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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Novakon > Torus Pro Tool Changer
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  1. #1
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    Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Is anyone using the Novakon tool changer that Ray designed? I'm not fond of his arm design buy the tool carousel and tool holders are impressive. The only thing I can't figure out from the picture is the holder locking mechanism he used. Would love a description from someone who actually has one. If I do construct one it will be for my own use and not a commercial endeavor. Just looks like a fun project.
    Thanks.
    billyjack
    Helicopter def. = Bunch of spare parts flying in close formation! USAF 1974 ;>)

  2. #2
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Good to see this forum is getting some action again.

    I can't help you with Ray's design. Somewhere on here a while back there was a thread about DIY toolchangers. Something interesting that came up was a kit. If I remember right you could get plans or a machined unit. Going from memory the price was reasonable. I don't think it came with software but that was a while ago so maybe someone solved that. If I can find the thread again I'll post a link to the thread.

  3. #3

    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    When you say holder locking mecahnism are you referring to the power drawbar? Or are you looking at how the tool holders sit in the carousel?

  4. #4
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Thanks Guys for the reply.
    I'm interested in the method of capturing the tool holder in the carousel. Instead of the traditional fork capture (more common design - used by the system upnorth is speaking of (I think)). the tool holder is inserted in the capturing device in the carousel and a solenoid energizes and captures/releases the tool holder. There must be a return spring on the solenoid but I just can't get my head wrapped around the design. I may be over thinking it but a peek at the real thing would be helpful. Again, nothing commercial in my efforts, just want to try a new design. The Torus Pro is not the easiest design for a tool changer.
    Bill
    billyjack
    Helicopter def. = Bunch of spare parts flying in close formation! USAF 1974 ;>)

  5. #5

    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    It looks to me like the white dowel on the arm somehow makes contacts the carousel grabber and releases the tool. The shank holding is a nice design for keeping the tool shanks nice and clean, something many experience trouble with when using these types of tool holders.

    Skip to like 1:40 in the video. You'll notice the arm does a double motion to release the tool holder from the carousel grabber. It seems like an overly complicated system to me, but it fits and is rather compact. I like the display on the carousel, not a particularly needed feature, but it would be nice for loading up tools. Though I'm not entirely sure the process for doing that with Mach3 or whatever control the machine uses.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0JmUelsRe4

    Adding a tool changer to my G0704 changed the game. I've found that I am more willing to run a big variety of tools, so not only am I doing more complex projects, and I am doing things like running dedicated finishing tools. So my parts are just better.

  6. #6
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    The double motion is a function built in to (I think) make sure the tool holder is pushed tight against the carousel for grabbing by the locking mechanism. The actual retention of the holder is a disk with a flat on it which rotates with the use of a cheap electrical solenoid. Those parts were displayed on his build thread which has been removed. I'm sure it is a simple rotation lock but again, must be spring return to reset the locking mechanism. That's what irritates me! It must be a simple design but for the life of me, I can't picture it. Thanks for the follow up moto!!!
    Bill
    billyjack
    Helicopter def. = Bunch of spare parts flying in close formation! USAF 1974 ;>)

  7. #7

    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    The double motion kind of makes sense to me, in that context. My M6 macro (UCCNC) has a function to go to a lower Z height on tool insert as compared to placing the tool in the carousel. I've found that if everything is well adjusted and aligned it's not really needed, but I still do a bit lower on spindle insert just to make sure the tools get fully loaded in the spindle. There's enough flex in the individual fingers that it doesn't damage anything.

    I still don't understand why he didn't just hang a standard carousel out front? It seems like it would have been way less work. More power to him, I guess.

  8. #8

    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    I never understood that design , it seemed over thought . Mills come with a carousel or a magazine , and a tool arm is necessary for a magazine but I have never seen one with a carousel . I don't want to sound insulting because that was quite the project and it worked out for him , but I think it could have been a bit leaner .

    Has anyone on the zone had success with those 12 tool carousels that run for around $500 on aliexpress

  9. #9
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    I do have to agree that the design was a bit overly designed. The creator is very talented with this type of endeavor though! I loved the power drawbar design and actually have home built a very similar unit that is working on my Pro as we speak. Watching the build was very entertaining and trying to figure out the design from the pictures and posts kept me busy for a year. Again, for my own use.
    Regarding the (let's call it) standard design, I actually have a 10 tool carousel with forks cut and assembled in the shop. I lost interest when it got to figuring out how to mount the changer on the pro. For my machine, I'll have to disassemble the enclosure to get to all the parts (which is a bummer). I went with angel iron and plexiglass instead of curtains so disassembly is not for the faint of heart.
    Anyone actually mounted a changer on a Pro????
    billyjack
    Helicopter def. = Bunch of spare parts flying in close formation! USAF 1974 ;>)

  10. #10
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    I never understood that design , it seemed over thought . Mills come with a carousel or a magazine , and a tool arm is necessary for a magazine but I have never seen one with a carousel . I don't want to sound insulting because that was quite the project and it worked out for him , but I think it could have been a bit leaner .

    Has anyone on the zone had success with those 12 tool carousels that run for around $500 on aliexpress
    Can you post a link to this?

    Thanks

  11. #11

    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    that is a screwy website . I was looking the other day and a bunch popped up . I'm sure I used the same search words and I'm seeing all sorts of other crap . The link below isn't tts but can be modified . It's not 100% complete but it looks like it may be a good base to start with . There are various sizes and prices to be found on there
    I'm on the fence over the whole think . I could handle having atc on my torus and 440's but I'm not sure how much faith I'd have in them when running 8-12 hr days . I weighed out the cost of the tormach atc's and figured I'd rather pay the bit more to have another complete mill


    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005...0a8102bb9e4a61

  12. #12

    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Quote Originally Posted by bill south View Post
    I do have to agree that the design was a bit overly designed. The creator is very talented with this type of endeavor though!

    I went with angel iron and plexiglass instead of curtains so disassembly is not for the faint of heart.
    I agree and thats why I made a point to say that I don't want to be insulting because there was a lot of thought and work that went into that atc
    At least you spent the time to build an enclosure , I've just got bent aluminum sheet , but at least it keeps the chips somewhat under control

  13. #13

    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    All the core pieces appear pretty okay for a BT30 setup. Who knows what the quality is? Obviously there's still plenty to figure out. The fingers could easily be changed for something like TTS. It could be a nice way to start a "CNC Knife Dish" build, lol.

  14. #14

    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Quote Originally Posted by CL_MotoTech View Post
    All the core pieces appear pretty okay for a BT30 setup. Who knows what the quality is? Obviously there's still plenty to figure out. .
    Looking at it I think the dollar value is there considering the work and the components that are on it , that is if the quality is half decent . I recall keling had some of those on his site but they aren't there anymore which has me believing they weren't too popular

  15. #15
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    that is a screwy website . I was looking the other day and a bunch popped up . I'm sure I used the same search words and I'm seeing all sorts of other crap . The link below isn't tts but can be modified . It's not 100% complete but it looks like it may be a good base to start with . There are various sizes and prices to be found on there
    I'm on the fence over the whole think . I could handle having atc on my torus and 440's but I'm not sure how much faith I'd have in them when running 8-12 hr days . I weighed out the cost of the tormach atc's and figured I'd rather pay the bit more to have another complete mill


    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005...0a8102bb9e4a61
    Yeah it's a bit of a weird website. I find it difficult to find things on there and the keywords that word are often odd. It's almost like it remembers what keywords you previously used and then rejects your previous results because you didn't buy something.

    That is an interesting tool changer you linked. It might be a great way to get started. I can't justify one at this point because I don't have the work for it. I upgraded my coolant so chips fly a lot further than normal. I make a point of cleaning the contact surface of the TTS holder before every tool change to keep stray chips from affecting Z height. That could cause some issues with automatic tool changing.

    My current Torus Pro is now Acorn based instead of Mach 3. That might simplify the software part because they have pre written macros for carousel tool changers. Some of the macros are fill in the number wizard based if I remember right.

  16. #16
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Doesn't Ray's tool changer work with R8 tooling? It seemed like there was something interesting going on there.

    I actually purchased a tool changer from a forum member for my Pulsar, but I haven't had the time to get it working yet. Still have to get my drawbar going as well. I hope to get a start on it this winter after I get my shop in order.

  17. #17
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Ray's power drawbar works with either the TTS or R8. I don't think this applies to the carousel tool changer though.

  18. #18
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    No it will not work with a fork design carousel.
    billyjack
    Helicopter def. = Bunch of spare parts flying in close formation! USAF 1974 ;>)

  19. #19
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    Is Ray's tool changer still in the market? Seems like he disappeared from CNCZone a few years ago so maybe he moved on to other endeavors.

  20. #20
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    Re: Torus Pro Tool Changer

    I was under the impression that Ray designed and manufactured the tool changer for Novakon. I know he did the PDB for them. There is an old thread titled something like Novakon Torus Pro a production machine where he provided a most entertaining step by step depiction of his design of the PDB and the Tool Changer. Again, great design on the PDB. Complex as compared to a cylinder configuration but very reliable and repeatable. I built one for my pro and have been using it for years without any tool pull out. But, when reviewing the tool changer, I decided it was not on the table for me. Just a bit over designed for my liking. But just my opinion.
    Wonder what happened with Ray? Last I remember he was researching different control options for Novakon.
    billyjack
    Helicopter def. = Bunch of spare parts flying in close formation! USAF 1974 ;>)

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