Programing and Cutting on the ShopBot

Introduction: Programing and Cutting on the ShopBot

About: Autodesk Technology Center San Francisco is a hub for research, development, and demonstration of new manufacturing technologies and workflows relating to configurable microfactories.

Running an air pass will help eliminate extensive errors.

An air pass is a test cut, with the Z axis set high enough that it won’t actually cut anything. Set a false Z0, make the air pass, and if all goes well, set the real Z0 and cut the part.

Step 1: Set a Z for an Air Pass

  1. Jog the spindle a few inches above your material.
    • This must be higher that your material thickness.
    • Use an even number, like 2".
  2. In the KeyPad dialog, select Z- Axis only.
  3. Click Zero.
  4. Confirm in the KeyPad dialog that Z has been set to 0.
    • This will set Z0 2" above your part. After the air pass, you'll enter the correct Z0.

Step 2: Load the Part File

  1. Click Load Part in the Position Dialog.
  2. Load your .sbp file.
  3. Confirm that the tool in the spindle is tool specified in your CAM.
  4. Click OK in the Position dialog
  5. Do not click OK yet

Step 3: Prepare for the Air Pass

  1. Check that the zero plate has been put away.
  2. Check that the ShopBot table is clear.
  3. Click Start in the Position Dialog.
  4. Do not click OK yet.

Step 4: Make the Air Pass

  1. Press the Reset button on the pendant.
  2. Press the Start button on the pendant.
    • Visually confirm that the spindle is rotating.
  3. Click OK in the dialog box.
    • This will start gantry movement.
  4. Stay near the computer the entire time the ShopBot is running.
    • Use the space bar to pause the machine if there's a problem.
  5. Watch the toolpath, and observe what it's doing.
    • If the cutting tool is not going where you expect it to, or if it’s dropping too far down, there’s something wrong with your CAM. See Shop Staff.
    • If the air pass is successful, you're ready for the real thing.

Step 5: Make the Cut

Reset Z zero

    1. Open the KeyPad dialog.
    2. Jog the spindle down to the real Z zero.
      • If you went to 2" to set Z zero for your air pass, go to -2".
    3. Click the Zero Axes button.
    4. Select Z - Axis.
    5. Click Zero.

    Re-run the program

    1. Load part file.
    2. Start the spindle.
      • Confirm it is rotating.
    3. Start the dust collection.
    4. Start the cut.
    5. Stay near the computer the entire time the ShopBot is running.
      • Use the space bar to pause the machine if there's a problem

    Step 6: Tool Changes

    • Always remove the key when performing a tool change.
    • Always make an air pass.

    Step 7: Dust Collection

    There are two dust collectors:

    • Dust Gorilla
      • It removes large chips.
      • If the red light is blinking on top of the dust collector drum see Shop Staff before going further.
    • The passive filter
      • It filters dust from the air.

    Both machines have a remote in the drawer. Press the button on each remote to start the unit.

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