I have scoured the net for some time now and did manage to find some info on this topic, but it seems the majority are geared to using auto tool setters. For some reason the probe thing is just not clicking for me !!
I have been using my machine for a while, but without a setup to change tools which meant touching off the part each time and running separate cycles for different tools etc...now, I have a power drawbar and TTS style tool holders. I also have a homebuilt digitizing probe..running Mach3..
I ran a simple tool change program for changing 3 different tools, I have my tool table set up as follows:
Tool#1 = 0.000"
Tool#2 = 2.795"
Tool#3 = 2.889"
Tool#4 = 2.959"
I measured each one using my digitizing probe, first by setting my tool makers vise on the mill table probing the top of the vise, setting the DR0 to zero ..then I put each tool holder in the vise with the endmill pointing up and run the Z probe to touch the tool each Z value was entered in the tool table as the height....
To test the tool change this is my procedure:
1.(Tool #0 is in the tool box, and offsets are off)
2. Home machine
3. Zero DRO's
4. Go to a fake starting point above my vise (cutting air)
5. Zero DR0's
6. Enter tool#1 in the tool box, hit enter (this is the zero tool value above or my spindle face reference, this sets the offsets light to green and value +0.000)
7. Press Z zero again
8. Regenerate tool path
9. Cycle start
No problem, the tool change tests runs fine...
Now, I have my digitizing probe set as tool#20 and is length set to 4.096", which is the length of the probe from the spindle face to tip, I measured this by sliding the vise under the spindle jogging it down, just so I can slide the vise in and feel the top run across the spindle face, put the probe in and run the Z probe function until the probe touched the top of the vise, entered the value in the tool table (4.096")
I want to use my probe to set part zero, probe holes, corners etc and set the work offset with it...this is where my mind goes fuzzy! Do I have the probe set up in the tool table correct? How does the procedure change in the example above for step 4. if the probe is going to find the starting point?
Hope someone can offer some insight..