[Home]Adapting LinuxCNC To A More Industrial Style Control

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While LinuxCNC is very powerful and highly configurable, it lacks some features that would make it ideal for use in an industrial environment. The goal of this page is to document some of the items that could be changed in order to make LinuxCNC more adaptable to the environment in which most CNC machines run, a production oriented shop.

One way in which LinuxCNC behaves that is not efficient is the tool offset procedure. A normal procedure would be to load the program and touch off the tools using a method of choice. After the tools were touched off one part would be ran. For this example, we will say that the critical diameter on the print is 1.0000" but measuring reveals that the diameter is 1.0034". To adjust for the error we had in touching off the tool on most industrial controls you would make an incremental offset to the cutting tools particular geometry or wear offset page in the amount of -.0034", this would literally take seconds.

Doing this in LinuxCNC is more complicated, time consuming and also more prone to errors. From the responses I have received on the forum and other reading I have done there are basically two options, either physically moving the tool to the original touch off location, then moving the tool an additional .0034" (in diameter mode) negative and finally using the tool touch off button to touch off the tool at the new and correct location. The other option would be to edit the tool table, taking the tool offset value (what on most controls would be called the tools "Geometry") and subtracting the error of .0034" then entering the result into the tools offset value.

What would take just a few seconds on most controls most likely took at least a minute, if using the touch off method. Doing the math manually and entering the new value into the tool table is both error prone and inefficient.

There are a few potential solutions to these problem.

One solution would be to create an easier way to edit the tool table, allowing both incremental and absolute offset to be made.

More things needed to make a control that is more factory/operator friendly:

1. A machine that boots up without login. In a factory full of machines that aren't connected to an outside network, the controls shouldn't need a user name and password entered.
-Actually password is not required- it can be disabled in Ubuntu. Pretty sure you can set it up to load LinuxCNC from turn on.

2. Backplot is not required- the CAM programmer should have created a good program and should be able to backplot the code in the office.
- While one can not disable the backplot in AXIS ( you could tab it to background) , TOUCHY has no backplot. I'm surprised backplot is not considered handy.
There has been some work on a screen that looks like AXIS but uses GLADEVCP so can be user modified (e.g., no backplot)

To be continued....

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Last edited January 2, 2017 10:37 pm by KimK (diff)
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