Auto tool changer

Anything and everything CNC-Shark-related

Moderators: ddw, sbk, al wolford

Post Reply
cjablonski
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:16 pm

Auto tool changer

Post by cjablonski »

So, although it's been awhile, I've re engaged with my shark. As the last 3 years have rolled by I've come to appreciate the precision this offers but am still miffed with 1 thing...



Tool changes.




I've seen next wave now branch off to lasers, 3d printers, the 4 th axis (that mythical beast so elusive for years now observed in many garages in their "natural habitat " :D ),virtual zero, and now spindles. But why not work on something we all need to do regularly? Something so rudimentary we do nearly every time we approach our little cnc surgeon.



Think this would be almost a given considering it happens so often......
"I'm not smart, I just remain on problems longer"
Albert Einstein

Making many BTU by experimentation. ...some days it gets too warm :)

4DThinker
Posts: 951
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Auto tool changer

Post by 4DThinker »

The challenging part is how to change out a bit if all you have is one spindle. For $14,995 you can add tool changing to your ShopBot CNC, but then you've tripled or more the cost of a Shark.

I also own a Probotix CNC that uses LinuxCNC to control it and have figured out how to make the machine move to different positions depending on the tool number encountered. It is cheaper to swap out the whole router with bit installed than using ShopBot's system. The challenge then is dropping power to the router dropped then powering up the router you just picked up. Not impossible, but it would require serious engineering and some out-of-the-box design ingenuity.

With the Shark's controller being proprietary you'll need them to create a firmware update for it to enable tool changing, have them write a new set of post processors, then engineer a spindle mount and tool rack that can be reached (loosing some cutting space no doubt). Spindles that can release a chuck do it with air or hydraulics, which you'll need to add to the machine.

Still interested?
4D
Last edited by 4DThinker on Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cjablonski
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:16 pm

Re: Auto tool changer

Post by cjablonski »

I believe there's still a lost opportunity here for next wave.
"I'm not smart, I just remain on problems longer"
Albert Einstein

Making many BTU by experimentation. ...some days it gets too warm :)

Post Reply