Tool change question

1st use of the 1F yesterday. I am used to a 3XXL so learning the 1F. Anyway on my 2nd tool, the router went to xyx zero area and prompted me to insert the new tool, but the router was too close to the wood and I could not remove the bit where it was at. I tried to raise the router and that would not work. Is this a setting I should change in VCarve Pro like max height for bit while traveling or some such thing? Thank you.

Welcome Scott,
I recommend having a different GCODE file per tool change.

I know that is an option but also like to run one large file on small but detailed things.

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In the Material Setup page, all the way at the bottom there is a Home/Start Position section - set the “Z Gap above Material” to 1.5 to 2 inches, and you’ll have better luck!

I sometimes also change the X/Y position to where I want the Z-probe to happen. -2/-2 for example, if I want to probe the spoilboard for Z.

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Thank you Mike. This is kind of what I was thinking but have not changed that setting in years so I will give that a shot.

The downside of that is that is the same height used between motion paths - that means you can get a lot of up & down activity that will suck up a ton of time. It’s not uncommon to double or triple the job time. The up/down motion is done at Z speeds and is typically sllooowww…

There is code you can add to the 1F control app to execute on a tool change request in a GCode file. Here’s a post on how to do it.

Actually, that’s not true - the home/start position is only at the beginning/end of the cut, it does not affect anything during the execution of a tool path.

The Rapid Z gaps effects the height for moves during the cut - that’s not the right setting to change (although it would cause the router/spindle to stop higher up for a tool change).

In VCarve that’s what is defaulted as the “safe Z height” which is used unless you override it on a cut.

I also thought that the job one wasn’t the start/stop of a cut but the job itself so if you had multiple toolpaths, it was used at the beginning of the program but not for individual tool changes. But since I got my 1F I haven’t done any combined toolpaths (different bits) in one GCode file. The Shopbot handled it but I haven’t messed with the 1F control to insert the tool change code - every time I break it out, I’ve got something to cut and don’t want to spend the time messing with it. :slight_smile: I should though because I always use several mills in every project and breaking it into 4 or 5 paths that have to be loaded and executed separately seems foreign to me.

Split the tools to their own files… You cannot zero the new bit unless you setup a custom Bitsetter and code the macro. So even if you get the height to change it you still will be sad

Unless you use bit collars :slightly_smiling_face:

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Combining multiple tool paths into a single file is very possible - but more than once I’ve had to stop and split things up to continue. You have to plan ahead very carefully if you want it to work. I can understand why keeping everything separate is the “go-to” answer.

But it can work, and I find it the preferable way to approach this when I can. I do wish that the 1F allowed for more flexibility during a tool change, as it would make it even easier.

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My CNC experience started with machines that featured that capability. It is second nature. Going to the 1F was a surprise. I can work around it but it is a little frustrating. :man_shrugging:

Hey BJ,

the gcode inserted into “tool-change” field and that is executed on every M6 command in the program and that Jim mentioned contains Z probing.

See also here for the updated gcode at tool-change.

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