Estecam tool changes, or tool changes in general?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Jeffeb3 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #11272

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I have something I want to cut in plywood, so I’m going to use one of my new 1/8″ downcut bits. But I have to make a few holes that are exactly 1/8″ deep. Correct me if I’m wrong, but drilling (the exact size) shouldn’t be attempted with downcut bits, because the chips have no where to go. It’s only 1/4″ material, so I want to just try it.

    Anyway, that’s not my question. The question is, how does the tool changing work in estlecam? Does anyone use that, or do you just make one gcode file for each tool? If I ran the drill file first with an upcut bit, then it would return to 0,0,2. I could then stop the spindle, change the bit, adjust the height (all with the steppers engaged), reset 0,0,0. Then run the cutting paths with the downcut bit. Or is there a better way?

    #11273

    Barry
    Participant

    I’ve run into this as well. That’s the way I’d do it, but haven’t tried it yet. I do know you’ll need to edit the gcode to remove the pause and tool change commands. It freaks out repitier. Hardest part will be keeping x and y in position. I’ve been starting with the bit touching the board, so I usually have a small divit to work off of.

    #11297

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I ended up using Estlcam (sorry for my terrible spelling of that everywhere) to lay out the drills, then I saved that gcode. Then I reopened the dxf and layed out the cuts with the downcut bit.

    When I ran, I did the drilling first, then I changed the bit and ran the other gcode file.

    I’m running them all from the LCD/SD card.

    I think using the LCD to move the tool around while I changed out the bit kept my home position. I didn’t push it hard enough to skip any steps, I think.

    If I was going to do it again (and I might just start doing this as a general rule) I would turn the spindle on above the origin, and use the LCD to plunge 1mm into the surface at the origin. Pencil marks just aren’t accurate enough. But hopefully I wouldn’t need that.

    #11298

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Also, in hindsight, I would have drilled 1/4″ with a downcut bit. I wouldn’t for a thicker material, though.

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