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Author Topic: Improving mill safety  (Read 3548 times)

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Improving mill safety
« on: May 21, 2013, 09:17:41 PM »
I have finally gotten my machine which I call the Ifactory running.  I have also take a little paying job to run with my grandson who is nine.  The job is to drill 3  thru holes and machine 3 hex pockets in 200 2" diameter polypropylene wheels.  I have a chuck mounted to the machine table, and all the work gets done with 1 tool a 1/8" end mill.  I already did a sample part and got the customer to approve.  Mechanically the machine is very safe. Hard limit switches on all axis that cut off all power and also dumps the DC power supply to the drives.  The whole machine has an enclosure with 3/16" clear plexiglas on two sides with door switches that stop the spindle and all motion. There are two hard E-stop switches too. So the job is mount a wheel in the chuck, close the doors, press start, remove the finished part and deburr a little.  So this is safe for my grandson, but for the machine not so much.  He could easily destroy it!

I find the jogging to be quite dangerous.  There are a couple of reasons.  My keyboard is very compact, and it is real easy to lean on the arrow keys accidentally. If jog is active, away it goes.  In step mode jogging the defaults are 1, 0.1, 0.01. 0.001.  IF you are working in metric that is kind of okay.  In inches however that 1.0 is a machine killer!  It would be really nice if there were two jog step tables, one for inches, one for millimeters.  I'd also like to disable jogging from the keyboard altogether.  Using Tab to bring up the jog pendant is far safer. Then I'd like to do away with the mode switch between steps and continuous.  Needing to press Shift to get into continuous mode is a great safety feature. It takes two hands, your hand can't be between the spindle and the table when it moves except for small steps.  So I'd like to remove the mode change buttons from the pendant altogether. I'd also like the buttons for axis motion to be larger and further apart, so a small hand motion while looking at the part not the screen doesn't move you on to a different button. I want my grandson to be able to jog, otherwise you can't teach the important skills of edge and center finding, and the concepts of origins and work offsets.  Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?
Re: Improving mill safety
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 08:59:57 AM »
If you go into the general config page you can change the amounts in the step jog to get rid of the 1" movement. I changed mine so that the numbers repeat. I agree that 1" can do a lot of damage if you are not careful
Since your grandson is a child, try setting up a gamepad as a pendant.

 I have it on my milling machine and will be adding it to the rest of my machines as they come on line. I use a Logitech gamepad so I know they work well.I set it up using Keygrabber which is in the Mach3 folder on your hard drive. To make the jogging more stable and safe I put the X,Y jog commands on the discrete buttons on the right and I use the D-pad on the left for page changing. I also have spindle toggle on some of the top buttons along with step jog, tab key for jog override and other controls.

If you want to try it let me know and I can be more specific about what needs to be done.

The hardest part is getting it to turn on when you start mach3.
We never have the time or money to do it right the first time, but we somehow manage to do it twice and then spend the money to get it right.
Re: Improving mill safety
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2013, 10:29:41 PM »
Does anybody know how to disable the arrow keys on the keyboard for jogging?  That would be a big help immediately.

Gary H. Lucas

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Improving mill safety
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 04:17:29 AM »
Jog ON / OFF - standard screen, under Tool Information.

Re: Improving mill safety
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 03:45:04 PM »
That also disables the jog in the pendant pop up. I want to disable the keyboard keys all the time and only allow jogging using the pendant buttons. That will be much safer.

Gary H. Lucas

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Re: Improving mill safety
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 05:08:27 PM »
If you open your xml in notepad you can edit the xml to disable the jog keys. What you will need to do is search for the following






And enter 999 instead of the values in each.

Best to copy the xml to a safe place first however just in case something goes wrong, in fact its always a good idea to have a backup of your xml anyway.

Re: Improving mill safety
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 04:57:44 PM »
Thanks, that is what I need. I understand the need for backup. I've been using computers since 1979 when they were REALLY unreliable!

Gary H Lucas