LinuxCNC newbie adding 5th Axis to PathPilot

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19 Apr 2021 17:43 #206429 by miksak
So I am really new to LinuxCNC, I don't really even know how to ask this question. Sorry in advance if this gets long.

Backstory:
I built a CNC laser welder last year and purchased a pre-built LinuxCNC controller and had really good luck with it.
The project was successful for the parts I was making and I now need to increase my throughput by 3X. So I'm going to build a more capable welder that I can hopefully tend with a robot.

Current:
I've ordered a Tormach 1100MX and an IPG 150W QCW fiber laser welder which I will use in place of the spindle.

I ordered the microARC4 4th axis as well but I still need an additional axis (a B-Axis on the head with about 60° degrees of motion).

After ordering everything I realized that PathPilot is limited to 4 Axis and I am definitely going to need a 5th.

Is it possible to drive a 5th axis using PathPilot?
Where should I start as a complete LinuxCNC newb?
Is it inappropriate to ask members of the community for a quote to make the modifications, if anyone is interested?

The mechanical side is my strong suit as I have experience in that, the control side I'm in over my head.
My machine and laser welder arrive in a few weeks and I'd like to be running in the next few months.

I appreciate any insights.

Thanks!

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20 Apr 2021 23:30 #206588 by andypugh

After ordering everything I realized that PathPilot is limited to 4 Axis and I am definitely going to need a 5th.
Is it possible to drive a 5th axis using PathPilot?


Ot might be, I don't know.

But it should be pretty easy to run the Tormach with standard LinuxCNC and one of the other GUIs.

And I doubt that the conversational milling of Pathpilot is particularly useful for laser welding, so you probably wouldn't lose much.

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22 Apr 2021 00:50 #206751 by Vmax549
Most of the 5th axis coding seems to be stripped out of PP. No 5th axis and no 5th axis. I have added back teh 5th and 6th as indexing axis to be able to run a Tool changer. But there is no screen support for dros,ect and I have NOT been able to ADD that part to PP. Also there are no kenimatics for 5th axis suport. I also asked Tormach if they would consider a 5th axis version but that is NOT in their plans for the immediate future.

There HAVE been users that added the 5th and 6th but they are not willing to talk about how they did it.

Just a thought , (;-) TP

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22 Apr 2021 17:24 #206817 by miksak
hmmm so my best option is probably to switch to vanilla linuxCNC and a different gui...

Vmax would you be willing to share how you were able to add the additional axis back in?

The laser I'm using has a fixed focal length (150MM) so my plan was to build my 5th axis so it rotates about the focal point so I wouldn't need to figure out any Tool Center Point Control. This way the when the B-Axis rotates the focal point stays right on the part.

Is it possible that I could get away without the kinematics?

Thanks

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22 Apr 2021 17:55 - 22 Apr 2021 17:56 #206821 by Vmax549
will have to dig all of that from the controller and it is not in my shop. I will get it next time I visit that shop.

IF you did not want world center point control you can use it without any 5th axis kinematics but you will only have indexing control with B and C.

The main problem you would face is without any screen DROs you will have NO idea as to where you are in B and C . I used it for control of an ATC and it is obvious as to where you are. C= in/out , B = on tool position 1-10 as each station is marked 1-10.

Then you will face the problem of updates. On each update yoou do you will have to rebuild the control code again.

Best to simply go with LinuxCNC and your choice of GUI. THEN you only have to build it once. (;-)

(;-) TP
Last edit: 22 Apr 2021 17:56 by Vmax549.

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23 Apr 2021 23:00 #206896 by andypugh

hmmm so my best option is probably to switch to vanilla linuxCNC and a different gui...


It isn't like LinuxCNC is terrible, you know.

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