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Manual NC questions

I’m about to make a new sign and this is my first encounter with needing to have a manual stop and tool change in the middle of the run. Does Manual NC “Stop”, “Optional Stop”, “Force Tool change”, or a mixture of these provide what i need to stop and change out the router bit mid-run?

Another question is how to i recalibrate the “Z” define zero with the new bit and then continue the run?

Any suggestions would be great as this is going to be a large sign to make in one run and baring anything unforseen i would love to make this on the first try.

This does not answer your question and I’m interested to see the answer as well. My current workaround is to not do a mid-run tool change, but break it into 2 jobs and tool change between them.

I do the same. I have two entirely separate Gcodes. The important part is that you ensure when creating these that they have the same origin. Then you run code 1, do the tool change, zero the z-axis and run code 2. That works for me. I have actually run 10-12 hour jobs in 1-2 hours brackets successfully.

so basicly run the first part then when it stops, change out the tool, recalibrate “z”, then tell it to go home again,load the new gcode, define home, then start the run again?

There is no need to go back home and whatever you do, do not define home. It is already defined. When the sled stops, zero the z axis after the bit change, load the second gcode file and run it. it should know where to start from where it is.

I agree. You need to have the gcode refer to the same home point though. That is critical when making the code, but not for operating it.

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10-4 I’ll try it your way and knock out the sign. I think i need to do a test piece to try and program it in with Fusion and see if it works the way i initially wanted to do it

good luck
I don’t know fusion well , but I design the entire piece, make an svg, load it all into maker cam (yeah I know, it will go away, but it works for the simple stuff I am cutting) and the create the individual gcode parts without moving anything.
Works so far.

so you don’t use fusion to handle the CAM part? Why when its all built in? Am i missing something?

I use fusion 360 exclusively then run the gcode

sorry I wasn’t very clear
I don’t have Fusion 360 in my process.
I do the following:

  • Design in Solid Works an export a dxf file
  • Import into inkscape and export as svg
  • Import into Maker Cam and create gcode

I’ll have to change that pretty soon but I can do this quickly right now and the process works well. Since it works I have been avoiding to use other options.

Well thank you gentlemen. It worked per your instructions. Came out ok. Not perfect but I need to get a meticulous z setup now. The large sign was 2.5 hrs yesterday and another 3hrs today to cut.