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Messages - jtcdudeman

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Offsets and saving.
« on: March 27, 2011, 11:00:34 PM »
I guess I need to clarify my issue a bit.    :-\

I'm usually using multiple tools in a single program.  I understand that I have to adjust the offset of the tool every time I change a tool out in the offset menu (my first attempts including rezero'ing the DRO's about a month ago for every tool. Obviously I learned that quickly).   With how I have been using Mach 3 for about a month now I've gotten all of the basics figured out.  When I initially start mach 3 up, I set all of my DRO's to zero where my zero point should be with the first tool I intend to use in the spindle.  This way I am completely ready to cut when I load my gcode into mach 3.   I then load the program into mach 3, regenerate toolpath and do a jog follow around my workpiece watching the mach 3 screen to make sure my cutting area is where my workpiece is and that I'm not going to cut through a hold down.   After that, I click the start button and the program starts.  It runs down the initial G code until it gets to the point where my first tool is 'entered' into the program (as a tool changer would need to see).  Mach 3 halts the gcode, a yellow LED flashes signaling tool change.  From there, I always just click cycle start and start my program because I already have the tool in.   

I am running into issues if I used this particular tool in a previous program and set the offset up on it. For example, Tool 13 is the initial tool I am using and have setup everything for.  My program runs and gets to the point where it wants me to put in tool 13.  I click cycle start because its already in there and go about my business.   BUT, I have been running into issues if I used tool 13 ever before in any program and set the tool offset on it.  Mach 3 remembers this tool offset and it incorporates it right into the program ONLY after I've clicked cycle start to run the program again.  I forget to make sure there is no tool offset entered and this has caused me issues several times.  Its one of those redundancy things where I have to zero Z over and over and over again, so I tend to forget and skip this step.

  I am wanting to know if its possible to keep mach 3 from remembering previously entered offsets for tools after I shut it down.  As my machine is homemade and my tools are at different heights everytime I put each one in, they are never the same exactly.  So, everytime I change a tool out I have to do the offset anyways.  I just never expect that to apply to the first setup because I zero'd the tool already.

GER21- I've been looking at making an auto tool zero gauge block.  I actually posted about it when I was still researching on here a few months back.  I should have one made this week, but right now I am trying to prioritize and get some hard stops done so my gantry stays on the table when I'm stupid and get limit switches functioning.  I designed up mounting blocks for the limit switches over a month ago, I just havent cut them yet. 

General Mach Discussion / Offsets and saving.
« on: March 27, 2011, 05:09:13 PM »
Hey guys.  I was wondering if there was a way to not save offsets for tools from cut to cut.

I'm using my mach 3 as if it has an ATC attached to it, but am manually changing bits using the general config cycle start for tool changes command.  It works like a champ and is so much simpler than trying to have a seperate G-code for each tool used.  I'm still a total newbie and am learning daily still.    The main problem I keep encountering is when I start mach 3 up for the day, I put in my tool and zero all my axis with this specific tool that I intend to use.  Then, I load my program up and cut away.  The problem I have is I never think to check for tool offsets with my first tool of the day or see a need to rezero the tool a second time.   When changing tools, it completely makes sense to have to enter the offset in, but Im on lesson #4 of first cuts.  Today it cost me 1/2"" into my spoilerboard and right through one of my T-Tracks in under 3 seconds.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Tool change woes
« on: December 09, 2010, 06:25:23 PM »
I clicked the tool change pos. button located on the program run menu

Are you using the standard 1024 screen? I don't see a tool change position button??

I have no idea what screen it is.  Here is a screen shot.

I have considered venturing into some of the other screens as I have seen a blue screen I like on one of the auto zero DIY tools on CNCZONE.   But, Im not about to start worrying about how pretty something is when I cant even get the basic functions right. 

Im really good at scouring through forums for information and don't mind reading.  If there is anything out there other than the videos and documentation from Artsoft,  feel free to direct me to it.  I got totally excited with 'Shiny new thing syndrome' and ended up way ahead of myself.  Some reason I was more worried about the Cam software than I was the Controller software before I got everything together and am still trying to find which way is up in the few hours I can devote to learning each day.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Suddenly Goto Zero isn't working right...
« on: December 08, 2010, 10:01:02 PM »
I agree with Hood.   Im a complete newbie though, so it may not be worth much.

Try going into the config drop down.  Then, clicking on motor tuning.   

Then, cut your acceleration in half of what you have listed on each axis  and drop the velocity down to about 2/3 of what its set at now.  Leave the steps alone.

Then, try repeating the problematic action.   If it cures it, your motor settings were too optimistic.   I've read you should set your motors at about 80% of what they are listed.  Ive slowed mine down to about 20% of max because everything is moving faster than I can handle right now (my confidence anyways.)

General Mach Discussion / Re: Tool change woes
« on: December 08, 2010, 09:46:02 PM »
I have solved a few of my issues and came up with some more.  I solved the X jumping issue.  It was in fact a tool offset for tool 4.  It was an offset of x=-2.4"   No wonder I was having issues.  I have no idea where it came from because finding it was the first time I went in the tool offsets screen.  (DOH!)  I decided to follow the advice of users here and am thankful I have so far.  Its silly how dumb we can be and overlook the very basic stuff, but its not surprising to me at this point.  Mach 3 still has me overwhelmed and I am not sure why.  The cam/cad software is easy.  Building the machine, wiring it and a new breaker, aligning the axis', and everything else was a breeze.

I am still trying to setup the tool change position setup.   I set it in the settings menu before starting the program by jogging it over in the program run mode.  I then got it to a comfortable change position.  Switched to the settings menu.  Then, I used the set tool change location button to successfully save the tool change location (correct according to the machine zeros shown in the DRO)

Once I started the program, it ran fine.  Then, during the tool change stoppage.  I clicked the tool change pos. button located on the program run menu.  Nothing happened.  I then tried the return button.  Still nothing.  What I am doing wrong here?

General Mach Discussion / Re: Tool change woes
« on: December 07, 2010, 12:14:47 AM »
Thanks for the tip on tool change setting.  Ill be sure to incorporate that tomorrow when I try again.

The DRO shows X correctly after I have finished the tool change (example x= 3.6).   Once I click cycle start, the DRO shows X=0 at some point before the X begins to move and my original DRO is lost.  The cuts have then shifted right (positive X) by whatever amount the DRO randomly resets itself at.    At first, I thought I must have been clicking to rezero the DRO, but its happened 3x in a row.  I called it quits for tonight after having the same issue occur repeatedly and destroy my workpiece over and over.  The 2nd and 3rd time I was aware of the possible issue and was very cautious with what I was doing.  

  Im going to chalk it up to being a newbie still.  I have enough trouble cutting my spindle back on manually, watching cut depths, keeping calm, and keeping the mouse over the RESET.  Ive got to get and E stop setup along with a few relays soon.  Im in the stone age of CNC still..  

General Mach Discussion / Tool change woes
« on: December 06, 2010, 10:52:09 PM »
OK everyone.  I am a complete newbie, so bear with me.  This is my 3rd day playing on my cnc.   Im working on setting up Mach 3 still, but its not nearly as intuitive in some aspects as I would have hoped.  Im on a DIY 3 axis machine with a 2'x4' cutting area. 

Ive been having issues figuring out the tool change for the past few hours.  I am trying to use multiple tools while creating a part, but end up having issues every time I try to change parts.  Is there any specific tutorial for tool changes, or is it in the video series somewhere that I missed? (or could even comprehend)

MY Specific issue: 

I have mach 3 setup to stop for tool changes and it stops the program and the LED (not sure I would call it that, but MACH does) flashes yellow.   I then have to jog the router over to where I can actually change the tool  (is there a way to setup where it jogs to me for this?).  Once I get my new tool in, I have to re zero the Z axis because the tool is a different length.   I assume this is fine and just re- zero the Z to the top of my part and jog it back up out of harms way.   But, after I restart the program by clicking cycle start the new tool seems to randomly assume a new X 0 too.  I haven't zeroed the x axis out, but the original x 0 is gone and a new one appears.  Ive had this had 3 times on 2 different 3d parts that I have been trying to cut.  I haven't successfully cut a part with multiple tools yet. 

Any help?

Hi everyone.

My name is Tommy and I just got my DIY Fine Line Automation CNC machine up and running.  Its a 2'x4' cutting area 3 axis machine and Im really excited and somewhat frustrated with it so far.  Im going to be using Vectric's CAM software, Solidworks for CAD, and obviously Mach 3 for CNC control.  Ive been cutting styrofoam, wood, and aluminum for 3 days straight now and am preparing to actually make something worthwhile in the next week or so.

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