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Messages - TunerTom

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General Mach Discussion / Trouble with tool changes...
« on: February 24, 2009, 10:44:16 AM »
I am having unpredictable results using the "Tool Change" feature. I have an X/Y plotter which emulates our lathe. I use this device to work out cutting paths to scale before applying the G-Code to the actual lathe.

Tool #1 is a pointed tool in the front tool post with an X-Offset of 0.0 and a Z-Offset of 0.0.  (ignoring tool #2...)  Tool #3 is also a pointed tool, with a front/rear tool post distance of -1.0 and a Z-Offset of -1.0... The small offset is to keep the trace on the paper.

I load in a test G-Code profile which I have written. The plot begins with tool #1 and the tool path is drawn exactly as I have entered. Then a tool change (T1301) is executed and the plotter goes bezerk. The pen runs off the paper and I have to stop the stepper motors on the plotter to prevent a collision. When the plot completes (returning to 0/0) and I look at the settings for Tool #1, Tool #1 is exactly as I set it.  Tool #3, however... the settings for the Z-Offset have changed radically.

Put the tool settings back the way they were, and at the moment when the change to tool #3 is executed, the plotter goes bezerk again,  Z-Offset for tool #3 ends getting changed again... this time, sometimes by a different amount.  Also, if I pause the process while Tool #3 is active The Z-Axis Jog is backwards from what it should be. Select Tool #1 manually, and the Z-Axis jog returns to normal.

N100 T0101                           %(Tool Change)
N110 M3                              %(Start Spindle)
N120 G0  Z0.0    X20.0
N320 G01 Z0.0    X16.7        F150.0 %(Ready to begin the curves)
N330 G01 Z-0.01  X16.7        F150.0
N340 G03 Z-14.1  X15.5 R9.4   F150.0 %(Cut the curve)
N350 G01 Z-14.1  X14.5        F150.0 %(Short straight before back curve)
N360 G02 Z-18.1  X10.4 R3.9   F150.0 %(Back Curve)
N400 G01 Z-28.1  X10.4        F150.0
N405 G01 Z-28.1  X12.0        F150.0
N410 G01 Z-36.3  X12.0        F150.0
N420 G01 Z-36.3  X10.4        F150.0
N430 G01 Z-38.6  X10.4        F150.0
N435 T0301                           %(Tool Change)
N436 G04 P1000
N440 G01 Z-38.6  X10.4        F150.0
N450 T0101
N460 G01 Z-38.6  X10.4        F150.0
N470 G0  Z-38.6  X20.0       
N480 G0  Z0.0    X20.0
N490 G0  Z0.0    X0.0

General Mach Discussion / Re: Help with G-Code?
« on: January 27, 2009, 04:45:25 AM »
First, I must say thanks to everybody here, who has been so generous to help me out. I have learned a lot over the past few days, and I'm sure I will have more questions to ask.

In answer to WoodyCam and to Hood...
The version I am using is... Version R3.042.020

General Mach Discussion / Help with G-Code?
« on: January 25, 2009, 06:25:44 PM »
I am haiving difficulty tracing arcs with G2 and G3. It seems that these arc commands are tracing the portion of the circle I don't want instead of the short arc I wish to follow. This is a turning profile for a lathe.

Here are the two examples I have tried...
G02 Z-2.23 X18.28 R9.400 F150.0
G03 Z-2.23 X18.28 R9.400 F150.0

I am attaching two JPGs to show the results.  The blue lines are my "hogging out" cuts
The arcs are obvious.

Am I missing something?

General Mach Discussion / Re: Turn Screens
« on: January 23, 2009, 12:57:21 PM »
OK, I got it!

With the following code,

G01 X7.5 Z0.0   F75.0
G01 X7.0 Z0.0   F75.0
G01 X7.0 Z-15.0 F75.0
G01 X6.5 Z-15.0 F75.0
G01 X6.5 Z0.0   F75.0

I get the cut path shown in the attached image below...

Now, Can I modify the cursor keys to emulate the toolpost movement when jogging?

General Mach Discussion / Re: Turn Screens
« on: January 23, 2009, 10:51:40 AM »
I am sorry, but I have no experience operating or programming CNC equipment. The lathe I mention here was "home built" it presently runs under DOS and the profiles are all written in BASIC.

My employer has asked me to figure out how to convert this equipment, both the lathe and the plotter to operate using industry-standard CNC methods.

OK, I can set up the stepper motors to use the Z-Axis and I can wire the Left/right motor at the controller to move the toolpost to the left, using negative values of Z.  I would then set the X-Axis to replace (what presently is the Y-Axis) to move the toolpost in/out.  Will the jog buttons then follow accordingly?

You ask Where are you getting the code from? I am presently writing simple G-Codes by hand. I simply chose X&Y, because it seemed to make sense to me.

General Mach Discussion / Turn Screens
« on: January 23, 2009, 10:21:26 AM »
I have an X/Y plotter which works identically to a CNC Lathe which belongs to my employer. The plotter is used to view cutting paths that the lathe performs... to scale on paper.  I am using this plotter to learn to set up Mach3 (see my earlier post "getting started" a few lines down the list)  I can successfully plot drawings using X/Y axis, running simple G-Godes, drawing lines & arcs. I can operate the spindle motor relay On/Off using M3 and M5 and I can control the speed of the stepper motors just fine... but I'm using a "Mill" setup.

Now, I am looking at the Turn Screen 1024.lset  which appears to be intended for a CNC lathe... but this screen uses X and Z axis. A sketch comes up as the program loads which appears to look like a vertical lathe. Is this the intended purpose of this screen... Vertical Lathes? Our lathe is Horizontal  

I want to traverse the tool post left/right using the X-Axis and In/Out using the Y-Axis.  Do I simply need to stick with the Mill configuration and not use the Lathe files?  The Lathe files have no X-Axis and I don't see an easy way to change that in the setup.

I am open for suggestions

General Mach Discussion / Re: Getting started
« on: January 22, 2009, 02:38:14 PM »
Thanks  for the tip.  I will look into this...


General Mach Discussion / Re: Getting started
« on: January 22, 2009, 01:53:00 PM »
One Button that toggles... two buttoms for On & Off... either approach is OK as long as I can send codes in my script that do the same thing as  clicking the buttons do.  I will look and see if I can find the macros "M800" and "M801"

Thanks folks!

General Mach Discussion / Getting started
« on: January 22, 2009, 09:32:33 AM »
I am just getting started, and in doing so, I have been using the Mill screen. My next step after this, will be to switch to the Lathe Screen, which as yet, I don't completely understand.

I am working with a home-brew lathe and matching X/Y plotter, originally built to run under MS/DOS with toolpaths written in BASIC, which operate the stepper motor controllers directly.I have rewired the stepper controllers and now I am switching to Mach3 in an effort to use industry standard methods. 

Everything that is to be done on the lathe, can be emulated on the plotter, and the drawings that the plotter produce are to scale, so it becomes a good test platform for developing profiles. With the plotter in mind...

I have Motor (spindle) control. On/Off, single speed, single direction, just as it should be for this equipment.  (on the plotter, Spindle On/Off? raises/lowers the pen).  M-Code M3 and M5 also work properly.

I have Jog, and I can regulate feed-rate for the lead screws and the "Fnnnn" parameters for P-Code "G01" work as expected.

My Lathe has a pneumatic (in/out) extender for the tail stock. The tail stock can be pulled back to face off the end of a piece, then extended to push a live center into the work. I need to figure out how to add a button to control this and help with a P-Code or M-Code to operate the tail stock. Could someone please point me in the right direction?  I am using Output #2, pin #8 , Port #1 for this operation. I have a simple parallel port monitor, and if I toggle Bit#6 (parallel pin #8) I can toggle the "Tailstock" LED on the plotter, so I know the pin is working.

The Mach3 program is simply awesome! My plotter makes drawings that are exactly to scale, and repeatable. I have re-traced some plots twenty times and the plotter never misses a lick.  When running the old BASIC programs under DOS, the program "stepped" the motors directly and would occasionally skip a beat, particularly at higher feed rates.

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