Hello everyone,

I don't post much but did a few weeks back asking about tool management in syntec controls, specifically about macros that might actually use the syntec's build in tool management tools to assign a T# to a position in the tool magazine (MG in the control, could be a linear rack, carousel, etc). No one responded and faced with the options of figuring out a way to do that or come up with another solution, I chose another solution.

The goal wasn't to change the macro anyways, the goal was simply to make changing tools easier and with a more persistent way to change the height offset. Better than just the bits of masking tape we had been using!

This post is the alternative solution. The system consists of 3 parts.
A numbered tag on each tool.
A matching entry in my CAM tool database,
A rack on the control itself to show what tools / tags are in use on the machine.

I also built and am still testing an off the machine tool height measurement jig, which will feature in the photos here as well.

Step 1 is to figure out what tools you have, what number you want to assign, etc. There doesn't have to be an organization to this, but I chose to reserve ranges of numbers to different materials, and other ranges to edge profile bits and grooving bits.

Step 2 is to make the tags for each tool. I chose to have some identification information along side the tool number and room for the height offset to be written on the tag as well.

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Then, each tool needs to be measured and the height offset written down, however that is done on your machine.
I usually use I use a height gauge that "zeros" to 1" above my spoilboard. Note: I use absolute machine values for height offsets, not a delta or change in height from a control tool.
However, today I am trying doing the measurement with this DIY off-table measurement jig. The purple block has a 3d printed cone that matches the ISO30 taper.

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My calculated height offset written on the tool tag. It was a few thousands off my old value, this jig is still in testing but I could measure on the machine and write down the result instead. The rest of the tag is laser engraved (poorly!) and bent with heat.

Step 3 is to make a rack on the control to show what tools are on the machine.

And this is how the tool storage is looking for me. (not finished all the tags yet!)

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Then I simply take tools from my drawers / rack / whatever you use, take the tag off the tool holder and clip it into the control "rack" in the proper tool carousel position, and enter in the correct offset for that tool # entry in the syntec system. When I have a new program I (or an employee) can easily check what tools are in the machine and program to those or change out the tools as needed.

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I am also planning on some more permanent spots to write down my current spoilboard offset and my current G54 Z offset just under this tool information rack.

I hope this is useful to others. FYI, I got thinking about this partly because I have a new employee to run the machine and I wanted to make life easier for them and so I could make files with weird tools and not confuse anyone, and partly because I saw an AXYZ machine that had a double carousel that held about 20 tools and I was jealous so I wanted a way to swap out my 8 tool positions more easily.

But I could see this useful for guys cutting various materials as job shops and swapping full racks of wood bits with plastic bits or aluminum bits.