Stop and start in the middle of a program

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Stop and start in the middle of a program

Postby nivlac » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:20 pm

I am about to start a rather large 3D mantle project for a customer. About 10 hours long. Can anyone tell me if I can stop it in the middle of the program, leave and come back to it later? Besides pausing it. I am running the HD4 with VCarve Pro.
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Re: Stop and start in the middle of a program

Postby Kayvon » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:10 pm

You can pause it, as you mentioned. You can even power off the router while you're paused, but you must remember to power back on before unpausing.

Short of that, you can't really stop in the middle of a project and hope to pick up from the same spot unless you break up your gcode file into multiple files. That requires a bit of work or a special utility to do. Rando has such an application that he frequently describes, though I haven't tried it myself.
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Re: Stop and start in the middle of a program

Postby nivlac » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:24 pm

Thank you for the reply. I would like to see some new software that would allow us to stop and start in the same place. My shop is not air conditioned and it seems like whenever I run the machine for a while the control box gets pretty warm. More so than I think it should. This will be the largest program I have run. I have ran five and six hour programs. I paused the machine and shut off the router about once per hour for about 10-15 minutes.
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Re: Stop and start in the middle of a program

Postby Rando » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:27 pm

This is a common issue due to the length of these cuts, and us not having a sound-proof lights-out unattended machining facility :(.

Check out this post: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5729

We talk about doing that very thing. In your case, you could take that huge file, and find a "safe" place in the GCode to insert the
hunk of "pause" code. Indeed, if you have more than one toolpath (say, carvings, letters, profiles, etc.), there will be some
designation between then in the jumbo-sized TAP file. But be careful...this kind of thinking will make you start editing post
processor files faster than you can run that first job ;-).

Hope that gets you moving. It is possible, and I do it all the time. But, you can NOT jog during any pause in a running program.
So, if your process requires manual jogging, bit changes that aren't height-set exactly equally, or anything but part manipulation
and pausing, you'll run into walls. If you need those things, the only real option is to split the file up into chunks.

In that case, you'll need to locate the dozen-or-so lines at the top (header, preamble, etc.) and bottom (postfix, cleanup, etc.).
Copy those to a file, and then as you chop up the GCODE into chunks, make sure each section has its own top and bottom.

Hope that helps,

Thom
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ThomR.com Creative tools and photographic art
A proud member of the Pacific Northwest CNC Club (now on Facebook)
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Re: Stop and start in the middle of a program

Postby nivlac » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:58 pm

Thank you thom. Thank you for sharing the link. Tons of good information. I have already cut this program. Hopefully I will be able to look into this before my next large project. I’ve already got another person asking me about making one.
Thanks again.
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Re: Stop and start in the middle of a program

Postby Rando » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:09 pm

That's great, nivlac.

And, if you find it's too much of a pain to do manually, we can talk, get your design's software-use understood (as to how the toolpaths show up, what post are you using, and a few other details), I suspect we could make a tool for you and others to use that will do this. It's not all that difficult, especially since I've already written a few GCode-processing tools. As toolpaths get more complicated, you'd almost expect the CAD/CAM vendors to add that into the options. I mean, they claim to know how long the cut will take, and they let us put tabs along paths, so why can't we specify a time limit to chop the work up into? SEEMS like a reasonable thing to want :geek:

Thom
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A proud member of the Pacific Northwest CNC Club (now on Facebook)
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