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Control Software Manual for Servo Systems
All Software Manuals | Table of Contents (servo)
Servo Control Software version 1.418

In order to be able to change tools during a file and continue to cut at the proper depth, the machine must be told how long each tool is. This article describes how to measure the tool length and save it for later use.

Measure an Empty Tool Holder

This empty tool holder will be our reference point.

  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, collet 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 the "Tools" button, then "Empty". This will measure the reference point.

Measure Your Tools

Single Tool Method:

  1. 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.
  2. Position the tool over the touchpad, in the same spot the empty tool was learned. Leave anywhere from 0.1" to 1" between the tool and the pad.
  3. 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.
  4. The tool will slowly drop until it touches the pad, and then retract. The tool has been learned.

Measure the rest of the tools until the software knows the lengths of all your tools.

When a tool is replaced due to breaking or a need for a different tool, only the replaced tool needs to be taught, but it must be taught with the pad in the same spot. If the spot has moved, or if you cannot remember where the pad was, first re-learn the empty spot. After the empty spot has been re-learned, you can learn that one new tool. There is no need to re-learn all tools after re-learning the empty spot -- this is the benefit of the "new" tool learning system.

It is strongly recommended that after learning tools the first few times, you verify that it is set up properly with this procedure.

Multi Tool Method:

  1. Click Setup, then Tools
  2. Press and hold the Shift Key on the keyboard and click on the number of the tools you want to measure.
  3. click OK to exit setup
  4. Click the Tools button on the main screen
  5. A new button appears, "multi". Click it
  6. Answer the questions about the longest tools.
  7. All requested tools will be automatically learned.

Tool Types and Special Tool Setup

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

  1. Tool in tool holder, which has a stand - this is the most common type of tool.
  2. Tool in a drill bank or piggy back drill which has no stand - only an XY offset from the main tool.
  3. Tool on the 4th axis - will have an XY offset from the main tool
  4. Tool in tool holder, which has a stand not accessable through normal pickup methods
  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:

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

To set up tool style #2 and #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.

To set up tool style #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.

To set up tool style #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.

Archived PDF Documents

Touchpad Tutorial (build #352)

Touchpad Tutorial (build #377)