Controls a later form)
  • Reference (auto filled from parent part number)

The form above is only 1 copy of a sub-part. It should show as many as there were typed in in the first step.
After all is filled out, a submit button could be pressed to move on…

When these steps are done, the parts are created. Now we need to fill them with data.

Form headline: Material , sub-part number/name (Material specific for each sub-part)
These should be picked from a list somehow, using like a drop down menu or somehow viewing the whole list and selecting from it. (“database/spreadsheet”)

  • Material (picked from db)
  • Scrap (%)
  • Area per part (mm2) or Length per part (mm)

The last field above needs to be mm2 or mm depending on what material gets picked. If its a sheet or a tube.

When all materials is picked, a submit button could be pressed.

Form headline: Process, Sub-part number/name (Process specific for each sub-part)
Like the materials, the processes also is saved in a spreadsheet and should be picked from a list.

  • Process (picked)
  • Time 1
  • Time 2
  • Parts per cycle
  • Human (%)

When a sub-part was created we typed in how many processes every sup-part needs. So, that should control how many forms is created here.

When all is filled for every sub-part, a submit button takes us to the text step.

Form headline: Finishing part name/number
This is where the sub-parts might get merged into the main part and the main part getting worked on.
In the first form we got to type in how many finishing processes there were and this is what controls how many forms is created here.

  • Process (picked)
  • Time1
  • Time2
  • Parts per cycle
  • Human (%)

Submit button

Almost done…
One thing is missing and it is, if I use screws or something like that for assembly, I need to get that in here somehow…

And now when everything is done my calculation should run and we should get a result.

Headline: Result
I want the calculation to be saved to be able to review it later and I also want it to be presented in some readable way like a report showing the resulting costs from sub-parts and the complete part.

What do you guys think?
It really isn’t a very big program right? The same code can be reused over and over in different ways. In Excel its a realy simple table for making the calculation. the big part is the calculations them self, what they should calculate and then the “data base” of Course.
I have the calculations done and I have the data… I just need a efficient way of using it…

If Processing is not the way to go… What do you recommend?
How is Processing for calculations?

Thx :slight_smile:

If you don’t have the code yet, best category for your request would be “Project Guidance”.

Besides, what you’re planning to do extrapolates the “Beginners” category by miles.

That alone would upgrade this to the “Libraries” category.

That’d make things much easier if your spreadsheet could output its data as CSV, TSV, XML or JSON; so you could drop 3rd-party database library requirement for your sketch project.

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Thx @GoToLoop
I moved to guidance and edited the post’s introduction with that info. :slight_smile:

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Hi @Teljemo,

You might want to use a No Code database with a user friendly interface to manage your data like (open source and can deploy with docker) and then do the calculations using Processing or any other programming language (because Processing is essentially Java and have the same capabilities as other languages).

Hi @josephh
Does it make it easier to make the calculation in processing if I use Baserow or any other database software instead of just using a CSV file?
For me that could be a data base? A file that contains all the data in some kind of organized way?

We are maybe two guys who are interested in using this calculation and we can place the files in a shared folder…

I just want it to be as simple as possible to create, maintain and use. :slight_smile:

Mmh not really, as long as your data is well structured and organized to be easily fetched from the database / CSV it should be ok.

If it’s easier to use a CSV, then go for it. But maintaining a complex CSV with links between data may not be doable so that’s why we have databases with query languages that allow to select / filter / compute sets of data easily. There is more setup of course but it comes with the benefit of controlling your data.