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  1. Hello everyone,

    I wonder if you can help me, I am using Estlecam software and I was wondering how I can add a tool change gcode script, to basically do the following:

    Pause the program and raise the z axis 35mm
    wait to allow me to change the tool and then do a z axis probe tool offset
    start the program again by pressing enter or start

    is this possible?
    Enthusiastic with CNC stuff but a proper novice so be gentle
    My build blog:
    Chinese 3020t Build

  2. #2
    That would be in your machine control software not in the cam. What software is running your machine?

  3. #3
    John is correct that the control software deals with this but I'll explain a little more.

    When your g-code calls for a tool change it use's a M6 command. This then calls a macro, often named M6, thou some software like Linux Cnc can map M6 command to some other macro name, but most just use a macro named M6 or like mach3, for instance, it's M6start along with M6end. It's in these macro files you can put commands to do pretty much whatever you like. However, it's not G-code and depending on which software it will use some programming language like Visual Basic or C++ or Python etc and you will need to know control software specific functions and commands etc.

    That said Which software is it.? I'm sure between us we can help you make it do what you want.

  4. Morning chaps
    thanks very much for the replies, im still very very thick when it comes to gcode lol, still trying to get my head round it all. The software I am using is called Planet CNC tng
    Enthusiastic with CNC stuff but a proper novice so be gentle
    My build blog:
    Chinese 3020t Build

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ravihotwok View Post
    Morning chaps
    thanks very much for the replies, im still very very thick when it comes to gcode lol, still trying to get my head round it all. The software I am using is called Planet CNC tng
    Ok, I've had a look at Planet CNC TNG and everything you want can be done by changing a few settings in the control software. I've installed the software and tested it in simulation mode but I cannot test it fully regards the probing because I can not trigger the input to simulate probe touch.

    Now I can explain how to do this but before I go ahead I need to know your level of knowledge of the control software and how you do it now when changing tools. Because if we get this wrong damage could be done.

    So explain how you change tools now if your G-code uses more than one tool. Or do you only use G-code with single tool.?

    Also, do you use a movable plate for the probing or do you have a fixed probe location.? If fixed I will need it's machine coordinates.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Ok, I've had a look at Planet CNC TNG and everything you want can be done by changing a few settings in the control software. I've installed the software and tested it in simulation mode but I cannot test it fully regards the probing because I can not trigger the input to simulate probe touch.

    Now I can explain how to do this but before I go ahead I need to know your level of knowledge of the control software and how you do it now when changing tools. Because if we get this wrong damage could be done.

    So explain how you change tools now if your G-code uses more than one tool. Or do you only use G-code with single tool.?

    Also, do you use a movable plate for the probing or do you have a fixed probe location.? If fixed I will need it's machine coordinates.
    Hello Jazz, thanks for replying. I am using a movable probe, I had a small disc machined up as the standard probe I bought off ebay wasnt truly flat so was getting different reading depending on which part of the probe you touched with the tool.

    Here is what my current situation is,

    I create the gcode/tool paths in estlcam, first I use a vbit to engrave text, then I use a end mill to cut around the outside of the small tag I have made. The software know to put a tool change in when is detects a toolpath with a different tool assigned.

    When I run this program with planet cnc it machines the text fine, then pauses for the tool change. But the machine wont let you do anything else. It would be nice that if when the tool change is prompted that it would lift the z axis nice and high, then allow you to remove/replace the tool and then conduct a tool measure with the removable probe. once done be able to press pause again and the program would carry on from the last position

    Sorry if I am waffling
    Enthusiastic with CNC stuff but a proper novice so be gentle
    My build blog:
    Chinese 3020t Build

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ravihotwok View Post
    When I run this program with planet cnc it machines the text fine, then pauses for the tool change. But the machine wont let you do anything else. It would be nice that if when the tool change is prompted that it would lift the z axis nice and high, then allow you to remove/replace the tool and then conduct a tool measure with the removable probe. once done be able to press pause again and the program would carry on from the last position

    Sorry if I am waffling
    DISCLAIMER I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENS SO TRY IT AT YOUR OWN RISK

    Ok well try these settings in the pics and see how it goes. BUT...Be very careful and have one hand on the E-stop ready to stop in case it doesn't work as expected. It works in Simulation but because I can not trigger the touchpoint I can not test what happens after the touch.
    It should just set the new Z Height and carry on but just get ready in case it doesn't.!

    DISCLAIMER I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENS SO TRY IT AT YOUR OWN RISK

    The important settings I've highlighted with a red ring.
    On the TOOL CHANGE screen, set all the settings you see checked. The Ringed setting is the height it will lift the Z-AXIS for you to change the tool.

    On the OFFSETS screen, the ringed setting is the Thickness of the probe plate. The Safe height is the Z-axis height it will travel at when moving to plate location.
    SENSOR POSITION is the location it will move to looking for the touch plate so either use a fixed plate or put your movable plate in that location.

    On the PROBE screen, most of the settings relating to probing with proper touch probe with a flexible tip. However, you need to set Probe Pin that the plate is attached to otherwise you'll get a message saying "Sensor not Configured".



    What will happen is this.
    When program is run if the current tool number is different from the first tool in the program the machine will lift the Z-axis to the SAFE HEIGHT you entered into the TOOL CHANGE setting. Then a message asking to change from tool# to tool# appears. Put a new tool in and click OK.

    The program will be PAUSED, click the PAUSE button and the machine will first move the Z-axis to the SAFE HEIGHT you entered into the OFFSETS setting then X & Y to the fixed probe location. It will probe the tool then carry on with the cut.

    Then when it gets to the next tool in the program it will PAUSE and lift the Z-axis to SAFE HEIGHT then a message to change from Tool# to Tool#, click ok and then be Paused waiting for you to change the tool. When you click PAUSE it will go to the Fixed plate location and probe tool and then carry on with cut.

    When doing the tool changes it will start and stop the spindle if you have control software setup to control spindle.

    DISCLAIMER I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENS SO TRY IT AT YOUR OWN RISK


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