How do I do a manual tool change?
the program issues an M6T1, and the manual tool changer window pops up. I dutifully install tool one, but I then have no way to touch off: neither MD5 nor manual control is possible until I hit the "continue" button in the manual tool changer window. My question is very simple: how am I supposed to touch off my new tool? I tried adding an "M1" to pause the program, but it is ignored. M0 explicitly locks out changes, and M60 is effectively undocumented. I must be missing something obvious.
My machine is a simple hobbyist XYZ mill using a wood router as the spindle, so I really do need to touch off after each tool change, right?
so I really do need to touch off after each tool change, right?
If you have set up your tool table with the correct offsets and you can load your different tools in the exact same height each time in the spindle then no you would not need to touch off again when changing tools.
If however you install a different tool (router bit) and do not have a way to make sure it is loaded exactly the same then you would need to touch off again.
In this case I actually find it easier to break the program into seperate programs, one for each tool.
You may also want to look here...
This is an important piece of information: I can quit beating my head against the wall looking for the "right" solution, and simply implement the correct add-on.
As per a recent discussion on the users list, this script is now out of date and will not work 'as is' due to changes with the NML file requirement.
You may also want to look here...
Attached is a modified version I made which does work with v2.4 and higher, albeit it is still a little quirky and you need to play with it to get used to it.
(just remove the .txt extension )
or fit a tool probe . to probe z tool height at the begining of each file and toolchange . and use M0 to pause the machine and then comments as to what to carry out and have a cycle start button to re start from pause
running the same script on big machines or small as you suggest is fraught with problems cnc code is not uniform across machines , it's best to have scripts specific to the job and machine
it can be done but with a lot of hand editing of code , i'd rather be cutting , than typing
and of course having a tool probe and or repeatable tool changing
I'm still a bit confused about the proper sequence of steps to take during the tool change, but At least now I can take those steps after I figure them out.
At code design time, decide on a zero. (I'm using the top of my workpiece, and the program is written relative to this.)
before the job starts, zero X, Y, Z.
I have a tool change as a very early command in my sequence, to change to the first tool.
at each tool change:
1)physically turn the spindle off for safety.
2)remove old tool and install new tool
4) raise Z somewhat
5)physically turn the spindle power on (AXIS still has it powered off with a relay)
6) hit "continue"
I have some kind of funniness about tool length, probably because I was messing with "touch off" and I do not understand "touch off" yet. I have a touch plate ( a piece of copper-clad PC card) that (together with the milling bit) acts as a switch connected to a parallel port input pin, but I do not yet understand how Axis interprets this. I would like to use this in the sequence above.
Thanks! I installed this file and I can now jog and reset Z before continuing after a tool change.
The short answer is that Axis doesn't interpret it, you have to do something with it.
I have a touch plate ( a piece of copper-clad PC card) that (together with the milling bit) acts as a switch connected to a parallel port input pin, but I do not yet understand how Axis interprets this.
The simplest would be to create a pyvcp LED linked to that input and then when that activates you can set your Z height to the thickness of the touch off plate (assuming it sits directly on the work piece).
You might need to try interposing a debounce component for a consistent on/off.
I know from experience using electromechanical touch sensors, that atmospheric humidity, dust or moisture on the cutter or sensor, all cause inconsistencies in touching off, despite the most careful cleaning.
It often takes several touches and back-offs to arrive at a mean, where you have a consistent full illumination of the led for a given position.
A more complicated version of this could set the Z tool height automatically to the plate thickness, but that would require a bit more programming.
This facility will be very useful to you for tool setting.
However the more you use your machine, unless it is just for repetition component production, the more you will come back to what John and Rick were saying about just splitting your program.
I have a lathe with 8 station ATC, but rarely actually program a tool change mid-program, because apart from anything else, I want to double check the work piece dimensions before moving to the next stage.
If I had a rock steady proven program, bar feed and hundreds of components to make that would be different, but I seldom make more than a couple of the same thing!