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  #1  
Old 05-24-2018, 02:51 PM
SCHEPEBC SCHEPEBC is offline
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Default Z Axis question

I have a 5x10 panther with the counterbalance kit and ATC. It seems that my Z axis is not as accurate as everything else. The area that the machine is in is an unconditioned space (basically pole building). I feel that the inconsistency is due to the heat and humidity but just double checking myself. I will go through my current process for after i cut the spoil board and let me know what you think.
-fly cut the board
-release the bit and install a 1/2" bit. Turn the vac on and jog to about 24" x 24" area and jog it down to the spoil board. I use a piece of cellophane from a cigarette pack and jog it down till it drags on the cellophane (thinner than paper)
-once there, I hit [calibrate switch] and go through the prompts.
-I then measure all the tools
-I then switch to 1/2" end mill and bring it back to the fresh board and job it down with the cellophane
-[zero z]
-re measure all tools and then go on my way and cut parts. I do keep my zero in my programing off of the MDF bed and that seems to work great.

So here are the problems/ questions.....
Questions 1) If i mic 1/2" polycarb and the material is at 0.497", what would you put in your program to cut through it? In this example I would use 0.500"

Question 2) I have another program that I cut daily when there is not another project going on the machine for a few days. The material mics at 0.187" so I made the cut depth 0.190". So I run 5 one day, shut the machine down at the day, start it up the next day, warm it up and open the program again. I do not re-zero anything as it is the same program. It seems though after running it a few sheets my bit dives a little and the next thing you know, 5 days later of running the program daily, its into my spoil board 0.050".

Any ideas? It is something that has been driving me nuts. I know this is not an easy answer probably but these are my current issues. I want to use my mozaik software and run cabinets but concerned with the inconsistency of the z depth and don't want to scrap a bunch of cabinet parts because my depths are off.
Thanks!
Brad
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2018, 04:49 PM
Charlie_L Charlie_L is offline
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Designing to the table top or the work piece top surface?
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2018, 10:18 PM
SCHEPEBC SCHEPEBC is offline
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Table top/ top of spoil board
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:01 PM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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When you are setting the Z reference to the table (spoilboard surface) and using your steps:

-fly cut the board
-release the bit and install a 1/2" bit. Turn the vac on and jog to about 24" x 24" area and jog it down to the spoil board. I use a piece of cellophane from a cigarette pack and jog it down till it drags on the cellophane (thinner than paper)
-once there, I hit [calibrate switch] and go through the prompts.
-I then measure all the tools


You can end the process right there, the rest of the steps that you list are redundant and may be causing your Z errors.


1) In a climate controlled environment you may be able to get by with a few thousandths of cut thru. Most areas with humidity swings will require more. In the Florida Keys I often used .020-.025" as the spoilboard would shrink as it dried out from air flow. I also know of some sign shops that cut the acrylic and leave the paper intact on the bottom to aid with vacuum hold down.


2) Sounds like an example of spoilboard swelling as it soaks up humidity
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:33 AM
The real JP The real JP is offline
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I usually run my bit off to the side and type Z0 then jog to the edge just to see where it is coming out.

My machine is in a shop with ac, but the spoilboard will still swell up a bit.

Might have to resurface each day. I calibrate the switch with my spoilboard cutter, it's already touching so why not?

What do you have the cut through in moaziak set at?
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File Type: jpg cut through.jpg (16.3 KB, 18 views)
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2018, 08:10 AM
SCHEPEBC SCHEPEBC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Campbell View Post
When you are setting the Z reference to the table (spoilboard surface) and using your steps:

-fly cut the board
-release the bit and install a 1/2" bit. Turn the vac on and jog to about 24" x 24" area and jog it down to the spoil board. I use a piece of cellophane from a cigarette pack and jog it down till it drags on the cellophane (thinner than paper)
-once there, I hit [calibrate switch] and go through the prompts.
-I then measure all the tools


You can end the process right there, the rest of the steps that you list are redundant and may be causing your Z errors.


1) In a climate controlled environment you may be able to get by with a few thousandths of cut thru. Most areas with humidity swings will require more. In the Florida Keys I often used .020-.025" as the spoilboard would shrink as it dried out from air flow. I also know of some sign shops that cut the acrylic and leave the paper intact on the bottom to aid with vacuum hold down.


2) Sounds like an example of spoilboard swelling as it soaks up humidity
Gary,
So just to clarify, when I calibrate the switch, it will automatically zero the Z?
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  #7  
Old 05-27-2018, 08:36 AM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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When you calibrate the switch the following actions are performed:

The Z (to spoilboard) reference is set (yes)
The switch offset (difference in height between spoilboard and switch is set)
Low boundary position is set and enabled

After that is complete, measuring all tools will set them to the spoilboard also. No further actions are required as long as Z reference is the table surface.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:41 AM
SCHEPEBC SCHEPEBC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The real JP View Post
I usually run my bit off to the side and type Z0 then jog to the edge just to see where it is coming out.

My machine is in a shop with ac, but the spoilboard will still swell up a bit.

Might have to resurface each day. I calibrate the switch with my spoilboard cutter, it's already touching so why not?

What do you have the cut through in moaziak set at?
I think I am going to have to start doing the z0 thing and adjust accordingly. I can’t do that as my spoilboard cutter is like 3 1/2” is dia and is bigger than the HDPE puck to touch off. I love that spoilboard cutter because it’s only 8 mins to deck the 5x10 spoilboard!

I wish I could tell you but I can’t figure out where that stuff is. I had a guy (John?) from Cali help me set it up with different tools. I actually never checked my speeds and feeds nor what tools go where in my carousel so my goal in the next week is to pay for more training and have him show me. I would like to double check my speeds/feeds/depths prior to running a program with some test cuts and adjust if I need too. I have a been a bit wasteful as I have had the program for 6 months and just opened it and played with it a handful of times. I do feel a lot more comfortable with my machine now than when I bought it so that’s good news haha

Last edited by SCHEPEBC; 05-28-2018 at 08:43 AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2018, 09:34 AM
Jim_in_PA Jim_in_PA is offline
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If you use Mick's spoilboard utility, you don't need to worry about the sensor puck because that utility has you physically touch the top before starting the job. It doesn't depend upon or want you to measure the tool the normal way.
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2018, 10:08 AM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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For those with an ATC, or even MTC, I prefer using a "zero tool" for surfacing.

This means that on an ATC, "T0" is actually typed in removing all stored lengths. The bit is lowered to the spoilboard surface. I like to spin the surfacer (backwards) by hand and lower the Z until it just scrapes the surface. Then press the "Zero Z" button.


I use a combination of a climb cut profile around the board (leaves a cleaner edge) and a raster in the Y (gantry movement) direction with 91% stepover. I usually used a cut depth of around .010" and save that file to my "Cutting Files" folder as "Surface Spoilboard 10" as it can be used over and over again by simply setting the Z height.

Here is a short video showing the process on a small machine: https://youtu.be/T-q_B2jY_Ic
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