Fadal VMC Setup Questions


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Thread: Fadal VMC Setup Questions

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    Question Fadal VMC Setup Questions

    I just installed a used VMC40 with the 88HS control. I've also got a Bridgeport clone with conversational and am comfortable and fairly quick at setting it up. I've just gotten the VMC running and fought my way through the initial steps for power up and tool loading (I've got all the manuals but they're almost useless).

    I'm baffled as to how you set the origins (X, Y, Z) for a part. In my mill I use a "wiggler" in the chuck to set X and Y and just touch the tool to the part for Z but I can't find anything in the Fadal literature that addresses that. It's also not clear how to measure tool length/offset.

    Also, is it necessary to home the X, Y and Z axis and do a CS each time you power up? Every time I power up I have to go through that routine.

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    Ok if you send the machine home for power off before you turn it off then it should be lined up at the cold start marks when you turn it back on. And yes you have to cold start every time you turn the machine on, it won't do anything until that is done.

    If you want to set a new home position jog the x and y where you want it then type setho at the command line. I've never moved the z so I am not sure if that would screw with the tool change or not.

    You put your fixture offset in the offset page. If you go to where you can put in the tool offsets and press the space bar it will change to the fixture offsets page. Not sure how you have your programs set up but where I work we have tool setters to measure the tool lengths and put that in the tool offsets. Your fixture offset will come from your origin set in your program.

    Hope this helps if not or if something is not clear I will try to explain better.



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    With a tool in the spindle, jog the head 1.0 above the part and type SL,1
    do that with all the tools; sl,2;sl,3; and so. Type DT and see the tool table.
    Yes you can use de Edge Finder on x&y.
    And every timae you power up, make shure all 3 axes are sitting on the cs
    marks, wich are the Machine Home. You can set your program hone any where but Z axis should be at machine home.



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    Smile Thanks

    Thanks guys.

    Obviously I'm spoiled by the coversational programming on my mill. It's going to take me a while to get up to speed on this machine..and a lot more questions. That's the great thing about this forum. Once I get through the startup/setup basics I'll really be pulling my hair out from the programming aspect.

    On the subject of "downloading" programs is there an easy way to implement a USB input or am I stuck with the RS232 input?



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    hooking up a usb port is very simple ($1000.00) I guess



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    Angry Major Issue!

    1. When I enter TC,1 the head comes down and hits the tool holder turret pushing it down about an inch (I presume this is what they refer to as "tool changer crash"). It took me a while to get the Z-axis to go up and the tool holder to go home. Then I set all the axis at home, hit HO and I get an error. When I hit manual I get a "waiting" and Tool 10 in spindle (there are no tools loaded at this time).

    I decided to test the every-axis-is-home and turn power off. When I did that Z-axis dropped to bottom and now won't go all the way home.



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    If you can jog the head up at all, go as far as it will go and the issue a CS command. Again jog the Z up as far as it will go and issue another CS comand. Reapeat this process until you get the Z where it belongs. make sure all axes are at the index alignment marks and then issue a SETH command. This sets the home position at cold start. Rarely do you ever need to do a SETZ command.
    FYI-- When the ATC is a home position and you issue the TC,1 command, the ATC should move to the spindle first, the drawbar then releases the tool, and then the Z goes up 4.000" and everything comes to a stop. That is the normal sequence. To send everything back home press manual.
    The control never really knows if a tool is in the spindle or not. It keeps track of the turret indexes and tool changes and reports the result as what it believes is in the spindle.

    Neal



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    Talking

    Thanks Neal for your assistance.

    I came across a reference almost a year ago to the same problem I'm apparently having...the Z-axis assembly dropping. There is reference to a counterweight and counterweight bars. I've pored over all the parts lists and maintenance manual and can't find a thing. Can you or somebody educate me as to where I should look and what I should do to correct this situation.

    I want to thank you for your input, not only for my problems but for everybody else. It seems that you have helped many of us and you deserve kudos.



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    Neal I dotn think that advice is right. If he jogged the machine all the way up he would be 4" above CS position. What he should do is jog the Z up until he can see the axis marker on Z and be close to it (within .090) and then use the CS in the command mode.

    We have had good luck with our Fadals milling mostly soft steel and aluminum up to 5 axis. We are always looking for spare parts :) If you have a broken down Fadal give a shout.


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    Default Why the Z-axis drop???

    Neal/Carbidecrafters

    My more concerning question is whether there is any damage by the Z-axis dropping (it was a freefall as though there was almost no brake) and why won't it go up all the way? What caused it? What are the "counterweight bars" and where do I find them?



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    Neal, you're right, Carbide critters, he is right, if you CS where the CS position isn't, that's where it sets the zero(within a ballscrew revolution).

    What I'm really surprised at is that the 88HS probably has the best ever utilities for setting tool heights and fixture offsets, and nobody has mentioned them, since that is what the original question was about.

    My 2 cents, Rdoty, Fadal's run off of software limits. When you cold start, you need to be in the correct position, there are no limit switches to save your ass. The Z needs to be at tool change height and the X and Y midtravel. Your margin of error is 1/2 a ballscrew rotation each direction before you type CS. If you set it wrong, you can cause some major serious damage. There are marks, the X and Y are easy, the Z can be a little trickier to find.

    As for fixture offsets, my rule is NEVER EVER use a SETH or a SETY or a SETX and ESPECIALLY never ever use a SETZ. Leave the home position where it is (E0). At the end of the program run back to E0X0Y(1/2 your travel minus a bit)

    Now as far as all the commands people want you to type, you need to remember some, but not many. When you are at the <enter next command> line, hit the space bar, a wonderful menu pops up. Hit the space bar again and another pops up, hit it again and another pops up, hit it again, and you are back to <enter next command>.

    So, hit the space bar once, that nice little menu pops up, #4 will be set fixture, so hit #4, another menu pops up, pick #1(fixture #) pick your #, they correspond to your E#, then if you like your edgefinder, it asks you what diameter it is, enter that, then it asks what RPM you want to run it at, enter that, and then it TELLS you to hit start to set RPM, then it sends you back to the nice menu.

    Now you are going to hit #2, Jog around or something, pickup an edge, if you look at the screen it will say hit <manual> to exit, so, once you pick up the edge, hit <manual>, then hit #3(set offset or something). It will ask you what axis, pick your axis, then it will ask you +-or 0, since you are using an edgefinder, pick what side of the axis you are on plus or minus, it does the calculation for you. Tells you to hit manual to exit, back to the pretty menu, hit #2 again, repeat for Y. There are some other nice utilities in that menu also.

    For tool heights, you will need to hit the space bar 3 times to get to the third menu. Hit #2 <setup>, <tool>, <multiple>, then follow the directions, example ... tools 1-5 with a 1" height block, changes the tools and does the calculations for you, its about as easy and quick as you can get.

    Back to the SETH, SETX,Y&Z, if you just don't touch those or use those, it leaves your home position at your Cold Start position, and remember that all of your fixture offsets are based off of you HOME position, move the home position with any one of those commands, and you lose all of your offsets. A SETZ can really screw you, had a machine with a nice mark from a 4" facemill rapiding straight into the table. Anyways, leave the home at CS and then when you want to shut down, hit the space bar once, that nice menu comes up again, hit #3<return to home, or something close>, hit <start> it returns home, shut it down. Fire it up in the morning, just type CS and fly.

    Its a beautiful controller as far as ease goes, it TELLS you what to do, just page through the menus to find what you need to do, and it walks you through it.



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    Wink Great Tutorial

    Thanks Little Bubba. Now, why couldn't they put that in the manual? Think of all the trees it would have saved!

    I'll try all that in the morning. In the meantime I'm still concerned about the counterweight/counterweight-bar issue and if that has anything to do with the Z-axis dropping when I did a power down.



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Fadal VMC Setup Questions
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