Working above the material?

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james70818
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:48 am
Model of CNC Machine: Laguna

Working above the material?

Post by james70818 »

I have an odd question for how too do something. I make Christmas Light decorations. The lights have to be put in the holes in a proper order. I want to have a Sharpie or marker draw on the material to show the order of the lights. I have my endmill setup in the spindle but I have made a marker holder that is offset the endmill and it is 3/8” lower that the cutting tip of the endmill.

The plan was too flip the marker down into the “drawing position” run the toolpath. But it needs to run .375” above the material Z height of 0. Basically run at a -0.375 Z height. This way the endmill stays above the material and can safely move around while the marker is drawing. End of the routine, flip the marker up in the “storage position” and proceed to cutting the material with the endmill as usual.

So is there a way to make the marker work above the material? Or should I just make the material an additional 3/8” thick and add that 3/8” to all of my actual cutting tool paths?

Thanks,
James

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jfederer
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Re: Working above the material?

Post by jfederer »

James,

I would reset the Z axis datum to the extra height. That will fool the machine into doing an air cut. In my case, I set the Z axis by putting the puck on a spacer block. When the marker run is done, reset to proper material height and run the cutting path.
Joe Federer

www.fabrikisto.com incl. Tailmaker software
www.federer.ca

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Adrian
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Re: Working above the material?

Post by Adrian »

I would be the same and do it all via the control software and not mess about with the actual cutting files. Zero the bit, move the Z up by the difference between the bit and the pen, set the z-zero there.

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adze_cnc
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Re: Working above the material?

Post by adze_cnc »

If you really want or need to do this in Aspire:
  • set material thickness to be 0.375” thicker than it really is
  • create a document variable called “bit”
  • for every toolpath except the pen toolpath set the start depth to: {bit}

james70818
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:48 am
Model of CNC Machine: Laguna

Re: Working above the material?

Post by james70818 »

We are trying to avoid having to re zero the tool. I know this is an easy process but we are running 7 machines right now and will be adding 3 more in a few months. So I want to keep it as simple as possible. Right now the easy way is for me to set the material thickness. I will look into the document variable as suggested by adze_cnc.

Thanks for the feedback so far.

James

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