Most Easel users are probably making one-off parts, but I do “production runs” with multiple carvings of the same design. For each piece, I have to go through the whole sequence of confirming the material thickness, bit size, etc. It would be great if there were simply a “pieces” parameter. It could default to 1, but when set to more than 1, the spindle would return to the home position (plus clearance on the Z axis) and wait for a single confirmation to run the same design again. That would allow me to just swap out the material and start again.
Think about moving away from Easel and the stock electronics. Mach3 , Mach4 and LinuxCNC are all designed to do exactly what you are asking.
I ran Mach3 on my milling machine and now it runs LinuxCNC. I am able to set up a fixture for a part run, set my G54 zeros, put the first piece of material in and hit go. If it is a single tool job when the job finishes the machine lifts to the tool change position and stops. I can then change material and hit go again. Machine will make the second part the same as the first and will do that for how ever meany parts I have to make.
If the job is a multi tool job, when a tool change is called the machine will raise to the tool change position, shut off the spindle and wait. When I have the new tool installed and hit go again the machine will use that tool until the next tool change call. Again when the job finishes I can change material and run the next part.
I’m not sure that Easel and the stock electronics are up to production jobs at this time.
Hope this helps
I think the stock electronics are up to the task if you use something like UGS. There isn’t a “pieces” parameter, but running multiple jobs is very easy with software like that.
There is also no “pieces” parameter in Mach4, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You just run the Gcode program multiple times to make the number of parts you need.
I’ve never needed to run UGS so I do not know what it can or can’t do.
For this sort of job the stock controller is fine. But you need to change how your tool paths are done. If you can get the item you are milling into just Gcode then it is easy to do with Chilipeppr or UGS. Once you have the Gocde for your job, you would just replacce your stock after each job, set your Z offset for each stock piece and off you go by just running the same gcode again. If your stock is standard and mounted flat on your waste board then you would not even have to worry about the z offset each time.
While I no longer use the stock controller (for unrelated reasons), I do large production runs of items in this way by either running the same Gcode on small stock pieces or by laying out many copies in my CAD/CAM software and milling them out of one large piece of stock. 20-50 items on the larger plates with 4-5 end mill changes for things like Chamfers, drilling and milling contours.
You can just save the G-Code in Easel.
Using Easel, just export the G-Code and save to your computer.
Using the UGS - open the file and send.
Then you can run again and again.