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Thread: pathpilot

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  1. #1
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    pathpilot

    i have pathpilot and cannot even do something as simple as a 1.8125 dia pocket .375 deep. Big problem is with Z end and Z start . if anyone can send me written instructions on how to do this pocket I would greatly appreciate it . I need it to be in the form (as explained to a former instructor when asked how to write an essay) put your pencil on the paper with the lead side down and then write . I do not find pp to be user friendly at all . It would be really nice to have a complete printed manual or at least one that I could cownload,

    Thanks in advance ,

    ErnieD

  2. #2
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    Re: pathpilot

    pocket .375 endmill 20 ipm

    I drew up a pocket and used Sprutcam to cam it into g code.

    I havent had much luck figuring out how to use the conversational.
    I have a pic of the part and I will post when it downloads.

    I can send the code in an email if you like.
    mike sr

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    Re: pathpilot

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0.jpg  
    mike sr

  4. #4
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    Re: pathpilot

    Conversational is normaly very simple or at least it should be. I have been writing wizards and plugins for many years now so I will give it a shot explaining Tormachs method of conversational programing

    Looking at the page everything you need to program except for teh start position and tool diameter is on the page. It is bad form to make you leave the page to program a feature BUT that is what Tormach has you to do.

    Starting from teh top of the page you select if is it is to be a circular or rectangular pocket. (Circular)

    Next you enter the diameter of the pocket. (1.8125)

    Next is the Step over value (.050) that is the distance the tool steps over each loop of cutting a layer.

    Next is Zdoc or depth of cut. That is teh value that the Z steps down each layer.

    Next is Zstart. That is the Zdepth at which is starts the Cutting. (0.000)

    Next is Zend that is teh Finish depth of cut (-0.375) You started at 0.000 and the depth of cut is 0.375 so the finish depth is 0.000 - .375 = -0.375.

    Over in teh LH box you specify other parameters Tool # so it knows the tool diameter and know how far to offset the cuts based on the tool radius

    Zclear is teh Absolute value above the top of the part that you can rapid around and not hit the part. (+0.050) or .050 above the part.

    Now the goofy part is where Tormach makes you leave the page to set the starting position of X and Y. Really bad form But is is what it is. you go to the drill/tap page and set the first line to the ABS position of X and Y. Then return to the conversational page.

    Also make SURE you set your tool table for the tool diameter that you planned to use so the pocket diam will come out correct. Another bad form to make you leave the page to set the tool diam values. BUT (;-) it is what it is.

    Now there are reasons to have preset values base on other pages but this is NOT one of them.

    Then you post your file and the Wizards write the Gcode and loads it . Ready for you to cut. Just make sure you are at teh starting point of X and Y and set Z zero to the top of teh part.

    IF there is something that you do not understand please ask.

    (;-) TP

  5. #5
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    Re: pathpilot

    JUst another note but Conversational Programing is EXTREMELY handy IF you take the time to learn how it works.

    (;-) TP

  6. #6
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    Re: pathpilot

    While I'm not a PP conversational expert (I prefer to use CAD) I feel I must respond to the previous post.

    Looking at the page everything you need to program except for teh start position and tool diameter is on the page. It is bad form to make you leave the page to program a feature BUT that is what Tormach has you to do.

    First of all, IMHO it would be "better form" to set a diameter for every tool entered in the tool table. I ALWAYS set a diameter, even if I never expect to use the value directly. It takes just a couple of seconds when the tool is added, and if I later decide to use conversational programming or cutter compensation the value is already correctly set.

    Attachment 456294

    There are probably at least 2 reasons for setting the feature coordinates on a separate page. One is because multiple identical features are frequently machined in one operation. PP allows an array or a circular pattern of identical features to be created based on a set of coordinates. Adding this all on the one tab, while maintain readability, would be fairly difficult considering the limited space available:

    Attachment 456284

    Attachment 456286

    More importantly, multiple operations can be programmed at the same coordinates in the same program e.g. drilling a though hole followed by a circular pocket to create a counter-bore. The coordinates are therefore applicable to multiple operations and don't necessarily "belong" to a single feature:

    Attachment 456290

    Attachment 456292

    While the conversational functionality has it's limitations compared to the flexibility offered by similar CAM features, it does have a justification and I expect to be using it more for lathe work. I think it would probably have been better to state that some of the reasoning behind the design choices may not be immediately apparent, rather than to complain about bad form.
    Step

  7. #7
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    Re: pathpilot

    Sorry but after doing this for over half a centruy I disagree with your process. Now yes it can work that way BUT I have found over the years that most operators prefere a much simpler method . Other wise they simply go back to Cad/Cam.

    If all processes are on one page you simply fill in the requires values and press go. It does not get any simpler than that. In your process having to do to a entirely different page to add the start point is silly AND in this case it is not very well defined. IT would be like going to the supermarket to buy a car tire. Most people would not think that you would buy car tire in a supermarket. Same as placing the pocket start point in the drill tap page.

    As to room ? there is PLENTY of room on the pocket page to add 3 more entries and it makes teh page self contained and self explanitory. Much easier for teh average user. AS to tool diameter most operators I have found do not fill up their tool table with tools as well as most do not use the tool height much either. Now for me I do use teh tool table fully and prefer a more advanced tool table than PathPilot has. BUT I find that teh average user does not even fully use what the pathPilot has to offer.

    Another note is to always fully spell out the names of values . For instance "Zdoc" Most users have no idea what that is. It should read Z Depth of Cut. If you make it simple it always will be.

    Over the years I have seen MANY MANY different ways that people use and understand their own machining process process especialy in the DIY domain . Some I would never consider using and some that were exremely interesting to use. So it would be up to the users to determene if the Conversational was Bad form or not based on how they perceive the process . Even here most do not have a cleare idea as to how Conditional Programming works or how to use it. But it is still a great process to have available as long as it is easy enough to get a grip on using it.

    Same with Sub Programing and Macro programing but that is a different story.

    Keeping It simple is always a great starting point.

    (;-) TP

  8. #8
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    Re: pathpilot

    Quote Originally Posted by vmax549 View Post
    As to room ? there is PLENTY of room on the pocket page to add 3 more entries and it makes teh page self contained and self explanitory.

    Keeping It simple is always a great starting point.

    (;-) TP
    I don't see how you could find room to include a table of coordinates. Of course you could design something that allows only a single pocket. You could ignore the users who want to both drill and pocket for counterbores. You could have entirely different screens to be used if you want more than one pocket. To me, these are not desirable alternatives.

    You mention that some users do not enter diameters into the tool table and that others don't even use the tool table. I'm certain that you are correct. However, catering to those who refuse to use a product's capabilities is silly and penalizes everyone else. What do you suggest if the tool's tool table diameter differs from the value entered in the pocket screen? Should you use the larger, the average or the smaller? Perhaps give an error that the sizes differ? Completely ignore the tool table? None of these possibilities seem very intuitive for other than the absolute beginner.

    Although unrelated specifically to conversational mode, incorrect diameters in the tool table adversely affect the path preview for all operations.

    Keeping it simple may be a great starting point but often doesn't result in the best result.

  9. #9
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    Re: pathpilot

    Hi you do not include a table of coords as most users will only do a single pocket at a time. How many time have YOU done a series of teh exact same pocket design in multiple spots on one part ?? IF you are doing a pattern of pockets all you need to do is set up the first position and post the code then change to the second set of start points ( two entries X Y) and append the code and continue as needed. As to tooling nothing is going to save you from yourself there . You have to know what size you specified and use that size tool.

    Most user get hung up on CAM style functions and cannot see beyond that style of operations therefore conditional programming does not make sense and if you want to be a Cam Man go for it. But in a lot of conditions Conditional can be a time saver over CadCam. A Lot of job shops swear by conditional but will always switch to CadCam when needed.

    Now this is just experience from 50+ years of doing things and watching other do things as well . Like I said earlier some user have their own ideas and methods that suite them well and there is nothing wrong with that IF it suites their style of machining and they are happy with it. I have created Wizards and macros and subs for users that I would NEVER consider doing for myself as to my thinking it was a silly method. But the results suited their thinking and style of machining so it made perfect sense to them.

    In the DIY cnc world is is always best to start simple and work up from there. Being most times you never really need to go beyond simple to create a single part. Now when you get to a job shop and are making 100s of the same part the story can change dramatically. But even then simple can be hard to beat most times.

    Again just my opinion. Your mileage may vary do to conditions and experience.

    (;-) TP

  10. #10
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    Re: pathpilot

    I am a hobbyist but my usage differs significantly from what you consider to be "typical". A few points to explain:
    I'm an old man but I don't have 50 years of machining experience and have been using CNC for only ten or so years.

    I have never used the conversational pocketing but frequently use conversational to spot and drill multiple holes in a single one-off part. If I need a single hole with a non-critical depth I just use the jog shuttle to drill. I have a computer in the workshop so I would probably use CAD/CAM rather than conversational if it were impossible to drill multiple holes in a single run.

    Having to use a separate panel to enter coordinates is not ideal but I see no alternative if you want to retain the current capabilities.

    I always enter the tool diameter into the tool table because I have written numerous custom gcode programs that use tool table information to calculate operations. And, yes, I use gcode variables, calculations, conditionals and subroutines both inline and in separate files. And I use CAM. Whatever seems best for the current task.

  11. #11
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    Re: pathpilot

    Quote Originally Posted by vmax549 View Post

    Most user get hung up on CAM style functions and cannot see beyond that style of operations therefore conditional programming does not make sense and if you want to be a Cam Man go for it. But in a lot of conditions Conditional can be a time saver over CadCam. A Lot of job shops swear by conditional but will always switch to CadCam when needed.

    Again just my opinion. Your mileage may vary do to conditions and experience.

    (;-) TP
    Imho if your that good at coding and dead set on hand writing code. Then why not build conditional programing into your cam operations if you dont like what code they spit out.

    My cam is very difficult to master imho and is a skill few are willing to acquire or keep developing. Current manual skims over the program in just over 1100 pages. Not a trivial program to master. The code it generates is specific to the post for the machine and who wrote it. The operations and range of settings dwarfs anything conversation or conditional can do. I use conversational for stock prep and messing around like drilling a few holes or something as others mentioned. The real payoff is when you master the program and I would expect it to be same with PP conversational.

    As for cad / cam man I fall into this area! I think these machines are expensive boat anchors without both CAD and CAM. Without cad/cam imho you don't get much use of the tool. Not hard to take a model / part that could not even be done in conversation and have it ready in no time. I have it down to clicks! "think power user" Average person typing 60 wpm could not write any usable code to drill a simple hole before I could have a complete cam program ready to go for a part with up to six sides with six different Ucs offsets. Complete with fixtures and setup pictures to follow along when at machine. 4th axis and complex 3d multisided parts at mill can take the most time. Router, and lathe parts sometimes only take a minute or two to setup and have good code.

    I will say this again also imho. specific cnc Tools can also benefit greatly by CAM software designed specific for their use. The reason it is sold in modules and or machine specific. An example would be a good router cam program would have great ops developed for carving letters or carving shapes and nesting parts in sheets and maybe drag knife and laser etching add ons.................................. the list can be long

    Conversation will get you going, but it often leaves much of the machines abilities on the table unused! ok, maybe 4th axis conversational programing is just another tab away

    I dont know what you guys all do and how fast you can make something with conversational. I know I cant get much and will stick to being a power user cam guy,


    Draw something like this in an 15 minutes to couple hours!
    Attachment 456346

    Cam up the parts like this in a few minutes for mill and router
    Attachment 456348
    Attachment 456350
    Go make it
    Attachment 456352
    Then go back and revise model design or make different sizes if you want and the time spent is far less then hand coding or revising conversational programs.

  12. #12

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    Re: pathpilot

    Totally off topic but TurboStep, your tool table has a whole lot more stuff on it than mine. I have just a very simple table of length and diameters to your table of 6 parameters. How did that come to be and what are all the extra columns for?

  13. #13
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    Re: pathpilot

    How well a process works for you really depends on how well you understand the process. IF we were racing to drill a simple hole you would loose your lunch money on that bet (;-) IF we were doing a more complex part then I would loose hand programing but may winnout using conversational as it would depend on teh conversational program I was running say Kipware for example and the complexity of the part.

    I am not saying that conversational is the best thing to use but is extremely handy with 2.5D parts. Job shops have proven that for decades now . Now if your controller does not offer any conversational options then one can use a conversational CAM like kipware OR use the buildin Conditional coding like MacroB, subprograming, macros or wizards.

    It would be realy nice if PathPilot allowed you to build Wizards using Python. I have not researched that yet but wizards specific to your process are extremely handy . That way one could customize their conversational programing and build a library of usefull processes and build Wizards specific to their process.

    In teh Fanuc/Haas world there are thousands of sub programs and macros just for that . A sub or macro is just a basic Wizard without a Visual GUI support.

    The really interesting aspec of CNC is there are MANY MANY ways to do something and you can pick the process that suites you best.

    Load some stock and sling some chips , (;-) TP

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    Re: pathpilot

    LinuxCNC tool tables contain offsets in all axis. I use the X/Y offsets to account for the location of an auxiliary spindle so that both spindles can be used in a single job..

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    Re: pathpilot

    I think one should use what he is comfortable with.

    Many things have evolved over my lifetime, I may be old but I like technology if it speeds things up or makes things possible that were previously impossible for me.
    As far as hand coding, I wish I knew it better but I didnt get into the trade early on and CAM was the thing so thats what I learned as I could make compound parts rather easily that I couldnt do on a manual machine.

    I do think CAD-CAM is still in its infancy and in years to come we will see this.
    mike sr

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    Re: pathpilot

    I used to never use conversational mode. Some of the early PP versions didn't do so well at it that I ignored it. Then I got a SL15, and for the first month everything I did on it was conversational and I didn't bother using CAM until I finally needed something conversational wouldn't do. I would never write code by hand on the control to make complicated parts, but I have a friend in the business that's made millions doing that.
    All depends on what works for you and what you want to do.
    As for the UI design, I did that professionally for several years, but PP is what it is and is unlikely to change much.

  17. #17
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    Re: pathpilot

    I wonder if the op has a legal copy, the book that came with mine, explained it pretty well. Plus Tormach has the quick tip videos on PP.

    I think PP works great for drilling holes or boring using the drill table. I have struggled to locate text exactily where I want without testing on scrap . I wish I could tell it to enter from outside a part for keyways instead of the middle. A module to mill a radius would also be great.

    Mostly what I have done doesn't require Cad/Cam. I understand it, but now that free Fusion is crippled, I'm going to have to learn FreeCad.

    Dave




    Dave

  18. #18
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    Re: pathpilot

    Since PathPilot is "open source" all copies are legal! A PDF of the manual is on the Tormach website and if there are errors or omissions I'm sure that if reported they will fix it with the next revision.

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    Re: pathpilot

    Thanks VMAX, You are the only one who answered my question . I am 87 tears old and like things simple . I would like to know how to write those apps where there is a ( not sure what to call it ) list for X,Y,Z position- pocket diameter -pocket depth - tool diameter - lead in/lead out - spindle speed - feed rate.
    Thus I would just fill in the blanks for any size .

    Ernie

  20. #20
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    Re: pathpilot

    Based on my experience so far with Glade 3.8 Tormach did a stellar job on the UI. Pathetic gui builder tools do nothing but hinder progress.

    Hole drilling took me all of 20 minutes to get my head around, mostly due to me not having + and - directions entrenched in my brain yet.. The tool tips when hovering over just about anything on the ui does a good job explaining. Personally I can't imagine the thought process one would use to make a trip to cad/cam to drill, chamfer and thread mill a bunch holes in a pattern instead of using Conversational

    I'm 73, not a machinist. @ErnieD I think a bit more time will benefit using Pathpilot conversational. That will be much less daunting than creating apps because that is anything but simple (doable but not simple)

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