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Mach3 combined Tool and Work Offset probes
« on: November 10, 2020, 11:26:38 PM »
Good day,

I have been searching through the forum for days and have found bits and pieces of what I am looking for but nothing that I have been able to cobble together just yet.

Mach3-Mill
The spindle uses an ER style collet so fixed tool offsets cannot be setup, each time the tool stickout will be slightly different.
I have a z-height tool offset probe(sensor) that I plan to affix next to the Milling table (fixed X/Y coordinates) to calculate z-height of the tool's tip relative to Machine Coordinates.
Then I have a ruby tipped touch probe that I plan to use to touch off the work offset z reference plane, as well as the x/y in separate operation.

I would like this offset to then be stored as the work coordinate tool z-height.
I would then place in the correct tool for the first operation, which would again touch off the tool offset probe. Which will be stored in the machine before beginning the G-code for that tool.

Basically I would like to use;
Z-Tool length Setter with Probe to determine current probe length (stickout)
Then use probe to determine current z work coordinate have the difference calculated and stored, as well as the x-y work coordinate to set the work-origin.
Then use the first tool (in G-Code) with the Z-tool length setter to determine tool length (stickout) have that calculated against previously stored work offset and stored. (this process would be repeated for each subsequent tool in the g-code) for each manual tool change.

I know that wiring both will need to be through a switch for each separate operation as Mach3 seems to only support 1 probe at any time. I have found macros that do 1/4-1/3 of what I am looking to do. I have not been able to resurrect my grade 10 programming skills in VB from 20 years ago as much as I would have liked.

I have searched and searched, either what I am looking to do is not something that is commonly done and there is a better way (to which I am open to suggestions) or those who have done this are capable of doing it without help on here. Or the terms I am using to search are not yielding the guidance I seek.

Any input would be appreciated.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 11:29:04 PM by jjlrperformance@gmail.com »

Offline ZASto

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Re: Mach3 combined Tool and Work Offset probes
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 04:14:27 AM »
Try to find Big-Tex tool setter screen set.
There is the exact functionality that you are looking for.

Initial setup: Use your ruby tipped probe for initial setup, machine will first touch off your stock, then it will travel to fixed probe location and touch off the plate.
Change the probe with your first tool.
Zero tool setup: machine will touch off fixed plate and you are good to go :)

For all subsequent tools, only use Zero tool setup button.

As you will be using touch probe, set plate offset to zero (0)

Scripts that are behind these buttons work in metric and imperial units.

FYI Fixed probe location coords are in MACHINE COORDINATES so your machine should be properly homed.
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