Techno CNC Systems


Touching Off Tools

In order to be able to change tools during a file and continue to cut at the proper depth, the machine must measure the difference in height of each tool. To do this, the machine must first measure a reference point.

Measuring Tool Reference

  1. Place the touchpad on a stable spot on the table. If possible, choose a spot that can be easily used again in the future, one which will not change.
  2. Remove the collet nut and tool from a tool holder, leaving a completely empty tool holder in the chuck.
  3. Position this empty tool holder over the touch pad and click on "learn empty tool". This will measure the required reference point.
  4. Change tools to the one you will measure first. This can be done through a manual tool change or an automatic one. If it is done manually, be certain to identify the tool in the chuck to the software.
  5. Position the tool over the touchpad, leaving anywhere from .1 to 1" between the tool and the pad.
  6. In the main screen, click TOOL, and then click on "Learn tool #x" where X is the number of the tool currently in the chuck. If x is not the tool in the chuck, it was not properly identified, and will not be learned correctly.
  7. The tool will slowly drop until it touches the pad, and then retract. The tool has been learned. Exchange it for the next tool and repeat the process from step 5.

Tool Type Setup

There are many different types of tool retrieval methods available. Tools can be numbered 1 thru 255.

  • Type 1 : Tool in tool holder, which has a stand - this is the most common type of tool
  • Type 2 : Tool in a drill bank or piggy back drill which has no stand - only an XY offset from the main tool
  • Type 3 : Tool on the 4th axis - will have an XY offset from the main tool
  • Type 4 : Tool in tool holder, which has a stand not accessable through normal pickup methods
  • Type 5 : Tool Macro - not really a tool, so much as a process that needs to be performed during gcode, but relative to HOME instead of ZERO.

To set up these types of tools, follow these instructions:

Type 1

To set up tool Type 1, nothing special must be done.

Type 2 and 3

To set up tool Type 2 and Type 3, measure the XY offset between the main tool holder and the unit, then put these numbers in the tool grid. Number the special column 10.

If you do have an automatic toolchanger and Type 2 or Type 3, label only the aux drill tool # special column 10.

If you have a manual collet spindle and Type 2 or Type 3, label both the main tool (tool 1) and the aux tool special column 10. This will tell the system to only swap offsets between them when changing over.

Type 4

To set up tool Type 4, create a tool pickup file as per the instructions in the manual. If the tool number is less than 150, number the Special column 15. If the tool is greater than 150, nothing else needs to be done. This type of tool can not be numbered 200 or greater.

Type 5

To set up tool Type 5, create a tool macro file as per the instructions in the manual. Number the tool 200 or greater.

The key difference between a custom tool numbered 151-199 and 200-255 is that tools numbered 151-199 will drop off previous tools before performing the pickup sequence, and tools 200-255 will not drop off previous tools.

Copyright ©  Techno CNC Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.