ShopBot Link Feature Requests

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Daren LaBranche
Junior Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue, Sep 25 2012, 5:26PM
Company Name: Drawn to Wood
Country: CANADA

ShopBot Link Feature Requests

Postby Daren LaBranche » Fri, Nov 02 2012, 4:03PM

I didn't see a thread on this anywhere so I thought I'd start one.

Tools
1) Allow users to leave tools which we do not want to be active (available for machining) in the Operation Tools Setup list. I want to retain all the important diameter, speed & depth settings I have acquired for each tool - in the software. It doesn't make sense to re-enter tool info each time I have a different toolset for a job. This is not material specific. For example: I have a 5mm drill bit that I like to use when I'm drilling lots of holes. But I also have a 5mm spiral bit I like to use when I only have a few holes mixed with some narrow dados.

2) Allow users to insert a tool operation # before an existing number. That way, when a user needs to add a tool to the list he can simply insert an operation # & fill it in - automatically moving all other operation #s down by one. The way it is now, when a user needs to add a tool to the list (say, one that is a larger diameter than ones already on the list), it forces him to individually re-enter each of the smaller tools further down the list.

Gary Campbell
Guru Member
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat, Apr 04 2009, 6:27PM
Company Name: ShopBot Tools Inc
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: Durham NC

Re: ShopBot Link Feature Requests

Postby Gary Campbell » Sat, Nov 03 2012, 9:57AM

Daren...
I have done what you are requesting both with an MTC and ATC system on my ShopBots using the tooling groups feature. The only "work" involved is setting up the groups and making sure that there is a unique name for the affected materials. In some cases, I have had to add or remove a specific material to/from a group, but that only a couple seconds to get the task done. Granted, the ATC almost completely solves the problem, but nothing is perfect.

I agree that it may not be material specific, but can be accomplished quite easily. This applies to both your requests numbered 1 and 2. So goes the "Ying & Yang" of CNC machining.... "Do I design for my tooling, or tool for my designs?" Both have plusses and minuses, I am sure that in time, it will become easier.
Gary Campbell
ShopBot Tools Production Support

ShopBot (eCabinets) Link Training & Support

Daren LaBranche
Junior Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue, Sep 25 2012, 5:26PM
Company Name: Drawn to Wood
Country: CANADA

Re: ShopBot Link Feature Requests

Postby Daren LaBranche » Sat, Nov 03 2012, 5:27PM

I always appreciate your feedback Gary, even if I don't always understand or agree with it. Thank you for taking the time. I hope that my many comments and questions are taken in the spirit with which they are intended - i.e. constructive feedback that is hopefully appreciated & seriously considered for implementation into future versions of an ever-better software product.

Now to your suggested solution:
I have not used Groups before because I thought they were directly associated with materials (possibly even automatically selected by the software when processing a job [there's no info provided to users about this]). And since my requirement in this case is not material specific, nor did I want to complicate the learning process by allowing the software to automatically select tools based on materials, I stayed away from them. Here's the complete description in the help files. "The purpose of tooling groups is to allow a group of tools to be used for specific materials. Currently, ShopBot Link allows 50 different tooling groups to be defined. To set up a tooling group, the operator must first define which group by using the pull-down menu. Once this has been selected, the operator must set the materials that they wish to use for this tool group. An entire Group setting can be erased by clicking the Erase button next to the Group name." In addition to this I used what I learned from your video to decide that Groups didn't seem to be a good way to store my entire useable tool list in the software.

I do not understand how the MTC or ATC are involved in this, nor do I understand what you are suggesting about using 'materials' to do what I've requested. Could you please provide me with some examples? Are you saying that I should use a material that is not really a material (ie: fictitiously named) to represent my requirements? If that's the case then could you please explain how Groups are chosen by the software when processing a job? Are they set by the user before sending to the SB or are they automatically chosen base on the material being processed?

In the meantime, I've created a spreadsheet where I keep all my tooling info (dimensions, speeds, etc...) that I can reference when adding tools to the SBL for a particular task. Does anyone else see the value of having the ability to; 1) add tools to the list without re-entering all the others, & 2) keep all their tooling info in the SBL?

PS. Could a section be added in this forum for SBL users?

Gary Campbell
Guru Member
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat, Apr 04 2009, 6:27PM
Company Name: ShopBot Tools Inc
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: Durham NC

Re: ShopBot Link Feature Requests

Postby Gary Campbell » Sat, Nov 03 2012, 9:30PM

Daren...
Yes, the tooling groups are directly related to materials. Or, as I like to think of them, a group can be triggered by a material. Set up a separate tooling group for each combination of tools. You can have 50 stored in the Link. Each time you wish to use a specific groups parameters and tool options, add the desired material to that group. Make sure that that material name is NOT present in any groups with a lower group number, or in the default.

The default tool group will be selected UNLESS another tool group has the current material included. If more than one group has that material, the lowest numbered one will apply.

The feature exists to allow different tooling parameters (speeds, feeds, RPM, etc) for different materials. Much needed with an ATC. You can use it to store multiple sets of totally different tool combinations and parameters in groups with no materials. When desired, you can add your material to the group and those tools and parameters will apply to that material. Delete, if you wish when done, and all cutting will be done with the default group. Add that same, or another material to yet another group and those settings apply. And so on......

Even tho the feature was designed to be material specific, the groups can be "toggled" on and off by a material name. Might even be quicker than a spreadsheet. Enjoy.....
GC
Gary Campbell
ShopBot Tools Production Support

ShopBot (eCabinets) Link Training & Support


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