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Author Topic: Anyone here tried dual spindles on their machine?  (Read 4805 times)

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Anyone here tried dual spindles on their machine?
« on: October 26, 2010, 06:54:29 PM »
Hi, this might be a basic/stupid question but I can not find anything on the forum or in the manual about this.

I'm thinking of mounting a router and a laser on separate slides instead of just one Z-axis. Would the second one become "A", "B" or "C" or is it possible to switch "Z"?
Anyone tried something like this?

Offline kf2qd

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Re: Anyone here tried dual spindles on their machine?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 03:06:50 PM »
You have 2 options - you can mechanically tie the 2 slides together (the simplest approach as it is easier to control the offset between the to tools if you are running both tools in the same program. Or you can select the slave axis under config and each axis can have its own motor. This is more typically used on a ganrty type machine to keep the 2 ends running together.

If you will never run the 2 tools in the same program you could have 2 configurations that use different pins for the Y axis and one config uses the router carriage and the other config uses the laser config.

All depends on how you want to use the machine.
Re: Anyone here tried dual spindles on their machine?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2010, 09:03:23 AM »
Thanks,

Lets say I want to mill the holes and laser engrave text on a front panel in one job, how do I control which "spindle" is active from Mach or the CAM program?

Offline kf2qd

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Re: Anyone here tried dual spindles on their machine?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2010, 01:10:52 PM »
Milling/routing woul;d still use M03/M04/M05, and laser control would require one of the other M code series - others have mentioned an output controlled by M10/M11. You may also need some signal that Mach can use to sense that the laser is ready, but for engraving that is probably not necesary.

for example -
 to route/mill -

G54 (route spindle offset)
M03 (spindle on forward)
profile code here
M05 (Spindle stop)

Move to some "safe location"

G55
M10 (laser on)
code for engraving here
M11 (laser Off)

 Repeat these block as neceasary for the part you are making.

Machine offsets would work well for this - G54 for the router spindel, and G55 for the laser offset. (and other combinations, depending on whether you have more than 1fixture location on the machine.

You would just have to have sufficient clearence for the other tool to get out of the way when using the offsets.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 01:16:01 PM by kf2qd »

Offline ASC

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Re: Anyone here tried dual spindles on their machine?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2010, 02:00:13 PM »
I'm finishing up a machine with 3 seperate spindles; High speed servo spindle, linear dispenser and yag laser, as well as a camera.  We went the route of using a seperate Mach XML file for each function.  My pc simply has a shortcut to start the machine in each separate mode, and the screen set has offset buttons to move each head to the work zero point.
Mr. Creosote
Re: Anyone here tried dual spindles on their machine?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2010, 03:33:41 PM »
Thank you kf2qd for a very informative post, i am a newbie and really appreciate that you take the time to explain this!

ASC, I would love to hear/see some more details about your machine and about the YAG!

Offline ASC

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Re: Anyone here tried dual spindles on their machine?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2010, 11:04:16 AM »
I'll try and do a little photo/video shoot in the next few days.  Yag isn't on the tooling plate yet, but basically its controlled as a spindle, so you can use the spindle override to increase or decrease the pulse rate on the fly.  Same goes for the dispenser and the spindle itself.

The machine itself is designed for 3d circuit board manufacturing.  5 axes so we can do contoured pcb milling and laser engraving and direct circuit writing using conductive inks via the dispenser.  The offset buttons on the screen allow you to mill a track, then move the dispenser to the zero point, start up mach in dispenser mode, and dispense into the track you just milled.

Theres a whole lot of r&d still going into this but I will share some photos and videos when the time is right!
Mr. Creosote