Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?


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    Default Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    Looking to possibly build a mill turn setup. Want to go from turning to 4 axis milling in same program (servo driven lathe spindle/4th axis). Right now I'm using mach3 on my mill and it's been great, but as far as I know it won't do turning and milling in the same program. Have to do turning, close turn profile, open mill profile. Would be great if there was a way around that but if not, what other control software is available that would be better suited for a setup like this? I'm not a skilled programmer when it comes to post processors and macros, but I'm sure there will be a need for some of that. Just curious what a good option would be for controlling a machine like this. Also I haven't fully decided on the layout of the machine. It's possible that the turning would have it's own x and z axis separate from milling xyz, so possibly 6 axis. Cam will be done on fusion 360 so turning and milling are done in separate setups and posted together. I would imagine for the separated turning and milling axis, I would just need to insert a manual nc between the cam setups that activates a macro to switch from turning xz to milling xyz. Still possible that turning and milling could share the same axis though.

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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    I think Fusion has mill-turn capability and at least 5 axis, maybe more. I've never tried it, I just hand write the mill functions for my lathe and incorporate it into the G code file. Normally very simple 2D milling and drilling with live tooling.

    Mach3 will handle 6 axes, so no problem there. You just need to generate G code to tell it what to do.

    Use your spindle as the C (rotary) axis, and incorporate the X, Y, and Z into the carriage, or incorporate the Y into the headstock.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    I guess what I had in mind was more of a mill based machine with turning abilities. Nice heavy duty bt30 spindle and room for vices or fixture plates. Lathe spindle/4th axis would be over to one side mostly out of the way, only the nose of it sticking slightly into the work envelope of the mill. So it would be the main mill spindle doing the live tooling on the turned parts. Using mach3 turn profile and adding in the code for live tooling would work, but I'm pretty sure it only handles x and z in the turn profile, so not able to add the xyz code needed to do what i want with the mill spindle. At least I'm pretty sure, have to double check and see if a y axis can be used in turn profile. I have a pretty good understanding on the cam side of things for mill turn with fusion 360, just don't think mach3 is gonna handle it the way I want. One option is to have 2 separate profiles, mill and turn, but I would have to run turning code, close the turn profile, open mill profile, load mill code, run it. I want all this to happen with one program. Possibly even collet closer and bar puller to run multiple parts unattended.



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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    Looked into it, as I suspected mach3 turn only handles z and x, but apparently there's a custom screen set called msm for mach3 that adds y axis to turn profile and might do what I want. Need to look into that



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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    OK, that's no problem either. In that case Z becomes what would normally be the X axis on a lathe. You just need to be able to hold the tool stationary and profile with the X and Z axis. I have done this on my mill, using the spindle as the rotating workholding chuck. Used the Y axis as the tool changer.

    Mach3 will just do what you tell it to do. The post processor is the key to making it all work. You don't have to put Mach3 into turning mode to do this.



    Jim Dawson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    OK, that's no problem either. In that case Z becomes what would normally be the X axis on a lathe. You just need to be able to hold the tool stationary and profile with the X and Z axis. I have done this on my mill, using the spindle as the rotating workholding chuck. Used the Y axis as the tool changer.

    Mach3 will just do what you tell it to do. The post processor is the key to making it all work. You don't have to put Mach3 into turning mode to do this.

    Wow that's really cool! Yeah pretty much demonstrates a lot of what I would want. So in the video, this was all done in mach3 mill profile? Can I just post turning code from fusion into mach3 mill and make sure axis are what they need to be and it will run? Were you using macros to swap axis around between turning and milling? Guess I just have a lot to learn, but looks like it's all possible.
    Would be great if there was some documentation to explain everything that going on in that video. I'm sure it took some doing



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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    That's not my mill, just a YouTube video that illustrates what you want to do, and it is possible . The only thing that is really different in this case for turning vs. milling is you have to flip the X and Z axis in Fusion so that Z becomes what would be X in a normal lathe senario. Then just operate in normal milling mode in Mach3

    Jim Dawson
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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    This should give you some ideas and keep you busy for the next couple of hours.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ry=+Simpsons36

    Here is a video of my son turning a ball on my mill. The code was generated in Fusion 360



    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    and a video of the bar puller on my Hardinge



    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    Awesome thanks! Had no idea you could post turn code in mach3 mill. Also didn't know you could make fusion output turn code with x as z. That makes things a lot less conplicated. I'll watch those videos and play around with some stuff. I already have a 4th axis on my mill so I could actually go through the whole process and do some mill turn air cutting at really slow spindle speed. I'll see if I can get it figured out



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    Default Re: Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

    My Pleasure.

    You really aren't posting turn code in Mach3, it doesn't really know it turning something, but rather it's just moving the axes around per the G code. The real work is done in the CAM software.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    My Pleasure.

    You really aren't posting turn code in Mach3, it doesn't really know it turning something, but rather it's just moving the axes around per the G code. The real work is done in the CAM software.
    Ok. That makes sense. I've never done any cnc lathe work so no idea what the code looks like, apparently pretty much just like mill code. I thought there were some differences but I guess not. Sounds like it's pretty much just the differences in axis direction but if that's switchable in fusion, that makes it convenient. Much simpler than I thought

    Another question, when doing y offsets for turning tool changes, is this handled in fusion? I assumed these offsets were handled in mach3 turn. I guess for that matter, how do you handle all 3 offsets? In mill you get a z offset tied to tool number. Is there some way to tie an x and y offset to tool number as well? I can think of a clunky workaround, use g54, g55, g56, etc. For each tool zeroed on turn spindle and post the code from fusion with each tool having it's own work offset but us there a better way to tie all 3 offsets to tool number?

    Last edited by QuinnSjoblom; 03-03-2019 at 04:41 PM.


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Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?

Software that could handle a diy mill turn setup?