Hi all! Here’s a video documenting the setup of my Automatic Tool Changer (ATC) on my Avid Pro 4x8 machine. I have a HITECO spindle, but I also discuss the popular CNC Depot S30C spindle. I go into some diagrams for pneumatics, and the extra things I added to my spindle control box to make it a little better than the default CNC Depot. I also have a basic schematic for adding a button on the side of an S30C to open and close the drawbar. Let me know what you think! The next video will be about building the ATC rack…then onto the software setup.
Great presentation! Clear, easy to follow and definitely something I’ll bookmark for when I get ready to upgrade my spindle. I don’t need a full ATC, but being able to change between tools much faster (even when doing it manually) would be quite nice!
I may be getting ready to do a big face palm here…
One of the reasons I hadn’t gone with a tool changer setup is due to the fact that I’ve got a 4’x8’ machine and I’ve got it split 1/2 for plasma, 1/8 for rotary (sunk parallel to ‘x’) and 3/8 for spindle work. I just didn’t want to give up an inch for the intrusion of a tool rack. (Yup, I’ve seen motorized retractable tool racks, sigh.)
The possible face palm, that because AVID helped me configure this machine for the ‘Dual-Z’ axis option, I’ve got the extra wide gantry. I’ll likely have to get down to the garage with a tape measure, after work, but I may very well be able to put a tool rack well outside of the work envelope under the over-hang created when the Plasma torch is wanting to use the full extent of it’s travel.
The really sad part here, is that now that I’m thinking about it, I think someone might have mentioned this previously (I might have even commented on it at the time) and I’ve just forgotten with time. Sigh, … “don’t get old”
I am kind of faking it in here with paint on top of this image from the assembly process:
First place I put the tool rack, actually. I was loathed to take any of that soooooper expensive work envelop.
Then I made one that was part of the plasma head. It made for extremely fast tool changes but limited tool capacity. The weight on the X axis made for terrible cut quality. The entire X axis would flex on the load.
The last two was a belt driven system like on a Doosan and a carousel. Why I chose the carousel was the cost vs complexity.
Something to keep in mind on tool “wine racks” is the back of the X axis carriage and the Z axis creates a 5 inch wider envelop loss than you first realize. So mounting the tool holder clamp posts on the X axis takes more room than your idea of mounting them in that space along the Y axis.
My problem with the Y axis mounting was, what exactly do you mount it to? I ended up having to add legs on the rack and rods that kept the rack stationary. My implementation wasn’t the best and it started getting in the way when loading and access the work envelop.
Just some thoughts!
PS. I even have a CAD of one that hung off the end off the gantry on that same side but it was still way too heavy.
Oh yeah, that could definitely work! If your router area is in the front of the machine you could also mount it up high and out of the work area (depending on what you cut…). In the next video I’m going to go over that possibility as an option.