Newbie Q: Guide or Tips to managing tools - 16 ATC CNC Mill - fusion360

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19 Feb 2024 21:52 #293794 by camb0
Hi All,

(let me know if I should delete and post this in a different location).
This is more of a workflow question, I was wondering how people manage all of their holders and tools,  and subsequently also how they manage the tool-list in software between linuxcnc and their CAD/CAM in my case fusion360.
I'm a newbie at CNC machines and never worked in a machine shop. 

So far I've been learning/playing so every tool has a holder and stayed in position in the carousel.   Now I've starting to use a few more tools (threadmilling) and I need to swap tools out from the carousel to make space for the tools for the program I’m using.   I've ended up adding more tools in Fusion and their count is above 16 and then editing the gcode with the actual tool holder position.  This seems a bit clunky to me.

I've got 20 tool holders which is more than the 16 changer can handle and I assume I’ll have to change a few bits in those tool holders from time to time. I saw there’s a nice bit of software to sync fusion360’s library with Linuxcnc here: github.com/ntc490/fusion360. Of course, that’s a very small part of the story.
 I figure a potential workflow could be: (but very open to leveraging you’re collective experience).-Assume the ATC is empty
-Do the cad/cam work, build the list of tools needed for the job, looks like there’s a ‘renumber’ function in fusion.
-Load the tools in the ATC in the correct pockets and kick it off.Implications:
-Need to label all the holders (they’re not the same), tools should be ok for now.
-Manage the tool library in fusion360
-Am I missing a trick here with pocket numbers and tool numbers?Thanks in advance.

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27 Feb 2024 20:19 - 28 Feb 2024 20:23 #294639 by B.Reilly01
I think there's an assumption in your plan that needs to be reviewed, and that is :"The tool number must match the pocket number." In reality, there is no need for the tool number to correspond to the pocket number in any way before it's loaded. Tool 235 can go in pocket 1. The software keeps track of which tool is in which pocket. The tool should, in good practice, always maintain the same tool number, otherwise programs cannot be reused. Label the tool with the corresponding tool number, that matches the tool number in the tool table in fusion AND Linuxcnc (those should coincide) and don't worry about which pocket it is in, let the software do that.

edit: I'm assuming a carousel style mill changer, not a lathe.  Turret lathes are different.
Last edit: 28 Feb 2024 20:23 by B.Reilly01.
The following user(s) said Thank You: camb0

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01 Mar 2024 21:06 #294861 by camb0
Thx for the response, yep it’s on a milling machine.

I’ll give it a go. I also assume “a tool” in the workflow above includes the holder.

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02 Mar 2024 17:19 #294922 by B.Reilly01
So for example, lets say 1/2 in 3flute end mill is my "tool 3," In LinuxCNC I set my tool offset with tool 3 mounted in a holder. I will not take the end mill out of the holder until it's dull, breaks, or I need the holder for a different tool. This way the tool table in LinuxCNC always has the correct Z offset. If I take it out of the holder, next time I mount a 1/2in 3flute end mill in a holder, I need to re-set tool 3 offset in LinuxCNC.

Long answer short, yes, the tool number includes the holder.

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03 Mar 2024 13:28 #295038 by andypugh
The "tool" is the thing that you pick up and put in the "pocket" so it's the complete assembly of inserts, holder and shank. (in most cases)

For those unfortunates with milling spindles that have integral ER collets this sort of scheme doesn't work, but they don't have tool-changers either.

As an aside, I have become a real enthusiast for Capto. It's really clever.

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03 Mar 2024 13:57 #295045 by stefan63
Capto looks realy nice but not exactly priced at hobby level ;)

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