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Running my first program
« on: September 26, 2010, 11:33:57 AM »
Hi All,

I am ready to run my first test program on my CNC Router and am looking for a little guidance.

I have the table proved in manually, it is auto zeroing, and ready to run an automated test.

I loaded the "roadrunner" file that comes with Mach3 and ran it without any tool (cutting air so to speak) and all seemed to work fine.

My primary question is how to set my tool diameter or what it should be??  When running some of the programs shared here on the forum, do they generally contain tool information, so I know what to run??

Thanks

Kevin

Offline Dan13

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Re: Running my first program
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 12:11:33 PM »
Hi Kevin,

You don't set a tool diameter for the roadrunner or any other program in Mach. There are two ways to produce Gcode - take the tool  diameter into account and plan the moves considering it, or use G41/G42 tool offsetting and then just write the gcode as if the tool had zero diameter (Mach would automatically offset the tool).

I have never run the roadrunner code myself. Probably it was assuming a particular tool diameter, probably not. See its size and select a tool that would give most details.

Dan
Re: Running my first program
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2010, 12:19:52 PM »
Dan,

Thanks for the input. Can you tell me if there is a "library" of test programs somewhere? I would like to run something as simple as a circle or square just to test the accuracy of each axis.

I don't have a CAM program yet, I can create a DXF file in Autocad, but I think I need a CAM program to convert the DXF into G code.

Thanks

Kevin

Offline Hood

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Re: Running my first program
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 12:42:57 PM »
Use the wizards to produce code for the simple tests you are wanting to do.
Hood

Offline Dan13

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Re: Running my first program
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2010, 02:19:36 PM »
Yes, start with the wizards.

You can use LazyCAM to produce Gcode from DXFs created by Autocad. Note that the free version of LazyCAM doesn't support some features like pocketing.

Dan
Re: Running my first program
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 02:26:23 PM »
Dan & Hood,

Thanks for the heads up on the Wizards, I looked at them and they seem helpful.

Being in the USA, I use inch units for my table. I did note that some of them are in metric units and when I load them it changes my table units which caused me some confusion. If cutting a program that is in metric units, do I need to reconfigure my table??

Thanks on the LazyCam....I will try it to convert some simple DXF's   Do you recommend a particular CAM program if I wish to do pocketing??

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

kevin

Offline Dan13

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Re: Running my first program
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 03:49:48 PM »
Kevin,

Most of the wizards have the option to select Metric or Inch units.

Are you meaning the tool table? Don't see why you'd want to reconfigure it... the values there are in the units defined in Mach. You can put a G20 in the beginning of a program and Mach will treat the length units as inches.

There are lots of CAM packages and the pricing differs a lot. Don't know what are the cheaper ones. There has been a lot of discussions on this over on the Mach Yahoo group, but I wasn't really following them.

Dan
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 03:51:22 PM by Dan13 »