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Estlcam - unnecessary Z axis moves

Discussion in 'CAM' started by halfshavedyaks, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    My parallel finishing toolpaths in Estlcam have a lot of unnecessary lifting the spindle out of the cut and putting it back again at the end of most, but not all sweeps across the workpiece.

    Has anyone else come across this and can it be prevented? it must be adding 20% or more to the toolpath time.
     
  2. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    I believe it is because it is always trying to cut in the same direction (climb milling vs conventional milling). But I may be wrong We need @Gary Caruso from Estlcam support to chime in here. ;) He has a lot of exerience with it. So far, I have only used the CAM in Eslcam for 2.5D things such as plates. The CAM in all my engravings has been generated using Fengrave then cut using the Estlcam Controller.
     
  3. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
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    LOL, yes I have seen the same thing when doing an STL file recently, also with V-carving of text. Unfortunately there are so many variables to try it can be difficult (and time consuming) to troubleshoot.
    Maybe Christian Knuell will chime in with some suggestions.

    Cheers
    Gary
     
    #3 Gary Caruso, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  4. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    The v-carving is also where I have noticed it. But, Fengrave is generating my g-code. Hmmmm...
     
  5. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    Not sure if I should ask here or on a new thread - but I'm also unclear about the toolpath calculation accuracy, if I set it to 0.1mm does that mean +/- 0.1mm from the true value for a total variation of 0.2mm including 0.1mm of potential cutting too deep or does it mean something else, like for example a variation between the true value and 0.1mm less deep cut?

    Some of my 2 sided 3D carvings done with the manual settings in estlcam one side at a time are coming out a little thicker than I expect (ie estlcam is cutting less deep than I expect) and I'm trying to work out why.
     
  6. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    I am a little confused. The only tool path settings I know are for the depth of cut, or for the amount left for a finishing cut. However, i have never manually entered settings for a v carve.

    When I generate gcode from another program - such as Fengrave - all I do is load the file and run it in the Estlcam controller after finding x,y, and z zero. The tool size and other parameters were all entered in the other program.

    Again, I may be misunderstanding the question.
     
  7. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    I don't use the estlcam machine controller as that would require me to run windows on my machine controller computer. I may try it sometime but I haven't got up to that yet.

    I am talking about the gcode generation for 3D carving in estlcam that doesn't use the automatic 2 sided function but instead uses the setting each side manually method.

    I can get a screen shot, but I'd have to reboot into windows and make it and then come back here - so it isn't a 2 min job.

    here is a pic taken from a video of the screen i am talking about although this is the old version from esltcam 8 but the essentials are the same.

    I want to know how the "computing precision" parameter works.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    BTW I'm not doing v-carving (that means using a v shaped engraving bit right?) I am doing full 3D carving using a variety of bits mostly ballnose.

    I will take screenshots and maybe post the g-code when I have time to prepare it.
     
  9. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    here's what the 3D free carving dialog looks like in Estlcam 11

    [​IMG]
     
  10. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    and here's a screenshot of the toolpath showing the unnecessary Z axis moves

    [​IMG]
     
  11. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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  12. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
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    I'm sending the creator of Estlcam an email, hopefully he will help us.
    meanwhile it might be worth re-watching these two videos.




     
  13. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    I guess I did misunderstand your question. I have never attempted this yet. Although, I plan to soon, but I am stuck in the middle of a home improvement project. :(
     
  14. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    It would be great to know why these extra Z moves happen. I have also noticed it with spiral drilling, and I think also 2D pocketing using parallel pocketing strategy.
     
  15. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    Interestingly I don't see any unnecessary Z moves in the video above. So maybe there is a setting.
     
  16. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    If you are talking about the occasional lifting during a spiral drilling operation, I believe that is to clear the chips from the hole. I may be wrong. I have not paid attention during pocketing. I usually start it and then walk away. Now you have me curious.
     
  17. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    If so then there should be a threshold where the hole is large enough relative to tool diameter that it isn't considered necessary.
     
  18. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    Agreed.
     
  19. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
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    After re-watching Christian's videos, it looks like sometimes there is the lift after each 3D pass and sometimes there is not. Wonder if it comes down to this setting...
    upload_2019-1-21_14-45-30.png

    "Free machining" vs "Block Machining" I will have to try the free as I have always done block.
    One thing that can make all those lifts less painful is to optimize your machine for speed (figure out the fastest you can run your Z reliably, acceleration and mm/min)
    Another benefit to using "free" is that you can manually select the start point (I would love a "center start" option button), it's not pre-determined bottom-left like in "block"
    Big disadvantage of "free" is the loss of holding tabs!
    Cheers
    Gary
     
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  20. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    I have only used free. There was something i couldn't do in block, but I now forget what it was. There was just generally less control in block.

    I get holding tabs by doing a 2D cutout of the outline of my part with tabs, and then not machining past the edges (much) on the 3D toolpath.

    That might not work on all shapes but it works well on the shape I have which has two clear sides and a vertical edge that can be cut out in 2D.
     
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  21. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
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    Yes that's an easy fix, drawing the holding tabs.

    Cheers
    Gary
     
  22. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    no I'm not drawing the holding tabs in my outline, nor in my model. I am creating them when I make the 2D outline cutout in estlcam - then when I do the 3D toolpaths I'm taking care to not cut through them.

    it works for the shape I'm doing. But it isn't really a general solution.

    I should try the block machining again.
     
  23. Christian Knüll

    Christian Knüll Journeyman
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    Hello,

    Estlcam decides about the Z moves in a "better safe than sorry" style and prefers to do additional moves instead of more complex checks or even risking a crash.

    Christian
     
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  24. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    Thank you for the reply.
     
  25. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Veteran
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    Ok, does anyone have any suggestions about how to convince Estlcam it is safe to not raise the tool?

    I will try some experiments with this in mind, when i get time.
     

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