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Tangential CAM program
« on: August 05, 2015, 10:52:18 AM »
I have a plotter table with tangential knife and scoring tools, which I have been trying to run via the tangential settings in Mach3, however tangential control in mach3 is apparently completely broken and the only way to get around these problems is to include the rotational commands in the G-Code. This is not a difficult thing to do, but many of the profiles I need to cut are complex and re-coding them by hand would be labor and time intensive. I am currently using CAMBam, which is important because I have to be able to load a DXF and assign individual lines to toolpaths/tools, I have looked at some other software (sheetcam for instance has settings seemingly set up for my specific situation) But they group lines from my DXF files oddly and I can't seem to get any of them to work. My CAD Software (Rules by AlphaCorr) generates a DXF with line colors to show what is a score and what is not, but this does not show up as layers or anything else in any CAM programs I have tried.

So, my question is: Does anyone know of a good CAM program that will generate the A Axis inputs for a tangential toolpath (including lifts between angle adjustments) and still allow me to assign individial lines from a single layer DXF to their own toolpaths?


Specifics on my setup: I am running a 90"x50" Alpha Merics cutter/plotter table, recently the electronics fried themselves and we replaced everything but the rails and the frame. It is going to be used to prototype folding cartons (paperboard boxes) Performing both cutting and scoring. It works well (I'm still fixing some backlash and motor tuning issues), but the goal is to be able to train someone who is not an experienced CNC programmer to use it.

This is my first post, though I hope to become a regular.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 10:55:43 AM by sceliaso »

Offline BR549

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Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 01:05:28 PM »
Are you running a DEMO version of Mach3 ? Last I checked the Tang control worked ok.

SHEETCAM has a Tang cutting plugin that does what you want.

(;-) TP
Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 01:11:02 PM »
It functions in a very limited sense. When if a G01 follows a G02 or G03 the tangential control will rotate the head to the arc angle as it moves along the G01. Also the lift angle does not function. While this could be specific to my build, the following was provided to me by Mach3 support and mimics the behavior of my machine exactly. Their solution was to hand code in all of my tangential moves.

http://www.machsupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Mach3_Tangential.pdf

http://youtu.be/4XnM3MX_H7w

Are you running a DEMO version of Mach3 ? Last I checked the Tang control worked ok.

(;-) TP

Offline BR549

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Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 03:29:42 PM »
What version are you running ?? I understand the need to simpify this for the OPs  and having to RECAM everything to make it work is well just wrong. THere ARE other control options that the Tang control does work correctly.

(;-) TP
Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 04:22:15 PM »
Sorry, its R3.043.066

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 08:35:22 AM »
Quote
So, my question is: Does anyone know of a good CAM program that will generate the A Axis inputs for a tangential toolpath (including lifts between angle adjustments) and still allow me to assign individial lines from a single layer DXF to their own toolpaths?

Vectric Aspire (v. 4.0 onwards) has the 'drag knife' equivalent of a tangential toolpath Gcode generator which basically overcomes the problems you mention but it costs $$.  :'(

Tweakie.

addition...

Its a 'plug-in' so should be usable with other Vectric products.


Edit -  Correction made to my description, in the light of experience  :)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 01:58:01 AM by Tweakie.CNC »
KEEP SAFE !

Offline BR549

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Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 11:48:57 AM »
First I would back up a few versions and retest. V.066 is NOT a stable version it has its problems. 

Sheetcam is very cost effective . But the Tang plugin IS an extra cost with it as well.

I remember tang working OK in older versions ????  Could be wrong but I do believe that Art would have fixed that in his day if it was broken back then.

Just a thought, (;-) TP
Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 10:17:50 AM »
Where might I be able to get a copy of the older version? I found some links in old threads, but they don't work anymore.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 10:31:09 AM »
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Where might I be able to get a copy of the older version? I found some links in old threads, but they don't work anymore.

If you look in FTP Downloads / FTP Server - Main Menu / Mach3  you can find all the available versions.    http://www.machsupport.com/software/downloads-updates/

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: Tangential CAM program
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2015, 10:38:40 AM »
Any recommendations for which previous version? I would just go for the build before this, but I'm not sure when the instability was introduced.