Vertical-docking ATC stations?

This isn’t about reclaiming real estate.
It’s about doubling the magazine capacity within the current envelope.
My projects vary enough that I’m reorganizing the magazine, VCarve tool table and Mach4 tool table for almost every use. Too many close calls.
The elimination of pilot error is the endgame here.

I am confused. Vcarve doesn’t care what pocket the tool is in.

You should set the pocket for the tools and then run your file. Have a checklist like a pilot does.

I hope you are not reusing your tool holders and changing your tool table. That is a recipe for disaster.

Tool tables are static. Once you get your table designed stick with it. It will greatly eliminate bad things from happening.

Also do a tool check on the way out and do a breakage on the way back to the dock.

Seeing how easy it is to lose steps on these machines that last part will save you a great deal of pain.

So back to the original pic…
Each of my 26 tools is in a dedicated holder and pre-measured in Mach4.
There are 11 pockets in the magazine.
Half the tools needed for the next project are sitting in the storage rack at the rear.
What’s the SOP?

That’s odd, doesn’t seem like a large variation in tooling in the picture. But ok. Sure.

You are not doing production work or you would have told me your ERP was pushing too many small jobs to single sheets with diverse tooling.

That’s my problem and it’s a setting in your jobs profile.

So I would assume you are doing some kind of artwork?

16 tool changes is a lot. What would the tools actually be in that scenario? Maybe I am missing something?

Ive seen people run a couple rows of tool holders in mach 4. Would the cost of extending in the y direction and adding more pockets be worth it? Leave all the tools ready when needed.

I have a couple businesses and my projects vary widely.
2D Baltic birch plywood production work:
3D topographical maps: Bonas Studio | Natick MA
and sometimes slab surfacing, furniture and cabinetry projects.

My table is a 4’x8’ (unfortunately)
My 96" of Y are already reduced to 88" with the current setup.
Extending the table 2’ is $1,500
Hence the drive to explore vertical pockets - this would double the pocket count within the current space.

Ah, ok. I understand your desires but watch out. Don’t over complicate things. The simplest process is usually the most reliable. Usually the simplest is also the cheapest.

But I am still interested in what kind of tools you would need in a 16 tool job. Please do elaborate on that. Consider it “market research.” :wink:

I wholeheartedly agree with the KISS rule.
And not sure where the 16 tool impression came from…

A topo map can use upwards of 8+ tools across 20+ changes.
Including coastal bathymetric data for resin pours (for which there is only 2D data)
requires both 2D & 3D toolpath strategies. Minimizing tear-out in the details and easing the subsequent hand-sanding stage requires a range of tools.

The following is Southport Island off coastal Maine.

3D carved above the waterline with 2D bathymetric contours below. Some of the features (like the hills in the top right edge) sit proud of or even undercut the frame in the final product.

I’ve managed to get precise enough with the bathymetric pocketing to dodge the glue layers in the Baltic birch ply so the glue doesn’t darken the resin (which causes the dark patches you see in this pic…)

Sometimes I need a claymore and sometimes a rapier and I’ve only got one scabbard to work with.

8 different tools across 20 changes, I see.

So you used a tool, changed it out and at some point reloaded it? Sounds like you did that several times.

That is like somebody sitting on their front porch and whittling. They keep switching tools as they work.

Obviously there are different toolpath strategies that can be implemented to the same end but at the cost of other variables and with their own risk factors.
With the way I use this machine the largest risk is me. I need to overcome having to re-map the tool table for the job. Even if Mach4 allowed for multiple pre-mapped tool tables I’d still be rearranging tools in the pockets.

That is fine. We are all still learning.

There is tons of content for roughing strategies on YouTube. You need to lose your fear of getting in there with big tools and getting work done quickly. Then taking the time gained to do more finishing passes with the little tools.

Have you seen the Mach 4 screen set and code that I did? It allows one to easily swap tools in the rack.

I imported the ATC tabs from your custom screenset.
The utility of your creation is immediate.
I’m still determined to get the vertical pockets working but this takes a ton of pressure off in the meantime.
Your efforts and generosity toward this community are exceptional Corbin.
Thank you.

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For those interested these vertical docking stations have become available recently:

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