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Topics - BlueSeasJames

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We've got a 4x8 China router with ATC running (a confirmed legitimate copy of) Mach3, Delta servos and WiXHC MKX-IV Mach3 motion card. 

We cut a lot of adhesive backed foam- the first few tools come and do surface features, then I run a separate toolpath for a drag knife to cut through the adhesive and paper backing.  The drag knife toolpath has a modified post processor that I've removed all traces of M03 so the spindle doesn't grenade with an unbalanced tool.

It seemed pretty well sorted after a few teething pains (it was delivered with the Y axis reversed, so it was cutting mirror images of parts  ::) ).  After a few weeks of running flawlessly, it started crashing during tool change occasionally (maybe once a week, using it daily).  Since then it has been doing it with increasing frequency, but still inconsistently.  Maybe once every couple days. 

Here's how it goes down-

I'll run Example1.txt file with T3, T4, and T5.  After that is finished, I'll Close G-Code, go into MDI tab, and input T7 M6 to change the tool to a empty toolholder (I don't keep the drag knife loaded in the tool holder to prevent the possibility of getting loaded and spindle turned on by accident).  I then manually change the empty toolholder to the drag knife, load and run ExampleDRAG1.txt.  I then turn off the vacuum table and dust collector, close the G-Code, change back to the empty toolholder, jog the head near the end of the work envelope, and change to a fresh sheet of material. 
I then load Example2.txt, and most of the time it runs without issue.  When it errors though, it goes to return T7 to its clip, and then suddenly jumps about a cm.  Sometimes X, sometimes Y, and just a few minutes ago it might have done X and Z (or the Z might have just from the impact with the tool holder bar.  It also cracked the 3/4" thick aluminum mounting plate for the spindle).

We have gone into Windows and turned off all the energy saving options (so the hard drive, USB, and the rest of the computer won't go to sleep after inactivity), but it's still doing it and it seems like the rate at which it's happening is increasing.  We haven't found any pinched/kinked/stretched wires or anything else visibly wrong, though we haven't pulled the sheet metal and fully chased everything. 

So my question is- what should we be looking at and have you ever seen anything similar?

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General Mach Discussion / Mach3, VCarve Pro, ATC router, and drag knife
« on: February 06, 2017, 05:11:44 PM »
Hi,
Hopefully there's a simple solution that is just under my nose that I'm missing; here's my situation.  I'm trying to figure out how to keep my spindle from turning on with a drag knife on an ATC machine without having to use an intermediary program or separate drag knife file.

Background- We just got our second machine, which is a Mach3 system. Our first is a Syntec (Taiwanese) system.  With the material I'm cutting (PSA and paper backed foam) first we have a variety of router bits come by and cut the surface, then we follow with a Donek D2 drag knife.  I've set my drag knife in VCarve as an end mill with a .1mm diameter and spindle speed of 0.  Everything has radii so I have no problems with sharp corners.  On the Syntec system, it just doesn't turn the spindle on with the spindle speed of 0; with the Mach3 when I tried the same technique I had a surprise and got to dive for the E-stop as it started to spin up!

So my questions are-
1: Is this best handled on the Mach3 end (modify the code somewhere to say "ignore any commands to turn on the spindle with T7" or "If the spindle speed is 0, don't turn on the spindle") or with VCarve ("Remove any commands to turn on the spindle with T7")?
2: Where can I get a walkthrough on how to do this that my Neanderthal mind can grasp?

Thanks!
-James

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