New User, stuck already!

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New User, stuck already!

Postby Phase Converters » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:49 am

Hi, all. I'm setting up a Chinese 6040 to drill holes in the back of electrical enclosures. The first thing I did, was scrap the controller and software it came with, and buy a Gecko G540 controller and a full version of Mach3. I also added a Vista CNC MPG. After a considerable amount of trouble, I finally have motion!

Now, I'm trying to figure out how to make it do what I want it to do, which is simply to drill a series of 1/8th inch pilot holes in the back of some 4" deep electrical enclosures, made out of 14 gauge steel. Later on, I'll want to make different diameter holes using a step bit and different Z-axis depths, but for now, I'll be happy just to make holes. I'm using Cut2D, but I can't figure out how to specify where the holes need to be drilled. I have a list of all the X-Y coordinates, and I thought there'd be a way to simply enter the proper coordinates for each hole, and I'd see a mark show up on the 255X255 mm work surface, which I did manage to create. I selected the "drilling" toolpath menu, but I'm still lost.

But wait, there's more! I'm confused on how to get the proper post processor in the right place. Do I find the PP in a Mach3 file somewhere, then add a copy of it somewhere in the Cut2D program? I've been Googling and YouTubing all over the place, plus reading through the user's manual, and I'm just not seeing how to accomplish these two things. Can somebody help me out here?
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby Adrian » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:39 am

Those are some pretty fundamental issues you're having there so I'd suggest starting from the beginning and working your way up to that job. This is not the sort of software you can just load and go. There is a learning curve.

Work your way through the tutorials on the Help menu. You can also access the tutorials along with a lot of stuff that will help at https://support.vectric.com

Each toolpath needs to have vectors associated with it to create a toolpath from. That's one of the steps you're missing. You need to create the circles using the Circle tool. You could enter the co-ords one by one but if it's a grid it's easier to create one and use the grid copy to create the others.

The Mach3 post processor is one of the standard ones and is already installed. You don't need to do anything there.
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby Phase Converters » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:23 pm

That's good news on the post processor. I started going through the tutorials, but they all involved some sort of horizontal cutting, which I'm not even trying to do. All I want to do is have the spindle move to a certain X-Y coordinate, have the Z motor lower the cutter through the back of the box, raise it back out of the hole, and then on to the next hole. There really isn't a grid or circular pattern, the holes I need are scattered around, but I have every location mapped as to its X and Y location on a full size cardboard pattern. I see a dialog for importing a list of coordinates from a file, but what kind of file do I need, and do I need to use another program to create that? Surely, there must be a simple way to tell Cut2D each coordinate from within the program, and then have it show up as a location on the screen...?
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby Rcnewcomb » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:36 pm

Surely, there must be a simple way to tell Cut2D each coordinate from within the program, and then have it show up as a location on the screen...?

Click on the Circle Tool in the Create Vectors Section
CreateVectorsCircle.PNG


The dialog box opens up. Fill in the diameter of the hole along with the X and Y coordinates of the center of the hole.
Circle.PNG
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby Phase Converters » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:01 pm

The diameter of the hole is just the actual diameter of the cutting tool. Would I still use the circle tool, and just enter zero for the diameter? I just want to move the tool straight down, and then straight back up out of the hole. I don't need to enlarge the hole beyond the diameter of the bit.
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby IslaWW » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:18 pm

You can use any diameter circle, or a square for that matter. The drilling toolpath will drill a hole, the diameter of the bit in the cutting head, at the center of the selected vectors. The magic is in the drilling toolpath. It just drills.

See here: https://youtu.be/-LXAWyfOE-w
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby Rcnewcomb » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:22 pm

drill a series of 1/8th inch pilot holes

The diameter of the hole is just the actual diameter of the cutting tool. Would I still use the circle tool, and just enter zero for the diameter?

No, for your own sanity draw the circle the correct diameter. (It's impossible to see a zero diameter hole) When you use a drilling toolpath it only pays attention to the location of the center of the hole. It assumes you have the correct diameter bit for the hole you want to drill.
Drilling.PNG


When you want to make holes larger than your bit you would use the Profile (inside) toolpath
profile.PNG



In the video tutorial Vectophone it talks about the drilling toolpath beginning at the 16 minute mark.
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby Phase Converters » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:52 pm

I think I'm starting to get it! I've seen Gary Campbell's Mach3 instructional videos, and he's very good at explaining things. In fact, his troubleshooting video is how I finally figured out why I didn't have motion when I originally tried to run Mach3. The link above shows exactly what I'm trying to do... drill a hole, move to a new location, and drill another hole. (URL at relevant spot): https://youtu.be/-LXAWyfOE-w?t=35 From the beginning of that video, it looks like he's using a different program, though... WinCNC Touchscreen. I should be able to do exactly the same thing with Cut2D though, right? I'm going to go back and try again, but I think you guys have already helped a lot. I'll let you know how it works out when I get a chance to get back on that project, probably over the weekend.
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby IslaWW » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:49 am

Correction: I have never made a Mach instructional video.

That is exactly what the "Drilling" toolpath does. Go to a location, drill a hole, move to the next. I made mine with VCarve Pro, but Cut2D functions exactly the same.

Yes, that machine runs on WinCNC control, but the file would run the same on Mach or ShopBot or UCCNC, etc., etc.
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Re: New User, stuck already!

Postby Phase Converters » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:36 am

My bad, Gary. It was Paul Campbell who did a series of Mach3 videos. At any rate, you're doing exactly what I need to do, so thanks for making your video and pointing me to it. I hope to be making holes as quickly and efficiently as you're doing real soon!
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