Can CAM be paused?

Is it possible to build in a pause in the CAM process? I’d like to cut some of the pattern, then pause and re-secure the material and then continue. I’m using Fusion360 and X-Carve.

You could possible use feed hold which is accessed directly through the Arduino. There are a couple topics about adding the capability to your controller on the forum.

I have a feedhold, cycle start and reset button on my enclosure…it works very well and would do exactly what you need.

1 Like

Personally, I’d just use two programs. You CAN pause it, but it’s just as easy to have two. :smile:

Feed hold and cycle start seem just the job. I’ll read up on it.

So could I change the cutter during the pause and if so, how would I set the position correctly?

Not sure how to use two programs. Can you explain a bit more please?

You didn’t say change cutter…

Are you using easel?

You would need to generate 2 different g-code files for different cutters. If you use easel…no idea.

I have a number of jobs that use up to three different tools, so I post the operations for each separate tool into separate files. Generally I will name them by job, and cutter.

For example, for the part I run for Massdrop, I have the following three:

“Herbin Stand 4-Pocket R125” - The features run with a 1/8 end mill
“Herbin Stand 4-Pocket R250” - The features run with a 1/4 end mill
“Herbin Stand 4-Pocket V45” - The lettering, done with a 45-degree V-point.

I drop each program into ChilliPeppr, load the appropriate tool and run the program, then without resetting the GRBL I change tools, reset my Z for tool length (I use a touch plate, but it’s not necessary - just faster), load the next program and hit run again. When all three programs have been run, all three tools have been used and the part is complete.

I thought of cutter change after I posted the question. I’m using Fusion360

so what if I wanted to cut on each side of the material? I thought about making locating holes in the waste part and then flipping the material over and realigning. Again, I’d need a pause or a second job. New to this so not sure if this is a sensible option.

Then generate one file for the first cutter and 1 file for the second cutter…run the first file…change bits…reset Z zero…and then run the second file.

That is entirely possible to do, you just need to make sure your flip is precisely aligned with an axis. Locating pins are a good way to do that. Commonly, there’s just one program for each side. Run the first program, flip the part, run the second without resetting your zeroes.

Fortunately ChiliPeppr supports tool change.
Make sure you have your Tool Change position (G28) programmed on your machine first!
Fusion 360 will send the tool change command, and ChiliPeppr will pause sending.
The machine will move to this position. Then move it back to your work location
Then use the Z-axis probe feature to zero out your new tool (if you have it, otherwise by hand), and resume ChiliPeppr.

This description is a very light overview. I think there are a few forum topics and youtube videos about it.

thanks. I’m using Zapmaker Grbl controller so perhaps I need to switch to Cillipeppr.