Tool paths and tool changes

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Tool paths and tool changes

Postby helensdad » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:53 pm

Hi all, I am making a sign for my friends cafe (payment in tea and cake!) The area surrounding the text is a 5.5mm deep pocket, I am using a 1/8inch ball nose endmill, The outline is a profile tool path with a 1/4 endmill going 21 mm deep (with tabs). When I run the simulation it cuts the profile first but I need it to cut the pocket first, then stop to allow me to change tools. How can I set the order of operations and carry out tool change between?
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Re: Tool paths and tool changes

Postby TReischl » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:18 am

In your toolpath list there are two small arrows on the top right, one up, one down. Select whichever tool you want to move and then click the arrow to move it either up or down in the list.

The program is assembled based on the order of the toolpaths in that list box.
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Re: Tool paths and tool changes

Postby BDM » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:39 pm

Doesn't Cut2D force you to output two g-code files since you are using two different bits? Changing the order in the program is great for previewing, but when you're actually cutting material, you can run the different output files in any sequence you want. Unless your system runs differently than mine (Mach3)?
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Re: Tool paths and tool changes

Postby Adrian » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:57 pm

Depends on which post processor you're using and whether you have "Output all visible toolpaths to one file" checked. If you have a post processor that supports manual/automatic tool changing and that option is checked the order of the toolpaths is important.
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Re: Tool paths and tool changes

Postby TReischl » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:29 pm

BDM wrote:Doesn't Cut2D force you to output two g-code files since you are using two different bits? Changing the order in the program is great for previewing, but when you're actually cutting material, you can run the different output files in any sequence you want. Unless your system runs differently than mine (Mach3)?


How your system runs has nothing to do with Mach3 as far as tool changes are concerned. Mach3 supports tool changes. As Adrian pointed out it has to do with the post processor.

That said, the only time I use tool changes in a program is when I am doing lots of multiples of the same part. Otherwise I output them as separate files. And with THAT said. . . .

If you are running Mach3 and doing "production" style work it really pays to be able to automatically touch off tools after a tool change. I use Ger21's 2010 screenset: http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html because it makes it really easy to set up a second touch off plate.

The way it works is that you touch off the first tool on the surface of the work (or the spoilboard for that matter). Then it moves to a plate that is fixed on the machine spoil board away from the work and touches off a second time. After the first tool finishes cutting and you change tools, then hit start cycle, the machine automatically goes to the fixed plate and touches off. What it is doing is comparing the known difference between the two plates and adjusting accordingly. Works like a champ! What is also neat is that you mount that second plate to a movable block and his screen set lets you tell the machine where it is. That avoids having to run to some far corner of your machine and run all the way to do a tool change. Can't beat it for $20. And I have not even bloviated about all the other great things that screen set does. Like making it easy to spec an automatic Park position on your machine for the end of the program or if you press the Park button on screen.
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