Switching over from an older controller

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22 May 2019 15:07 #134582 by Glemigobles
Hi all,

Having recently gotten my old machine running with LinuxCNC, I wanted to ask the experienced members of the forum about good suggestions for replicating some of the programs I had.

What I used to do to layout multiple parts on a piece of sheet stock was to save my CAM generated toolpaths as macro files (this was the Philips 432 controller from the 1980s) that didn't use coordinate systems. The I would write a program that set a G54 coordinate system and call one file. After it finished milling, I set up a G code that moved the G54 coordinate system a specific distance to the right (X axis). Then I ran a code to repeat the last two lines, etc.

I could layout different files on one sheet or just one that was repeated a number of times that was based on the length of the stock on the table. This was way easier than creating multiple layouts in CAD/CAM (using Fusion 360), and also very light on memory use which was a huge issue on the old Philips control.

LinuxCNC is far more sophisticated in terms of programing options and I have 120GB of space for files, so that's no longer a limit. But I like my previous methodology of laying out parts using G code. What would be a good alternative in LinuxCNC, especially considering work offsets? The trouble I had with my previous method was that if a tool broke due to wear, I had to be very careful not to move the machine in the X and Y coordinates, because all the work offsets were calculated on the go. I had to pause the program, retract the spindle, change the tool and hit resume. If I did anything that affected the offsets, continuing the program would ruin the parts or stock.

I'd be happy to hear how you guys do that kind of stuff.

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22 May 2019 15:42 #134584 by bevins

Glemigobles wrote: Hi all,

Having recently gotten my old machine running with LinuxCNC, I wanted to ask the experienced members of the forum about good suggestions for replicating some of the programs I had.

What I used to do to layout multiple parts on a piece of sheet stock was to save my CAM generated toolpaths as macro files (this was the Philips 432 controller from the 1980s) that didn't use coordinate systems. The I would write a program that set a G54 coordinate system and call one file. After it finished milling, I set up a G code that moved the G54 coordinate system a specific distance to the right (X axis). Then I ran a code to repeat the last two lines, etc.

I could layout different files on one sheet or just one that was repeated a number of times that was based on the length of the stock on the table. This was way easier than creating multiple layouts in CAD/CAM (using Fusion 360), and also very light on memory use which was a huge issue on the old Philips control.

LinuxCNC is far more sophisticated in terms of programing options and I have 120GB of space for files, so that's no longer a limit. But I like my previous methodology of laying out parts using G code. What would be a good alternative in LinuxCNC, especially considering work offsets? The trouble I had with my previous method was that if a tool broke due to wear, I had to be very careful not to move the machine in the X and Y coordinates, because all the work offsets were calculated on the go. I had to pause the program, retract the spindle, change the tool and hit resume. If I did anything that affected the offsets, continuing the program would ruin the parts or stock.

I'd be happy to hear how you guys do that kind of stuff.


If I understand you correctly, you would just have to set different work coordinates re: G54, G55, G56, G57 etc...

And either switch in gcode file or when program done, run mdi G55 then start program.

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23 May 2019 11:20 - 23 May 2019 14:04 #134686 by BigJohnT
For my plasma table I make the parts into a subroutine then I can nest them as I wish in the GUI.



JT
Last edit: 23 May 2019 14:04 by BigJohnT.

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23 May 2019 13:11 #134691 by Glemigobles
Thanks John, that sounds very interesting for my application but when I try to watch the video youtube tells me it doesn't exist.

Bevins, the G54/5/6/7 solution is not a good one, I'd run out of offsets too quickly.

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23 May 2019 13:47 #134696 by Clive s

Glemigobles wrote: Thanks John, that sounds very interesting for my application but when I try to watch the video youtube tells me it doesn't exist.

Bevins, the G54/5/6/7 solution is not a good one, I'd run out of offsets too quickly.


Works for me.

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23 May 2019 14:03 #134699 by BigJohnT
Try just going to my putube channel.

www.youtube.com/user/Gnipsel

JT

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23 May 2019 14:34 #134702 by Glemigobles
Thanks John, I seem to be having a weird error with your videos, they show up on your channel but then they "don't exist" when I click on them. No idea what's going on.

Could you maybe tell me at least if the GUI nesting thing is specific to your GUI or is a component that can be loaded into gmoccapy, for example?

I'm a real newbie with LinuxCNC and tbh I feel completely lost now that I managed to get my machine working with it. I thought the retrofit would be the hard part, but the hard part is having expensive stuff break because things don't work the way they did before.

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23 May 2019 15:54 - 23 May 2019 15:59 #134716 by BigJohnT
That's weird, what's your location? Maybe it's a location issue... can you watch my chicken videos?

I wrote that for QtPyVCP GUI that I use on my plasma. It's just some python code along with the subroutine for the part. So how it works is you pick a subroutine file, set the start XY position the number of X repetitions and the X offset, the number of Y repetitions, the Y offset and optionally the X offset for the even rows. This is so if you have a part that nests better with every other row offset in X you can reduce the Y offset and save material.

The repository for that GUI is here: github.com/jethornton/plasma_v2

I don't do gmoccapy so no clue if it can be ported to that GUI or not. That's the main thing I like about QtPyVCP is you can just roll your own GUI to suit your needs pretty easy.

With my mill and lathe I do a chicken check often with new code and run without tooling, verify the tool length Z0 is at the end of the material etc.

JT
Last edit: 23 May 2019 15:59 by BigJohnT.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Glemigobles

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23 May 2019 16:28 #134721 by Glemigobles
I can and have watched the chicken and gator videos. I am in Poland.

That nesting thing sounds perfect. I'm not really tied to any particular GUI and was thinking about doing my own one at some point. I was just hoping I could get back to work with some sort of basic set up, it's probably better to use axis for that. I'm not too keen on touch screens, but I'm also lousy with electronics.

I crashed my high speed spindle first thing when running a CAM part and that's when I learned that the feed override slider doesn't work for rapid moves. But gmoccapy doesn't have a separate rapid slider like axis has by default. I used to be confident after running the Philips for nearly 2 years, now the damage has me real scared of doing anything.

Yet when I double check how things work, it appears that all the caution in the world is warranted, since everything works differently and changing it isn't something that a layman like me can do on the fly.

I need way more time and work to be a happy LCNC user.

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23 May 2019 17:56 #134724 by BigJohnT
Yea Axis sounds like a better starting GUI to use. QtPyVCP does require 2.8 and must be installed. The nesting could be made into a short subroutine that you call passing parameters for the layout and part subroutine name. I think the part subroutine would have to be a numbered one like 123.ngc, If I get some spare time I'll see if I can cobble up a skeleton program sounds like fun.

JT

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