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    Default Axyz 4008 2006

    Hi All,
    I've recently purchased a 2006 axyz 4008 cnc router. I've set it all up and it's ready to go. Its come with an old IBM computer running windows xp. There are various software programs installed on it, vcarve, cut2d and a few more I cant remember.

    I dont know how to transfer the .dxf files I've created onto the controller. Can anyone help. I have the rs485 converter box but am clueless as to how I make it all work together. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    The machine will not run on a dxf. You need to use vcarve to create a TOOLPATH with the correct post processor for your machine. The machine runs the toolpath. It sounds like you need someone local to you to guide you. Vectric does have video tutorials for vcarve free on their web site also.



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    The AXYZ will be just fine with a .dxf if you use the Toolpath software that AXYZ would have supplied with the machine.You will need this in any event to transfer information created in any other CAM system to the controller.I don't know whether the previous poster has any experience of AXYZ machines,but I have a couple of thousand hours on one of about that age.The machine is likely to be very durable and utterly reliable but you have to get the computer to communicate with it to get anything at all done.

    There should be an installation disk for Toolpath that also contains the drivers for the RS485 and until you have a reliable connection to the machine,nothing can happen in productive terms.If Toolpath is already installed and the calibration done,you have very little work to do.There should be a cable from a USB port to the RS485 and another from the RS485 to the controller box at the end of the machine.On the 6010 I am familiar with it is below and to the right of the isolator switch.

    I haven't tried to use Toolpath to take a .dxf and create a programme as I have had CAM software to do this part and although I know it can be done and have seen an AXYZ tech do it,it is a bit of an odd way to go about things given how little a basic CAM programme costs these days.If you need to learn the way to work with Toolpath you absolutely have to have the manuals available to guide you through grouping shapes and assigning parameters.If you can use the cut 2D or Vcarve programs to generate the program,you still need to use Toolpath to transfer the program to the controller.Vectric also have their quirks but it isn't so hard to use the system to create programs and there are some great tutorials on youtube.What they won't tell you is that because of the age of the Toolpath software it will only accept 8 character file names (or fewer) which kind of indicates how far back it's roots go.Trying to use a longer file name will lead to frustration as the software won't see it and you can't transfer it.

    The way it works is you open Toolpath then click File-import and a shape should appear on screen corresponding to the job.To transfer the file to the machine hit Send then Transmit.At this point the console will display RECEIVING........ It will take a while because the baud rate for the RS485 isn't too rapid but when complete the console will display the ovrall size of the work area for the job and you can press the green button.

    Of course before actually pressing the green button,you will have dealt with such matters as Lift Bottom Lift top and installing the correct tools.If this doesn't get you a bit further,I will look in here from time to time.



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    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    The AXYZ will be just fine with a .dxf if you use the Toolpath software that AXYZ would have supplied with the machine.You will need this in any event to transfer information created in any other CAM system to the controller.I don't know whether the previous poster has any experience of AXYZ machines,but I have a couple of thousand hours on one of about that age.The machine is likely to be very durable and utterly reliable but you have to get the computer to communicate with it to get anything at all done.

    There should be an installation disk for Toolpath that also contains the drivers for the RS485 and until you have a reliable connection to the machine,nothing can happen in productive terms.If Toolpath is already installed and the calibration done,you have very little work to do.There should be a cable from a USB port to the RS485 and another from the RS485 to the controller box at the end of the machine.On the 6010 I am familiar with it is below and to the right of the isolator switch.

    I haven't tried to use Toolpath to take a .dxf and create a programme as I have had CAM software to do this part and although I know it can be done and have seen an AXYZ tech do it,it is a bit of an odd way to go about things given how little a basic CAM programme costs these days.If you need to learn the way to work with Toolpath you absolutely have to have the manuals available to guide you through grouping shapes and assigning parameters.If you can use the cut 2D or Vcarve programs to generate the program,you still need to use Toolpath to transfer the program to the controller.Vectric also have their quirks but it isn't so hard to use the system to create programs and there are some great tutorials on youtube.What they won't tell you is that because of the age of the Toolpath software it will only accept 8 character file names (or fewer) which kind of indicates how far back it's roots go.Trying to use a longer file name will lead to frustration as the software won't see it and you can't transfer it.

    The way it works is you open Toolpath then click File-import and a shape should appear on screen corresponding to the job.To transfer the file to the machine hit Send then Transmit.At this point the console will display RECEIVING........ It will take a while because the baud rate for the RS485 isn't too rapid but when complete the console will display the ovrall size of the work area for the job and you can press the green button.

    Of course before actually pressing the green button,you will have dealt with such matters as Lift Bottom Lift top and installing the correct tools.If this doesn't get you a bit further,I will look in here from time to time.
    Thanks so much for your reply. Your bloody great! I've been looking all over the machine for the data port and although I've looked about 5 times it wasn't until I read your post that I found it. All the missing pieces have now come together! .

    The only thing that is worrying me now is the state of the IBM computer it has come with. It took me two hours to get it to boot up yesterday. With me only succeeding when I heated the stack in front of a 15kw heater. It then worked.im guessing there are a few dry soldiers in the machine somewhere. I'm going to source a better old machine and either copy or transfer the hard drive over.

    I've seen on other cnc routers that they lay a sheet of mdf down before the board your cutting to protect the aluminium bed. The vacuum is strong enough to hold both boards to the bed. Could you help me in this part also? Do I need to run a programme that skins the MDF flat and takes off the top layer so it's more porous for the vacuum?

    Many thanks again for your very informative reply.



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    I do have an axyz and helped repair and program another one in town that was broken down. I actually converted mine to Wincnc control. Whether it is the axyz software that converts it to a toolpath, or vcarve, the machine runs on a toolpath. I think the axzy software is a little clunky compared to the vcarve they have available, but I'm glad your happy with yours. If the original poster tries both ways, they have available, they can choose what is the simplest for them.
    If you can, get a good pc tech to "ghost" the hard drive. Then if the pc fails, you can get up and running again.
    To upgrade controllers is a considerable amount of money through axyz and that led me to swap my controlls to another one I was comfortable with.
    I do agree they make a great machine, and I have run over a dozen different brands. I have gotten into fixing and upgrading machines, and don't actually run them as much as I used to.
    Vacuum holding is great, and I use lightweight mdf because it is more porus. To flycut or skim the top, you can draw a rectange the size of your machine bed in the software and make a pocket toolpath. I cut .015 at a time when I flycut. On regular mdf flycut both sides, but on ldf only the top side.



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    A couple of questions for the OP: does the machine have a vacuum pump and does the table have isolating valves for different zones?

    The software you have is rock solid even if it is dated.If you have an installation disk for Toolpath it isn't a particularly big job to install in on another computer-its a job I have had to do three times but I did have the enormous advantage of the manual for the machine giving the relevant values for the various parameters.A good backup is essential but equally important is to make a note of the values for table size,acceleration and steps/mm they can be found using the setup tab in Toolpath.

    If you have the manual it is worth reading but it is hard work and phrases some things oddly.I know AXYZ are based in Canada and i have a strong suspicion that the person writing the manual didn't have English as a first language.To give one instance,on a machine with a tool length sensor the use of the sensor to determine tool length is described as "qualifying" the tool.One thing you will need to be very aware of is what happens if you discard a file or two from the controller and intend to run the same job it just finished, immediately after deleting old files-it will cut the wrong part.You will have to reload the file you want to cut.If you leave it alone and don't delete anything it can and will cut the same part over and over until switched off or until a different file is loaded.

    The Vcarve software will do a great many things and all you really need to be sure of is that you have the tool parameters correctly entered in the tool library and the correct post processor is selected.When you have a toolpath generated it is always a good idea to run a simulation to see what is likely to happen.One of the strongest points of Vcarve is the speed with which it calculates a toolpath.



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    Thanks for the replies guys , You've both been a great help.

    This router does have a 5 zoned vacuum bed . It also came with 2 rather large vac pumps. I have one set up and the other as a spare. There are a couple of areas on the bed where the previous owner has machined right through the bed with the router but all confined to one zone. Im debating whether to tig weld the gashes up but a bit of duct tape will suffice for now.

    I have opened up the old IBM computer. It was full to the brim of wood dust. Ive cleaned it and it seems to be working better. I have also sourced a 2nd machine , which im going to copy the hard drive over as a back up. I have also created a virtual machine on my 2016 Macbook pro and have installed windows XP on it. The only problem with this is i dont have the licence codes for the software on the original computer so i will have to add the cost of the software on to current jobs that come in. Thats going to take a couple of months but eventually i will do away with the old computers entirely and just run the cnc from my modern macbook. Much better. Thanks for all your help guys.



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    I also have the manual for the machine and the previous owner has written his own how to guide for dummies which is on the computer which is great.



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    Hi guys. I've had a go today. Imported my dxf files on to toolpath and created nc files from them. Transferred it to the cnc. But when I try to start it comes up error code 331. Which is the code for : the job the operator is about to run goes over the soft limits of the machine. The soft limits are defined by the machines programmed size.

    I take it this means I've not set up the correct machine in toolpath. Do you have any advice on this? Cheers



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    I've met that error code!The first obvious question is did you try to run a metric file on a machine set up for Imperial operations?Second,did you home the machine before starting the sequence?It might be that the home position has been shifted to a point that moves an extremity of the job outside the machine's working envelope.Finally,what did you do to establish the tool length and the top of the workpiece?I'm a bit concerned that you may be about to gouge the metal table of the machine and the lack of a spoilboard may be the thing that is causing trouble.A zoned vacuum system should have a base board with a network of grooves connected to the extraction point for each zone and an unbroken border to contain the vacuum.On top of this there should be a spoilboard that you have skimmed to ensure flatness.It could be that the absence of these is taking the Z axis beyond it's limits.

    As I have no experience of using Toolpath for anything but file transfer of files generated with a CAM system,I can't really tell you anything about that aspect.If you could have opened the .dxf file in Vcarve I would have a little idea of where to search for trouble.You could also have watched a simulation of the cutting operation to confirm that it would do what you expected.You would also have the chance to view a selection of post processors and ensure the correct version is producing the toolpath.



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    Hi Routalot,

    The piece i was machining was a notice board for a local company which had their company logo engraved on it. I had set up the toolpath only to cut the engraved part of the job . which i set at being 5mm deep in the 15mm board. As the router is only going to do the engraving part and not cut completely through the board i thought this was a good one to test the machine until i fit the spoil board.

    My sequence for running the machine is as follows:

    I turned it on and warmed up the spindle for 10 mins.

    pressed f1 and set the max feed rate at 4000

    then entered F4 to set top and bottom limits. I moved the router into the center of the bed and brought the z axis down so it was just touching the ally bed and pressed enter. then moved it up about 50mm and set the top limit.

    Then i put the board on and pressed F8 and moved the z down so it was just touching the board and hit enter.

    Then i moved the router over to the bottom left corner and set the start point of the sheet (0,0 coordinates)

    once id done all that i went to the file on the control box. hit enter and got error 331.

    In the toolpath software im using the post processor file named AXYZ ARC (MM) which im unsure if its the correct one



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    Two things come to mind.The procedure for heights is exactly what it should be.It looks like the post processor is correct and I am guessing that you used Vectric software to access it since the AXYZ Toolpath software doesn't list post processors for the simple reason that it has the only one it will ever need built in.Where I am less certain is what exactly is meant by moving to the bottom left corner to set the start point.

    If using Vectric software,you have to set job size and in the example we have here,is the zero point the corner of the sheet or the corner of the area to be engraved?It might be that the distance from the corner of the sheet to the extreme opposite corner of the graphic exceeds the work envelope of the machine.When you use F12 to home the machine-where does it come to rest?

    I am sure you have already eliminated the possibility that the graphic supplied was in metric format and the numbers have come out in imperial units from default file opening in Vectric.Just to be sure-look at the first few lines and see if it says G20 or G21-I find Wordpad good for this.



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    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    Two things come to mind.The procedure for heights is exactly what it should be.It looks like the post processor is correct and I am guessing that you used Vectric software to access it since the AXYZ Toolpath software doesn't list post processors for the simple reason that it has the only one it will ever need built in.Where I am less certain is what exactly is meant by moving to the bottom left corner to set the start point.

    If using Vectric software,you have to set job size and in the example we have here,is the zero point the corner of the sheet or the corner of the area to be engraved?It might be that the distance from the corner of the sheet to the extreme opposite corner of the graphic exceeds the work envelope of the machine.When you use F12 to home the machine-where does it come to rest?

    I am sure you have already eliminated the possibility that the graphic supplied was in metric format and the numbers have come out in imperial units from default file opening in Vectric.Just to be sure-look at the first few lines and see if it says G20 or G21-I find Wordpad good for this.
    Hi routalot . Yes I've been using the metric toolpath software.

    Ive set up a new file today. Just taking 1mm off the top of a spoil board. Loaded the file into the machine and set bottom and top height on the machine as well as zeroing the starting point to the bottom left corner of the board and setting the board height.

    All seems good. But when running the file the cnc goes through all the motions of cutting to my toolpath but it doesn't actually cut. The z axis doesn't come down enough and looks like it's about 20mm aware from the board. I have no idea what I've done wrong and am spending my time going through the manual trying to find something I've missed. Any help would be much appreciated. Regards ben



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    Its working!!! Yay :-)



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    Default Re: Axyz 4008 2006

    I had exactly the same experience the first time I tried to cut anything on the AXYZ.Right moves-wrong height.First thing to look at is how you set up the job.You must have defined an area and it is possible you defined a piece of material which has it's bottom face at Z zero, older machines and particularly those from America/Canada often defaulted to using the top of the work as Z zero because in the days of typing in code or coordinates a positive value would do no damage and a negative was where you wanted to go anyway.With the use of CAM software the risk is very much lower.

    I would suggest you look closely to see if this is the case and there is a way round it for the skimming operation-just keep amending the Z value in Wordpad by the amount it is too high by.Not the right way to do it,but on my first cut I did it to be able to hand over the piece that was urgently wanted.Then I worked out a way to make it happen correctly.

    Did I just get a notification to say that its working?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennp View Post
    Its working!!! Yay :-)
    I spoke too soon . I successfully got it to cut a spoil board. But when I try to load up a cut file it's coming back to error 331



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