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Topics - seelesturm

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Mach4 General Discussion / A very, very general question
« on: October 29, 2018, 09:11:59 PM »
Hello all!

Long time lurker and Mach user here.

I am a full time machinist, and am looking to start a small moonlighting shop of my own.

I have implemented Mach 3 on maybe a dozen machines or so over the years. I understand the setups and tunings of the control program, so I am not too concerned about that. I am sure there are some learning curves from 3 to 4, but I am confident I can work through that.

I would really like to purchase a donor machine with a side-mount tool changer, or swing arm, random, whatever you would like to call it. I am concerned with the intricacy of making this work. My skills in LUA, Ladder Logic, Modbus, is.... well it has been a long time, so for all intents and purposes I would say that I need to learn from scratch. The intricacy of making a tool changer function properly is usually worse than setting up the control, and with random pockets can be even worse.

So with this in mind, how big of an undertaking would it be to set up a side-mount tool changer? I am willing to put in the time to learn and work through it, but I also dont want it to take 9 months of investment to get it to work just because I wanted to have a side-mount instead of a carousel. Is this too big of a bite for someone that is not currently fluent with these languages? I am assuming that this would need to be controlled with an external PLC, or are there some hidden windows from within Mach4 that make this easier than I can see? I would really like a side-mount, and much prefer the versatility of Mach as compared to something like Centroid that have more built-in things to help with a random pocket tool changer.

Am I going to end up with a ton of iron collecting dust, with a manual tool change?

Thanks for your time / input.

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