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Really new guy with a few questions
« on: August 24, 2009, 05:11:32 PM »
OK up until a few weeks ago I knew nothing about g-code, I've been working on learning a CAM package to convert CAD drawing to g-code.  I've created a part profile produced g-code but since at this time I'm only using a demo copy of Mach3 Turn I don't know if it is working correctly or not.  My first question is;  in my code I send the QCTP to the home position stop the spindle (M00) make a manual tool change and then send a restart spindle command, is this the correct way to do this?  Will the code continue to run from the point where the tool change was made?  I'm in the process of converting my 7X14 Mini Lathe to CNC and due to short term memory problems I am making sure I can master the software side of the process before going any further.  I've downloaded Dolphin CAD/CAM and Mach3 and have created CAD drawings and generated code with the Lathe module in the CAM software.  I have Mach3 configured to the point that it will operated as a simulator on my computer (but is not licensed yet).

Offline Hood

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Re: Really new guy with a few questions
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2009, 06:30:00 PM »
Normally what you would do is have the setting for toolchange on General Config page set to "Stop Spindle, Wait for Cycle Start"
 So what would happen is you do your cuts with the first tool then move to your safe toolchange position then the next line would be T202 (or whatever tool/offset you have next) then the spindle would stop and you change tool then once done you press start. Your offsets should change in the DROs(you should have already set them up in the tooltable) So next move will be start of the next tools cut.

Hood

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Re: Really new guy with a few questions
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2009, 06:40:02 PM »
Just wondering  however if the spindle would automatically start, I have auto toolchangers on the lathe so have never used that method, you might have to put a M3(or M4) on the next line or manually press the start button

Hood
Re: Really new guy with a few questions
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2009, 07:20:32 PM »
Hood

That has been my issue, when running the gcode in Mach3 I don't see it stop but this may be because I do not have a licensed copy yet.  The code continues to go by line by line with no input required from me.  I'll admit that this is the first time I have tried this, previous sessions have just been to prove that I was doing my part and it was running under Mach3.  I then got to thinking about the tool change and the time required for me to do this, or if I was occupied with something else at the moment I would want the lathe to stop and for Mach3 to stop processing the code until I completed the tool change and then told Mach3 to continue.  Did you look at the file I posted with the question?  What I was hoping for was that someone would take the file and run it in Mach 3 and give me some advice or just tell me that it wasn't stopping and give some example of how to make it stop.  I will have to look at the tool table again and see if I can see where you were talking about in your first reply and see if I can set it up if it is not setup.  Thanks for your reply.

Ed
Re: Really new guy with a few questions
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2009, 07:36:20 PM »
Hood

You were right I didn't have the configuration setup to stop on a tool change, made the change and ran the code and low and behold it stopped on the tool change and requested a Cycle Start after tool change completed and started running OK.  The code is too long to really see the rest of the process as it stops after 500 lines.  Thanks for your suggestion.

Ed
Re: Really new guy with a few questions
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2009, 03:33:03 PM »
The code is really too long for anything short of a whole engine block. CAM-generated code is incredibly lazy in its writing style, it's G00 here, G01 there and very little else.

properly written G-code is very elegant and incredibly compact, and easy to adapt. I wrote a little program that generates a circular paraboloid in under 20 lines, for example - it's worth writing your own and incredibly rewarding.