Tool Change

Next, double-click on the ‘Tool Change’ node under the ‘Machine Description’ node. These settings contain all the information related to executing tool changes on the CNC machine tool. Next, select the ‘General’ tab. Copy all the settings shown in the graphic below.

Future customization to the post-processor will be required to insure we do not generate multiple SPINDL/OFF and COOLNT/OFF comands. We will handle this later in this tutorial.

Make sure to review what is displayed when you allow the cursor to hover over a specific input field or control as well as what is in the information area at the bottom of the interface as you move through the various input fields and controls.

Next, select the ‘Change Point’ tab. Copy all the settings shown in the graphic below.

Setting the tool change location to ‘Home’ tells the post-processor that any tool change is executed at the previously established machine home reference position. As a practical matter, this really only applies to the Z-axis but we shall handle that later in this tutorial.

Checking the ‘Tool change includes automatic motion to change position’ box tells the post that no special positioning is required to get to the tool change position. Calling the tool will handle this automatically. Again, this really only applies to the Z-axis, but we shall handle that later in this tutorial.

Next, select the ‘Misc.Codes’ tab. Copy all the settings shown in the graphic below. The checkbox for ‘(T) Register needed to select tool’ actually applies to pre-selecting or staging the next tool. This allows a tool change carousel to index to the proper position while the machine is actually performing machining operations, thereby reducing the time required for actually selecting and loading a new tool. For simplicity, we will not use this option at this stage of our tutorial.

Make sure to review what is displayed when you allow the cursor to hover over a specific input field or control as well as what is in the information area at the bottom of the interface as you move through the various input fields and controls.