Slabbing Wizard is a Mach4 Wizard designed to simplify creating toolpaths for flattening material. It features a simple interface allowing you to control motion type and direction. Gcode is automatically generated and loaded for you. It’s recommended that you try a dry run first to ensure you understand the configuration and performance before cutting any material.
I do not warrant functions contained in the program will meet your requirements or that the operation of the program will be uninterrupted or error-free. The program is provided “AS IS”, without warranty of any kind, express or implied.
At this time only inch units are supported. A metric version may follow later.
Tested on Avid CNC Mach4 releases 2.3.5, 2.3.8, 2.4.2
How to Install:
- Download ZIP attachment
- Unzip file
- Copy contents to your Mach4 Wizards folder ( typically C:\Mach4Hobby\Wizards\ )
How to Use:
- Prepare machine for cutting with tool you plan to use (Home, Warmup, etc.)
- Setup X/Y zero at near left (“front left”) corner of material, Z zero to highest material surface
- Close any open/loaded Gcode file
- Choose Wizard > Select Wizard from the Mach4 top menu
- Locate and choose SlabWizard, click OK
- Set configuration options in GUI, click Post Gcode
- Select a destination for the Gcode file and click Save
- Press Exit to close the Slabbing Wizard window
- Preview Gcode and make any changes (if necessary)
Spindle RPM: Rotation RPM to set your spindle.
Cutting Tool Dia. (in): Diameter of your cutting tool, in inches.
Stepover: Width of cut per pass (inches or percent - see next).
Actual Value / Percent of Dia (%): Switch between actual stepover amount or a percentage of the tool diameter.
Linear Motion / Spiral: Switch between linear motion (back-and-forth) and Spiral toolpath.
Clockwise/Y / Counter/X: Switch between Clockwise/Counterclockwise (Spiral) and Y/X primary direction (Linear).
Stepdown Value (in): Depth of cut from Z zero position, in inches.
Feedrate (in/min): Cutting feedrate, in inches per minute (IPM).
X / Y Travel (in): Extents of the cutting operation, in inches, from your X/Y zero position.
Save Z Height (in): Safe height for retract and rapid moves, in inches.
SlabWizard_0.81a.zip (27.8 KB)
David, this is amazing. I was daydreaming about this the other day as I was flattening a slab. It seemed kinda silly to open Aspire to make a pocket toolpath like this.
Wow, awesome job. thank you for sharing this with the community!
Thank you very much! I have a lot of material I need to surface, and this may just save me a lot of time calculating various toolpaths in Aspire.
That is SERIOUSLY AWESOME!
I assume the plunge rate is the same as the feed rate and there is no initial ramp into the cut. If so some cutters may need to plunge down off the slab. Not a big deal just have to make the XY area larger than the slab.
Hey, thanks all. I’m not a programmer but I do enjoy a software project now and then. I have some other ideas in the works too.
@sehast the plunge is hard set to 10 inch/min. I felt that was slow enough to support any size tool and provide time for a new user to react if something was wrong. Also trying to reduce the number of editable fields. You can edit the gcode to your preference, it’s the first line after the spindle speed/enable. Nothing that can’t be added as an option later, if it’s important.
Thanks, I answered my own question by just looking at the Gcode. Simple but a real time saver wizard.
This could be a real time saver! Like others, I to have been drawing a file in aspire and making a surfacing tool path for every project with rough cut lumber. Of which, I seem to use a lot as it’s available and definitely cheaper.
Thanks for sharing.
Awesome!! Thanks for sharing it!
Gotta say, this works really well. Nicely done.
I planned to create about the same thing a while back and you have saved me all that time. Thanks for sharing!
I’m glad people are finding it useful, thank you for the feedback.
Thanks David! Is there a “simple” way to save our configuration options? That would make it so the only thing I ever change is the X/Y Travel values.
Regardless, this contribution is great!
I actually have a newer version with a config save option that I haven’t finished testing yet, but I can move that up and probably have it done in a few days. I’ll post back when it’s ready.
This is great news! And for the next challenge… connecting the stepovers with G2 / G3 arcs!
Slabbing Wizard 0.95a
Changes from 0.81a to 0.95a:
- ADD: File I/O error handling dialog
- ADD: Save feature for configuration options
- ADD: Revert configuration options back to defaults
- ADD: File generation timestamp (first line of Gcode)
How to Save Configuration:
- Open SlabWizard
- Setup to your configuration
- Check the box next to Save Settings
- Click Post Gcode button
How to Revert Settings to Defaults:
- Open SlabWizard
- Click Revert Settings button
- Exit the wizard
- Settings will be back to defaults the next time Slabbing Wizard is opened
Someone asked how to quickly run another pass with the same settings, changing only the depth of cut. If your Slabbing Wizard settings are otherwise OK, here’s how I would do it:
- Use Slabbing Wizard to setup first pass.
- Run first pass to completion.
- Click Z-axis DRO (Digital Read Out).
- Enter an offset for the next pass:
- If you want to run next pass 0.15" lower, add this value to the current Z-axis DRO:
- The software now thinks your Z-Axis is 2.15" above your original Z-zero position and will move down that additional 0.15" lower than your previous pass.
- Repeat as many times as necessary.
SlabWizard-Release-095a.zip (28.9 KB)
Thank you, it works like a dream!
That’s great! Maybe the next version will have those arc moves.
Just curious is there a vid of this in action. Want to see what the fuss is about