CNC Router Procedures

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Work Holding

TBD presently ( situation is evolving).

Power UP

  • Power up CNC computer
    • Ensure Mach3 is running
  • Plug in main power cord for machine
  • Release E-stop
  • Press 'RESET' in Mach3
  • Press 'Ref All Home'
    • Machine will move up in Z, left in X, towards operator in Y, in that order
  • Ref #Tool_Change
  • Jog machine in X & Y to starting position [Note: TAB key brings up jog window in Mach3]
    • Press "Zero X"
    • Press "Zero Y"
  • Jog machine down in Z to touch off cutter to either "Material surface" or "Machine bed" as user defined in VCarve
  • Press "Zero Z"
  • Load G-Code into Mach3
  • Turn on dust collector
  • Press "Cycle Start"

Recovery from E-stop or fault

  • Record the G-code line number of the last executed line from the G-code display
  • Reset the E-stop switch by rotating the red knob clockwise
  • On the PC, click on the flashing red "Reset" button
  • Jog the Z axis up to clear material
  • At the "set next line" enter a number before the last executed line: 5 lines earlier is suggested but it can depend on the exact G-code commands, it is best to pick a line where the bit is raised out of the work.
  • Click "Run from here", confirming that the line number you entered is where it will start
  • Click "Cycle Start"
  • Mach 3 should then run a check, displaying the X, Y and Z coordinates of the chosen G-code line on a popup entitled "Preparation Position"
  • Click "OK" on the popup if the values are correct
  • The spindle should start, and the cutting tool should move to the displayed position
  • If all is good, click "Cycle Start"
  • The job should continue

Power DOWN

  • Remove material from bed surface
    • Pull out any nails/screws left behind
    • Vacuum up all remaining dust
  • Press E-Stop
  • Remove collet nut and cutter from spindle
    • Place in CNC tools bin
      • Return bin to drawer under computer
  • Unplug main power cord
  • Close Mach3
  • Shutdown/Power-off computer


Tool Change

  • Jog Z-axis up
  • Press E-Stop
  • Remove collet nut, collet, cutter from spindle
  • Select appropriate new cutter
  • Install collet in collet nut
  • Loosely install collet nut/collet in spindle
  • Insert new cutter leaving enough stickout clearance for thickness of work material
  • Tighten using 2 wrenches in CNC tools bin
    • Excessive tightening is not needed
  • Release E-stop
  • Press "RESET" in Mach3
  • Jog machine down in Z to touch off cutter to either "Material surface" or "Machine bed" as user defined in VCarve
    • May need to jog in X & Y first
  • Press "Zero Z" NOT X OR Y
  • Jog up in Z above material