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Author Topic: Manual Tool Change  (Read 4515 times)

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Manual Tool Change
« on: April 16, 2008, 07:21:50 AM »
I hope I am not going over old ground.

I would like to experiment with manual tool changes on my router.

ie. the program calls a macro to allow the spindle to be moved to a set position so that I can change the cutter.   Then the tool height needs to be sensed by touching a known point that tells mach3 to calculate the z offset to match the correct tool height . The spindle should then move to the return point in the program to continue the cut file.

Is this an inbuilt feature of mach3 ( "settings"' panel?)
How can it be configured?

Re: Manual Tool Change
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 10:36:12 AM »
I don't have a ton of experience with this and it has been a few versions ago since I messed around with it but...

There is a set of radio buttons on the General config page that tells Mach what to do when it sees an M6 command that you add to your G-Code when you want the tool to change.  Select the 'Stop Spindle and wait'.  I think you also have to make sure that on the settings screen that the 'Ignore tool change button is not selected/lit.

When you run your code, Mach will stop when it sees an M6 command and then wait for you to do your change & rezero when you hit the cycle start button, I think the machine will bring up a dialog box and tell you it wants to reposition itself to continue the cut.

It's pretty easy/intuitive once you have the config/settings stuff out of the way.  Try it first without chucking up any cutters to be safe though!


Offline jimpinder

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Re: Manual Tool Change
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2008, 12:13:29 PM »
If you watch the Video Tutorials there is a program on "Scripting" which covers this exact problem.

The M6 script can be altered to do precisely what you want - in other words - move to a preset location and wait til you have reset the tool. You can jog the tool up and down onto a plate or measure or what ever, change the z axis offset and resume.

The script is in Visual Basic and is fairly easy to learn - if you know any of the programming languages, and the scripts themselves can write GCode to move the mill directly.

I have this on my lathe (slightly different command but) - the tool away from the work, I change the tool and the tool number changes which brings into effect the new tool offsets. I have a quick change holder, so my tools and offsets are all preset - but that is something for you to think of in the future.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 12:16:38 PM by jimpinder »
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Re: Manual Tool Change
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 08:23:14 PM »
Thanks fellows, I will delve further.