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Offline mc

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Tool changer question
« on: November 18, 2013, 12:35:57 PM »
This is for a lathe, but the same issues apply to a mill aswell.

While running G-code, the tool change scripts handle everything, but what happens when you're not running a G-Code file?

For example how do you cycle through tools while setting up/checking/changing them?
Do you have a dro setup for commanding a certain tool number, just rely on typing into the MDI, or....?

The reason I'm asking, is this is the first time I've had to deal with an ATC, and I'm not sure what the usual/best way is of dealing with it manually, so I'm not sure on how best to set up a custom screen to handle it.

Offline Hood

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Re: Tool changer question
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 01:43:09 PM »
I used to have both on screen and physical buttons to index my lathes turrets to the next tool but it wasnt really worth it and now I have done away with them. The MDI is the simplest way to do it as you are able to call the correct offset along with the tool slot. I have MDI on my main page and also the tool setup page so its simple.
 On the Chiron VMC I have a tool set up page thathas buttons on screen for calling all 12 tools and in addition I have a further 12 buttons that will call the tool arms to lower but not go into the spindle, this is so I can replace the tools but the Chiron is unlike any other VMC so likely not something most would have a need for. I suppose on a carousel type changer having buttons to rotate to the slot would be handy.


Hood

Offline mc

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Re: Tool changer question
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 04:21:58 PM »
Just using the MDI was what I was thinking, however I was also thinking of having a seperate ATC page to display more details and allow more basic control.

At the moment I just added a couple DROs to the standard turn screenset. One which reads and displays the current position, and one that can be used to set the desired position, but that was more to just test that all the values were getting passed where they should.

Another question, what do you do about ensuring clearance during tool changes on your lathe?
I'm thinking that to avoid unnecessary movement, that it should move enough to clear the part Z zero with the longest possible tool (plus a bit extra to give some safety margin), but should that be handled in the tool change scripts, or in the G-Code?

Offline BR549

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Re: Tool changer question
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 05:00:35 PM »
Try putting a set of buttons on the tool update page. One for each tool. Then use button script to call the tool change.

Just make sure you add safety code to prevent a manual tool change will Mach3 is running code(;-)

Just a thought, (;-) TP

Offline Hood

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Re: Tool changer question
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 03:42:42 AM »
Quote
ust using the MDI was what I was thinking, however I was also thinking of having a seperate ATC page to display more details and allow more basic control.

I would suggest your ATC page have all you need to set up tools, below is a pic of mine, it has MDI, Offset set up buttons etc and I never have to leave that page until tools are set up.

Quote
Another question, what do you do about ensuring clearance during tool changes on your lathe?
I usually define the toolchange in the code, that way I know what tools I am using and I know what size the material in the chuck is and can then define a suitable toolchange point. I normally just end up making one position for all tools but occasionally (think long drills or boring bars) I will set separate tool change positions in the code ao that I do not have to travel far if its not required.
 On the Chiron I just have a position to move X and Z to before the toolchange, if I was doing production work then I would do similar to Lathe and just move far enough away to clear everything for the toolchange.

Hood

Offline mc

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Re: Tool changer question
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 05:27:21 PM »
Thanks for that.
I think that answers all the questions I currently have, and I now have a rough idea how to get things to work, and what I need on each screen.