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Messages - RChadwick

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General Mach Discussion / Continuing a job after an event stops it
« on: October 11, 2008, 08:43:05 PM »
I was in the process of making my first item on my mill with Mach3, and for whatever reason, it thought I hit the stop button in the middle of the job. Like an idiot, I just cleared the condition, and told it to run. The spindle never turned back on, and it quickly broke the bit. So, is it possible to re-start a job? Is it best to start over, or can one continue where they are? If I have to re-set where on the material to start, I'll never get it in the same position. Thanks for any comments or advice!

Don't use Lazycam?

While I appreciate all the G Code info (It encouraged me to dig in a little deeper), I have been a little confused as to why nobody told me how to do it in Lazycam. I think I might have just answered my own question. While this is probably obvious to everyone, it took me a little while to figure out the unregistered, non-pro version of lazycam apparently doesn't do tool compensation. I tried adding the appropriate G-codes, but I must not have gotten the syntax right. Can anyone tell me if it's worth it to buy the registered version? I'm a little nervous, it being in beta still, with no instructions.

So I take it tool diameter compensation has to be done before Mach3? Will LazyCam do this perhaps? It's not that I'm terribly afraid of G Code, it's that it would be much more efficient for me to simply change a parameter when I need to try a different tool, instead of opening an editor, remembering what I'm supposed to do, make the changes, and hope I didn't make a mistake.

Thanks for the comments Rich. I realize it's a very small end mill. Although I expected problems, my first one snapped almost immediately. I slowed the feed rate to next to nothing, and I managed to not snap them so often .Then, it was melting the plexiglas, making a mess. I solved that by making a clay lip around the work area, and filling it with water. I actually managed to get a decent quality cut. If anything, I'll need a smaller end mill to get the detail I'll probably need. I bought a few of those cheapie resharpened carbide cutters/drills available nearly everywhere, and it eases the emotional pain when they break :)

My biggest problem now, and likely my last hurdle, is to get Mach3 to take into account the diameter of the cutter, and have it go around the outside of the lines. I've taken a vacation from it tonight :)

I appreciate the response. However, G-Code is like Greek to me :). It's well beyond my abilities to write G-Code for even the existing shape, let alone compensating for the tool. I was hoping this was something that could be automatically calculated by Lazycam or Mach3. I probably should have prefaced my original comment by saying that I am a complete CNC newbie. I have made only 2 things in my life on a CNC machine (Which I'm actually very impressed I made it this far), and neither turned out right because the tool followed the outline of the object without compensating for tool diameter.

I've seen this mentioned before, but I still can't quite figure it out...

I'm trying to make a simple 2D cutout in Plexiglas. It's one continuous cut, and looks a little like an F. To get it cut to a precise size, I obviously have to compensate for the end mill diameter. On the main screen of Mach3, there is a tool diameter setting, but putting the diameter in didn't make any difference. I also noticed a setting in Lazycam, which seemed even more thorough (Like asking whether to trace on the inside or outside), but that didn't seem to make a difference either. What I really need is a Tool Diameter Compensation FAQ.

1) Is it better to do this in LazyCAM, or Mach3? Does it need to be done in both? All things being equal, I'd rather do it in Mach3, as I likely will decide on different size tools.

2) Is there an accurate way to predict the cut will be right? The part I'm making is 1 inch long, using a cutter less than 1MM Dia.

3) Some of the areas between larger protrusions (Think of the area between the top and middle protrusion on the letter F) are only slightly larger than the end mill. Will this confuse Mach3?

Well, I figured it out My output was reversed. When I ran a program, the fact the spindle turned off instead of on was my clue :) Thanks for the help!

I'm not sure what information you're looking for, so forgive me if I miss it. It's a small mill (sherline). No speed control, just a relay to control the spindle. Output #1 is configured to Pin 1, and works if I tap spindle toggle on the diagnostics screen. Limit switches are connected to Pins 10, 12, and 13. The stop button is connected to pin 11. All limit switches, and the stop button, work fine. Also, ignoring any inputs, if I hit the reset button, the spindle still doesn't stop. Hope this helps.

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