Torchmate University - Video 13 - How to Program your Design for Multiple Tool Paths
Only Torchmate CNC plasma cutting customers with multiple tools will need to watch this instructional video. Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems offers oxy-fuel, a plate marker, a router, and a vinyl drag knife as accessory tools that can be added onto a conventional air CNC plasma cutting package. Programming these accessories starts in the Torchmate CAD/CAM software. The final step is then to adjust the tool spacing in the VMD software. Additional instruction is needed if this has not already been done on your machine.
The principle behind programming multiple tools is the need for multiple tool paths. Changing between oxy-fuel and plasma cutting will both require a male tool path and a lead in, but programming a plate marker and plasma cutting in a single part will require an online tool path for the plate marker, and a male tool path with a lead in for the plasma. This instruction is given in the video along with a suggested list of programmed tools.
The g-code that is generated when multiple tool paths are programmed is categorized by calling upon two tools at different times in the creation of the metal part. Making sure that this priority of tools is pre-programmed is very important. This can be done with a proper g-code sequence, which is covered in the “Sequencing” tutorial later on in this video playlist.