4th axis sucess anybody?

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4th axis sucess anybody?

Postby Tristar500 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:08 am

Really impressed with meshcam but have yet to have any success carving a part using the 4th axis.

Anybody have any feedback?
Tristar500
 
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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:29 am

Re: 4th axis sucess anybody?

Postby AdPrinter » Sun May 24, 2015 9:00 am

I have had success, using MeshCAM Art to create the toolpath, then loading the NC file produced by MC Art into a program called CNC Wrapper.
What CNC Wrapper basically does, is to convert all Y axis moves into A axis moves. However, since the A axis functions basically as a lathe, Z zero is normally set as the center of the stock being carved. And all Z moves should be programmed as positive. Trial (and Error) taught me this lesson the hard way. The best advice I can give you, is to first turn your stock on the A axis, until you have a cylinder. Then touch off the top dead center of the stock, to establish Z zero. Measure your stock's new circumference, and make certain that the Y dimension of the NC file you have created in MC Art is an EXACT Match of the cylindrical stock's circumference.
Under ALL of these conditions, all should go well for you. (At least it did for me). It is very important that the Y dimension is exactly equal to the circumference (distance around) the stock. If the Y dimension is larger than the circumference, then the carving will overlap itself. If the Y dimension is smaller than the circumference, then it will leave an un-machined gap between the top of the carving, and the bottom of the carving area.

I added the 4th axis to my machine, experimented with it briefly, using a micro switch as the home switch of the A axis. But the micro switch beat itself to pieces, as the lobe came around and made contact with the switch's lever at high speed during use. I resolved, that the best type of home switch to use would be one which uses a photo cell and laser (and probably 100 times better accuracy). But being retired, and on a fixed income, it has been put on the "wish list" until a blessing comes my way. It has been a few years, since I downloaded and installed CNC Wrapper. But if memory serves, I think the guy used to charge like $20 for the software. It will do other things too, but the ability to convert existing g code files for use on a 4th axis was what attracted me. Hope this helps!
Later -Michael
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