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  • Tormach Touch Tool

    Anybody using this tool? I have the mill that I posted earlier about converting it to cnc. I purchased the TTS tooling along with this tool, but am having trouble using it. My machine does not have any home or limit switches on it and I am wondering if that may be causing me problems.

    My procedure is:
    1. Edge Find my stock
    2. Move Z up
    3. Referance all
    4. Call M6 for the touch tool
    5. Call G43 H for touch tool
    6. Touch the tool to the stock and Zero Z

    Then when I made the tool change for the first tool it plunged right thru my material. I did edit the tool heights in the tool library, but I must have done something wrong.

    Anyone that can help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Walt

  • #2
    Did you run a G43 for the new tool after the tool change? Just a thought.

    George
    George

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    • #3
      Yes I did, sorry forgot to put that in my list.

      Walt

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      • #4
        not sure about the details, but try putting an M1 in your gcode before the cutting with the new tool actually starts. Then you can make sure the program set the right height or not.

        How about some example g code and tool table entries?

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        • #5
          Some sample G code please. Also a more detailed set of commands you do. Also are you running Mach3?
          I has some issues on my KX3 so I know that capturing the steps is very important. If you don't have the tool offset off when you do certain things you end up digging whole in your tooling plate. You are using a tooling plate?

          Dave

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          • #6
            I do have a tooling plate, but right now I am just playing with the MDI line in mach3, stock is being held in the vise.

            I type M6 T1 G43 H1(touch tool), then jog down in z till my touch tool is at its zero reference.
            Hit the Zero axis button for Z.
            G53 Z0 back to tool change height for my power drawbar.
            Call the next tool M6 T2 G43 H2 etc.

            Hope this helps!

            Walt

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            • #7
              Walt,
              I am no expert except I have crashes my mill many times.
              I info says do the following.
              Raise spindle to clear setting.
              Press Zero A
              Install tool. Enter Tool Number, Diameter. Make sure you have gage height entered.
              Jog down until touching.
              Press Set tool offset button.
              Click to turn tool offset off.
              Click GO to Zero
              repeat for all tools.
              got to offset page. Save tool offsets
              Click Apply and OK
              Make sure Tool Offset is off.

              Failure to screw up setting of tool offset on/off may cause a mess.
              Good luck
              I hope this helps.
              I am confused is your problem setting the tool table or not crashing when you run a program??

              Dave

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              • #8
                I think Dave is on the right track. I also suspect that you might have an issue with your tool offsets. Lets agree that the seating surface of the back of your tool holders (the part that bears on the R8 adapter thing for the TTS tool holders) is the same for all your tools - a reference point. Measure the distance from the tip of your touch tool to that seating surface (a simple steel scale will suffice for this investigation). Then measure the similar length on one of your tools for which you've entered an offset. The difference between these two measured lengths should be about the same as the difference between their corresponding offsets in the tool table. If it's a couple inches off, then that might be your problem.

                Where I differ from Dave is that I would decide that the offset for your reference tool (the touch tool) should be zero to simplify things (as opposed to setting them from the home position). It can be any number at all, but zero works out well. Then the offsets for all your other tools will be referenced from the Z-plane of your touch tool. Some short tools may have a negative offset, but that won't be a problem once you get used to what's going on. Overall it will simplify your setup procedure in my opinion. The control will calculate Z positions based on a combination of both the tool length offset AND whatever work offset you've established. The tool length offsets can be kind of arbitrary as long as they are all in correct relation to one another, i.e. you could add two inches to all of them then subtract two inches from the work offset to instantly be back in cahoots.

                Once you've established your tool offsets, THEN it's time to calculate the work offset (I'm just speaking in general here and that isn't absolutely necessary, it's just a systematic setup routine) Most people, me included, prefer the work offset Z=0 plane to be the finished top surface of the material.
                If you have a zero offset for your touch tool (T1) then it won't matter whether you have tool offsets off or T1 offset on. You don't want any other tool offsets on by mistake though, unless they happen to be zero.
                So, either have tool offsets off or T1 offset on, THEN bring the touch tool down to your work zero reference and hit the Zero axis button for Z as you did before.

                IF your tool offsets are set correctly, this should work.

                If your program calls work offsets (aka work shifts), then things will change depending on what is entered into those work offset tables.

                This can get confusing, especially in print. It's most handy to have an old hand there with you to just walk you through things a bit.

                Just to get things going though, if you are comfortable setting your tool offsets referenced from the machine home position, you can disregard what I said about the touch tool offset being 0. Just be sure to first set its offset the same as you set all your other tool offsets, and when you go to touching the surface of your work and pressing the [Zero axis] button for Z, make sure the offset for T1 is ON.

                Is all this confusing enough?
                Last edited by tyrone shewlaces; 05-14-2010, 11:05 PM.

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                • #9
                  Tyrone,
                  Yes having someone who knows what they are doing is very important. That's been my problem on this. :-) And its best they are actually on site. Sir John helped me out some on this remotely. A second set of eyes in invaluable.
                  I have found its the hardest thing about CNC.
                  Losing your perspective on this leads to spectacular results. ;-)
                  I hope one of the real experts chimes in as I am not. Yet. ;-)
                  Walt where are you located?

                  Dave

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                  • #10
                    Have you watched the Tormach tool change videos?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the great replies! Yes I am a bit overwhelmed with the info at the moment. I am in Albuquerque NM so if anyone in the Albuquerque area would be willing to help I would appreciate it a lot.

                      I converted this mill about a year ago, and have been keeping it really busy, had a few extra bucks so I bought the TTS stuff thinking that it will save me a bit of time, so far its cost me quite a lot of time.

                      Walt

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                      • #12
                        WV, That a good suggestion. If you have a Tormach. If you have another mill the concepts are there but a couple of details need to be addressed. For instance the Tormach Mach3 screens are slightly different then for instance the default screens that came with the KX3. I do like the Tormach ones. Having a G28 home is nice. One thing a stock KX3 lacks. :-( Or at least I don't know that it does.
                        That video alone makes me really impressed with a Tormach.
                        Dave

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                        • #13
                          Walt,
                          So you have a converted mill running Mach3 using the TTS system? What kind of mill?
                          My experience is that since every Mach 3 setup can be different its those difference are the killers. Hopefully you have not broken many mills or trashed your table. I am in BC Canada or I would offer to be a second set of eyes. I sorted my problems out when I had a talented non machinist friend over and we found that I had messed up my M6 macro. After I sorted that out things have improved.

                          Dave

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                          • #14
                            Seems to me that CNC guys can waste a lot of time wondering why the magic system doesn't work, when non CNC guys would be cutting metal. Just a thought.

                            richard

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                            • #15
                              My mill is a Bridgeport clone, and I have been using it successfully for the year that I have had it up and running. Don't take me wrong Richard, but I am not letting this problem slow me down, still using the mill and producing parts. Just would like to save a little more time on tool changes. That is my reasoning for buying the TTS system and now that I bought it, want to be able to use it.

                              I have watched those videos before and I just watched them again. I can not see anything that I am doing different. My screens are a little different though as was pointed out. I did notice in the video, when he put in the touch tool the green offset light was on, but before he moved the machine down in z, it was off?

                              Thanks
                              Walt

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