Introduction: DMS Gotchas: Things U Wish U Knew B4 U MILLING

About: Reza is a computational designer & creative engineer. He uses code to express himself, and creates tools and libraries to help others create. He is the author of ofxUI, one of the most popular addons for openf…

One of the most exciting tools at Pier 9 is the DMS, a 5 AXIS CNC MILL. This baby blue monster is pretty intimidating, especially when using it alone for the first time! So that why I've created this instructable! For those of you in a rush, check out the memes, they contain all the gotchas and tips!

You're not alone! This instructable contains the gotcha ya(s), quirks, and tricks and tips when using the DMS! The best way to learn how to use the DMS is by doing, and its good to know in advanced what could go wrong and how to avoid it.

I'd recommend having this instructable up while using the machine, so when you run into an ambiguous step, hopefully there will be a nugget of knowledge here for you to use. Or you'll have some context when you get a PC LOAD LETTER ERROR or whatnot. I hope this instructable will provide feedback for the Pier 9 DMS Training Guide and create a place where people can discuss their errors and issues when using the DMS.

General Tips:

Be prepared to spend some time with the DMS, you'll probably want to dedicate your entire day to milling once you've prepared your materials, and generated your GCODE.

If it is your first time using the DMS, I'd highly recommend you have another person with you checking your work and making sure you're properly following the steps in the manual.

Remember to renumber your tools in HSM / ETC, 1-12 are your options. If your gcode / program has a tool number greater than 12, the DMS will yell at you with an error.

Your GCODE / program file name must be 6 numerical digits and have a .PIM extension! If there isn't any room in RAM for your program, save your program to HARDDRIVE/PRG.

Your GCODE / program file name CANNOT be named: 999999.pim, the DMS doesn't like that and will promptly throw up on you. 999999.pim is a reserved program name, don't use it!! (contributed by joejoetheclown)

If you can't see your files from your USB stick, return to the jog screen, unplug the USB stick and plug it back in

If you don't badge into the machine before executing your code, the DMS will yell at you and this will cause an emergency reset! Badge into the machine after every program execution or every two hours.

Before setting tool lengths remember to rotate back the guard that protects the probe. The DMS will not automatically flip it back for you!

After setting your part zero, make sure to take a photo of the screen or write down the machine position that corresponds to you're part zero. If you lose your zero, you'll lose EVERYTHING.

Sometimes the program simulation doesn't work, skip it and do a dry run.

To stop a dry run, press the red cycle stop button, then press MDI + M5 + CYCLE START

Gcode cheat codez Spindle Stop = M5 + CYCLE START

Gcode cheat codez End of Program = M30 + CYCLE START

Beware that 10000 on the JOB knob means 1 inch NOT 0.0001 inches.

If you hit the RESET button or the EMERGENCY RESET button the DMS essentially has a STROKE. Its difficult to know what it knows (for example what tool its holding on to, or where the part zero is).

Assume the DMS knows nothing after you hit the emergency stop / reset or any one of the stops on the exterior of the machine.

If the mill isn't moving when you're trying to jog it, its probably not in JOG mode, and / or the FEED knob is set to 0%.

If its your first time milling, you will definitely mess up your piece. Make sure to get enough material stock so you can make at least two pieces. If you get it right the first time, good for youuuuuuu.

The time estimate provided by HSM / other toolpath simulators is always twice or three times as fast as the real amount of time needed. Be prepared to be at the machine for 3 hours if your simulation says it will only take an hour.

When milling MDF or a material that contains harmful materials like Formaldehyde always wear a mask in addition to safety glasses. Maybe even consider opening the large garage door to allow for better ventilation.

When setting your work offset, refer to page 19 in the programming tab of the DMS training guide (remember to flip the page, the last instruction is on the other side).

Before Executing Your Code, Make Sure The Doors Are Locked. Make sure to check the door is locked after every program execution. Sometime the DMS will think the door has become unlocked during program execution.

If you don't check that the doors are really shut, and you execute your program, the spindle will not spin and the emergency reset will be triggered.

Before executing your code, make sure the feed knob is at 0%. Gradually increase the feed until your comfortable is doing what it should be doing.

After you're done remove all the tools before running the good night program