Before Starting a Job

From ProtoLab Wiki

The prep work varies depending on which CNC you are using.


Roland 4-Axis CNC

A staff member will assist you with the setup process. Please keep in mind this process may take over an hour depending on the complexity of the part.

Correct Axis is Set Up

The setup for 3-axis and 4-axis jobs use different equipment and if the previous job was for a different axis job than the one about to be cut, the equipment must change.

3-Axis uses a flat bed with threaded holes while the 4-Axis uses a rotating grip and a pointed support.

Spoil Board and Part are Properly Fastened

There are a variety of ways to fasten the part to the machine for the 3-Axis; a spoil board is always required beneath your part. The most common method is to drill holes through the spoil board and the stock that match up with the holes on the machine bed and screw them down with nylon screws

For the 4-Axis, the stock must be placed directly in the middle of the rotating grip. Calipers may be helpful during this process. A drill tip is then placed on the pointed support side and the stock is rotated as the drill carves a hole into the stock on the right. Once this is done, the pointed support is replaced and tightened into the stock.

Magazine

Tools assigned to the job must be placed in the magazine in the designated tool number slots as the toolpath. Once all the bits are correctly changed for the job the tool height must be measured for each new tool. A staff member will go over the correct process for measuring tool heights.

Work Zero

Pick a tool that was already measured (This is most easily done with the most pointed bit). The point you have designated as the Work Zero in the toolpath will be the point you zero out on the stock. A staff member will help you through this process to get the most accurate point.

Double Check Before Cutting

Be sure all tools are in the correctly designated tool number.

The Work Zero is in the correct place.

The clearance plane is well above all screws for 3-axis and diagonal length for 4-axis.

Feeds and speeds are appropriate for the material being cut.

The post is for the Roland 4-Axis and not the ShopSabre.

The code was copied onto the Roland desktop and is not reading it through the Z-Drive.


ShopSabre

Before the ShopSabre is ready to run, there are a few steps that must be taken in order to safely operate it to the best of its abilities. First, with all components of the machine off, secure your material to the spoil board. Line up the your material on the northeast corner of the spoil board, to get as close to the machine home as possible. Next, make sure all the tools you will be using in your job are in the correct holders on the machine. Make sure the compressor is on in order to supply air to the machine. It requires at least 100 psi to run, which can be checked by the gauge on the airline next to the machine. Once the machine has enough air pressure, the wooden block can be removed. Next, ensure that the power to the spindle is turned off. Power to the spindle is controlled by the large electrical power box above the ShopSabre Computer. After making sure spindle power is off, select the home button on the machine. You can now use the computer to manually move the spindle to home in the X, Y, and Z directions. Once you have homed the machine, you may now turn on power to the spindle. With power now supplied to the spindle, select the warmup button on the computer. The spindle will move to the middle of the table and begin to spin. Place an orange cone at the spindle home so passersby know not to be there when the machine finishes warming up and returns to home. After warming up, the machine is ready to run the generated G-Code. Have a staff member double check that all of these steps have been done correctly before beginning to run the machine.