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Author Topic: Help on setting up ToolOffsets  (Read 2767 times)

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Help on setting up ToolOffsets
« on: February 28, 2008, 10:46:11 AM »
I just got a quick change tool system so I should not have to set Z of each tool each time now.

Can someone explain the basic steps for setting up and using toolOffsets?  I have plunged through a couple of parts now, so I must be doing something wrong, but sometimes it works too.

Do you set up each tool before you start on a part?  Can you set the tools up as you go?  Can you set up all the tools you plan to use and only reset Tool Number 1 on each part ?

The 'Use Tool Offsets' buttom/LED turns off sometimes too.   

If someone uses toolOffsets, can you please explain your wokflow step by step?  I'll buy you a beer!!

Many thanks,
Joel

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Help on setting up ToolOffsets
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2008, 11:40:42 AM »
You are getting into quite a disciplined part of Mach 3. You mention the Z axis so therefore I assume you are talking about a milling machine application.

When you say you now have a quick change, this means that each tool will fit in the holder at the same position (or length).

The first thing you must do is decide on a start position for your tools. This means a position where Tool 0 is at, and normally axis Z is at 0 with this tool. The tool can be imaginary - in other words, there might not be a tool - just the tool holder. and this is zeroed by touching it on the work piece.

How ever you do it, all other tools in the tool table are set from this. I personally have an empty tool holder as my 0 position, and all tools in the holder then have a length protruding from the holder - and all those lengths are positive.

Remember on your GCode that G43 must be activated to take into account the tool length offset - if you are plunging, it could be that you are missing the appropriate G43 - if in doubt - put it in again, it can't do any harm.

You can enter all your tools into the tool table. Even ones you are not using on a particular job. You might just have a few, but the big boys might have a hundred all in a big drum - so they can be entered - information about them is stored. You, of course, must remember which tool is which - and I would suggest, get a tool holder for each tool and label them.

If you are milling, then tools also have a width, or diameter, and this can be entered.

That is it really - but your scripts must all start the same - cancelling all offsets etc, then building them back in as you need them, other wise the machine looses track of where it should be.

Tool changes are M6 T** where the star is the new tool number. It is best to move to a tool change co-ordinate to change your tool. This should be an absolute co-ordinate. You change your tool, the apply G43 again and then return to your position. Because you have left your position, gone to an absolute co-ordinate, then returned ( with a g43) the machine will take the NEW tool co-ordinates into account as it returns, and be in the correct position to start again. ( See the video tutors about Scripting and moving to a position for a tool change)

I think you should get the idea from that diatribe.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 11:47:38 AM by jimpinder »
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.
Re: Help on setting up ToolOffsets
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2008, 05:21:04 PM »
Thanks for your help.  I think the G43 thing was getting me.  I have added it to my init string.   This should help.



Are all tool offsets incremental from T1?  So, even if you are not using T1, you need to use T1 to set the base offset for all the tools?

Thanks,
Joel

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Help on setting up ToolOffsets
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2008, 03:34:59 AM »
Putting G43 in the start up line is fine - but remember - if you use an absolute co-ordinate for some reason - that is a MACHINE CO-ORDINATE as opposed to a program co-ordinate, then you need to a) change to the absolute co-ordinate first (G90), then change back to incremental distance mode (G91).

Tool offsets are all incremental from the figures you enter in the tool table. So Tool 1 can have offsets as well.
If you want to use this as a base then leave all it's offsets at 0. Set the tool DRO to 1, then set up your machine in relation to this tool as you want to start the work. This might be at the bottom left hand of the work, with the tool tip just touching the work.

All other tools should then move to their new offsets as you change them.

Most of my work is with steel - so I usually put a piece of wood in first. If it chews that up, I am not bothered !!!
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.