Change Tool in CNC Machine

How to Change Tool in CNC Machine | How Does a CNC Tool Changer Work | ETCN

In the CNC milling process, tool change is an essential part. It is vital to change tools, especially the end mill, after completing one job. Tool change increases the accuracy of the milling process and improves the performance of the tool. So we need to learn how to carry out tool change effectively and safely.

How Does a CNC Tool Changer Work?

If you’re measuring tool changes, you need to know how to use a CNC Tool Changer. CNC tool changers are used with CNC milling machines. This device is for when the part that needs CNC machining is too big for the available spindle’s work zone. The machine will have multiple spindles to handle multiple work zones. In order to increase productivity, more than one part can be loaded and machined at the same time in different locations. This is where tool changers come into play.

Tool changers are used by cutting tools and CNC machines that do not move relative to the part while they are cutting but they rotate on a motion stage at the center of the table. The tool that is usually used for this purpose is held in an indexable collet in the head of a CNC machine. A collet is an adjustable clamping system that has grooves that enable it to hold metal or plastic parts. An encoder will communicate with the control software and indicate when tools need to be changed or swapped out and notify it when a new set of tools have been installed, allowing the software to update its work zones accordingly. 

How Does a CNC Tool Changer Work?
How Does a CNC Tool Changer Work?

How to Change Tool in CNC Machine?

CNC machines are used for cutting and machining a variety of materials. The workpiece is moved relative to the tool by the moving bed, known as a gantry, or a combination of both. The tools for CNC machines are called endmills and are normally mounted in a spindle.

In order to change the tool on your CNC machine, you need to first power off the machine. Then, remove all guarding and dust collection systems from around the milling area. After that, loosen up all bolts that hold together the spindle head, if necessary. You also need to loosen up all bolts that hold together the endmill holder onto your spindle. Now remove this holder from your spindle. Next, take out your old bit from its housing and insert a new bit into its place and tighten it up with a wrench or screwdriver. Finally, reattach all guards on top of your machine so nobody gets hurt while using it again!

Tool Change Procedure – Steps for Tool Changing

Tool change procedure is a process that is used in machine tools to change the tool used for machining.

1. Close the tool change pin (tool change lever).

2. Move the tool to be changed to the side of the machine and remove it from the spindle. Unscrewing it is recommended.

3. Remove the holder or chuck from its mounting bolt; if necessary, loosen the mounting bolt slightly with a spanner wrench or ratchet wrench, then remove it by hand.

4. Place the replacement tool in its place on the machine and tighten its mounting bolt securely by hand. Then tighten it further using a spanner wrench or ratchet wrench until no play remains between it and its holder/chuck (the end of this procedure must be performed with great care).

5. Open the tool change pin using an Allen key; open it completely until there is no gap between its tip and the first groove of its hub (this procedure must be performed with great care).

When Do We Need to Change the Tool?

The tool you’re using should be changed when it is damaged, or if it has lost its sharpness or effectiveness.

If the tool breaks or becomes dull, it will not work as well and can cause injury to the person using it. If this happens, replace it so that you can continue working safely.

If the tool breaks, replace it immediately before using any other tools in your workplace.

Always check for cracks or damage to the blade, handle or blade guard before each use of your tool. Make sure that there are no loose parts such as screws or nuts that could fall off and become a safety hazard.

What CNC Commands Used to Change Tool?

CNC is a computer-controlled cutting tool. It is used in industries to cut material from metals, plastics, and some other materials. These machines are controlled by software that helps in controlling the movement of these machines.

The following are some of the CNC commands used to change the tool:

G00 – This command is used to move the machine to a specific location (G00 X1 Y1 Z1).

G01 – This command is used for linear interpolation or rapid positioning (G01 X1 Y1).

G03 – This command is used for homing and positioning (G03 X0 Y0 Z0).

M06 – This command can be used to stop/start the machine and also it can be used to send a signal when required (M06 P3).

How Long Does It Take to Change Tools?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as:

The complexity of the tool.

How much time does it take for a new employee to learn the tool?

The frequency with which you need to change tools.

If you are changing tools often, then it will require more time to train new employees in your organization. If you need to change tools frequently, then there is no guarantee that an employee can learn all the necessary skills within one day or even one week. For example, if you need to use a new type of software program and an employee already knows how to use another type of software program, then this employee might need less time to learn than an employee who doesn’t know how to use any kind of software program at all.

It’s very important to know how to change a tool in the right way. The reason is simple: nobody wants to damage his CNC machine or the tool itself and especially, nobody wants an accident while working with CNC machine tools. This is even more important if you are dealing with multiple tools–you must be familiar with how to find the exact place where you need to insert the new tool in your G-code file in order to not have problems during your job.

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