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Automatic tool changer
« on: November 05, 2005, 02:44:31 AM »
Hello,
I wanted to add a toolchanger and a tool touch off to my cnc router, I have no idea on how to implement this using Mach3.
Mechanicaly im thinking I would need a columbo splindle, or something similar with a power draw bar.
Set all the tools on a rack with a defined position for each tool.
Im thinking when the programmed gcode asks for a tool change, Mach3 will stop the spindle (M5?), travel to the position in the rack where the tool that is in the spindle should be, put it there, send and output signal to release the powered draw bar drop the tool, move to the requested tool position, send the output signal to engage the powered draw bar, and then move to the touch off plate so the tool offset can be set, and off we go to machining... sounds simple enough... if I just knew how to code a macro for that.
Does anyone have a  macro that does this same thing?
Im not too familliar with the touch off, can the plate be anywhere on the table? or does it have to be at a determined height?
Hope i was not too confusing, my English is not that good.
Greetings from Mexico!!
Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2005, 04:00:52 PM »
This sounds simple but you are going to need to have some doe to get this done... the Code is NOT simple... If it was me trying to get this done I would think about Having the tool change and the tool probe as two operations. This is not hard code to write and there is an example in the Video section. This video will help you with the Tool probe. As for the tool changer You are going to need to have a little more. I would set it up with a Case statement for the tool change positions and after that it is going to be some simple IO work.

Hope that will give you a few things to look at and help you get started
Thank you
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2005, 09:38:44 PM »
Got it working, in theory anyways, havent made the tool holders, and i still dont have a powered draw bar spindle.
For now ill make sure all my tools measure the same,, since I couldnt get the tool probing after each tool change to work.
Thanks for everything,
Specially Art, got it working thanks to a post he made on the yahoo forums, scripting video, and the tool probing video.
Regards
Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2005, 11:11:21 AM »
I was the one that made the tool probing video so How can I help you to get that working for you ??

I think you are going to have to add in a few things to get the tool probing working :
1. Add a too probe position (This is very simple)
2. Put in some moves to pick the spindle up (You don't want to drive the tool into the probe)

After that I think yo could add it to the tool change macro

Hope that helps and Please post any questions that you would like

Thank you
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2005, 01:44:00 PM »
My mistake!, I knew there was something different in the accent.
I downloaded your probe macro.
I kind of dont know exactly the process of using a tool probe.
Let me get it straight, Every time I start a job I MUST zero the top of the part with, say, tool 0, sun the probing macro so that the distance between part zero and tool probe is known, from then on, the machine will make the tool changes and probe every one of the tools so the offset can be updated.
Am I in the ballpark?
I think my problem was that I dont have a tool probe wired right now, so the Z axis just kept lowering itself.

Now I just have to get all my stuff together, spindle with auto tool changer, VFD for spindle, collets and tool holders, tool rack and tool probe  :-\
Quite a shopping list! Good thing im not married.
Regards
Fernando
PS, thanks for the support, and for the great video
Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2005, 04:46:37 PM »
My mistake!, I knew there was something different in the accent.
I downloaded your probe macro.
I kind of dont know exactly the process of using a tool probe.
Let me get it straight, Every time I start a job I MUST zero the top of the part with, say, tool 0, sun the probing macro so that the distance between part zero and tool probe is known, from then on, the machine will make the tool changes and probe every one of the tools so the offset can be updated.
Am I in the ballpark?
I think my problem was that I dont have a tool probe wired right now, so the Z axis just kept lowering itself.

Now I just have to get all my stuff together, spindle with auto tool changer, VFD for spindle, collets and tool holders, tool rack and tool probe  :-\
Quite a shopping list! Good thing im not married.
Regards
Fernando
PS, thanks for the support, and for the great video

I think you are in the ballpark  ;D
That is how the macro works!!! once you have a tool probe i think you are going to be happy with how it runs. I did a pile of tools after I did the video and it worked very fast. I had to add in code to make it go to the probe after I loaded in the tool but other than that it was a run able script.

I know the married thing! My wife is not happy from time to time  :o
Once you have a probe we will help you get everything working!
Thank you
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2005, 10:29:11 PM »
FYI I have just done a video on how to code a toolchanger I have also put the toochanger macro in the files section of the Yahoo group. Heck I think I can put it here too...

Hpe this gives you a good start! ;)
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2006, 10:05:49 PM »
Hi to all,
I will like to ask if for the tool changer to work Do You need to have a home switch for the Z axis or do You just set at zero?
Thank  You Marco
Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2006, 11:43:45 PM »
Where can a tool probe be purchased??
 Thanks, B. Ender

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Re: Automatic tool changer
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2006, 03:55:00 AM »
Without engineers the world stops