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Author Topic: Mach4 manual tool change help  (Read 2407 times)

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Mach4 manual tool change help
« on: September 10, 2017, 09:39:41 AM »
Hi all,
I'm very new to CNC and attempted to make my first part yesterday. I'm using Tormach TTS holders and set up my tool library in fusion360 (and tool table in Mach4), I Checked the "manual tool change option" in fusion.  I tried to make a part using 3 tools: 1. flycutter, 2. 3/8"endmill, and 3. Chamfer endmill.  

When it was time to change from tool #1 to #2, the spindle went + on Z, I was expecting a pause/stop for me to change the tool but the machine sped back into the part under the impression tool#2 was in place.  I was able to stop the z downward direction before a crash but my heart was racing and my palms got sweaty.  

I jogged the spindle, changed my tool and continued the gcode.  When the #2->#3 tool change came up, it increased z altitude like before but this time it waited for me to change tools. I hit cycle start and no problem.

The strange think about this is that I re-ran the gcode (no tools in spindle) and a couple of times it did stop to wait for the manual tool change.  Seems like it should always fail to stop but it didn't.
I'm using a converted g0704 with Hicon integra controller, mach4, fusion 360 cam and the generic mach4 post processor.  

This is the part of the gcode that didn't always wait for a manual tool change:
X0. F15.
X2.25 F8.
G2 X2.63 Z0.28 I0. K0.38 F15.
G0 Z0.6
G28 G91 Z0.

T2 M6
S2200 M3
G0 X-0.0368 Y-2.6765

Am I missing something?  is there a setting in Mach4 to allow for manual tool changes every time (and wait for me to change the tool)?   Should I add a dwell time after every tool change?
Any advice is appreciated!
Re: Mach4 manual tool change help
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 02:44:30 AM »
welcome to the forum. I don't have a tool changer so I don't know, best I have a suspicion as to whats going on.
You might like to have a look at Daz-the-Gaz's videos, they're very good and at least one deals with tool changers.

One thing that I remember is that Mach4 can interpret your Tool number in two ways. One mode is that the next T word is the next tool to
be used at the next tool change. The other mode is the T word is the tool to use right now. Daz explains it in his vid rather well.

The setting is Configure/Mach/Tools and the item your looking for is 'Tool Change Type' upper left corner.

Hope this helps.

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach4 manual tool change help
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 05:55:30 AM »
Hi Daniel,

This is a copy of the tool change G-code that I use on my machine and so far, has worked 100% (It's for the first tool, and susiquent tool changes follow the same format).
I use Alibre Design together with Mecsofts AlibreCam for my CAD CAM.

(Thick Crank Web Machining.tap)
N2 G90 G21 G54 G28 G40 G80
(Setup 1)
(Work Zero)
(Rough Profile)
N4 M05
N6 G90 G53 G00 Z-3.00
N8 G90 G54
N10 T01 M06
N12 G43 H01
N14 S1500 M03
N16 G00 X35.381 Y-41.469
N18 Z1.000
N20 G01 Z-2.200 F175.24

« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 06:03:02 AM by nick952 »
Re: Mach4 manual tool change help
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 12:06:53 AM »
Thank you gents!  This is exactly what I was looking for.  You guys (and Daz-the-Gaz) rock!