Spindle Speed Questions

Hi folks. I just got my Nomad and have been reading and watching the videos. I understand that spindle speed is an important thing. I have no idea where to adjust this speed. I’m using Meshcam to prepare the gcode and Carbide3D to run it.


@SuzieChuzie, you set the spindle speed in the tool definition dialog in MeshCAM. You get to that from the Toolpath Parameters screen this way:

After the gcode file is written, you can also open it in a text editor and find the lines with M3 Snnnn in them. M3 is the command to turn on the spindle and Snnnn is the spindle speed being commanded for that portion of the gcode. That speed is in effect until the next M3 line says differently. Change the nnnn to the speed you want (be sure not to delete the S itself).

Is it just me, or shouldn’t spindle speed in the tool definition window just be a default? Then add a text box bound to spindle speed in the tool path dialog.

I use different speeds for different materials, but now I have to have the same tool defined multiple times to accomplish this easily.

@robgrz thoughts?

@FlatBaller, I never use the default stepdown or stepover, and would not use the default spindle speed if there were an option. You are correct–the spindle speed is very job dependent, same with the stepdown and stepover. I don’t think there has ever been a gcode where I haven’t done the search-and-replace to set spindle speed. So I would also welcome job-specfic input for the speed.

That said, Robert has said in the past he is concerned about the “busyness” of the Toolpath Parameters dialog window. Adding spindle speed would mean three more input boxes to work in. I don’t see how there would be a clean way to do it without enlarging the size of the window itself.

For comparison, there is a screenshot of the earliest Toolpath Parameters dialog box I have at http://grzforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15333 It shows how far Robert has brought MeshCAM in 12 years.

Isn’t there a nifty integration w/ G-Wizard for this?

Ah, here we are: http://www.grzsoftware.com/blog/releases/g-wizard-integration/

@Randy, thanks for the info and screenshots. It does seem that something so important and variable would be more accessible during the setup of a job. I’m going to be using the Nomad with high school kids and want to make it as simple as I can while still giving them an appreciation for the tool chain and decision making involved.
I was thinking along the same lines as @FlatBaller and will dupe the more popular tools so I’ll have different speeds preset.
Thanks for all your input.

I do something similar, but I include the speed in the tool number, to keep track of what kind of pass it should be used for:

So, tool 30350002 means that tool 303 is spinning at 5k rpm, and the 2 indicates it’s for a “fast finish” quality pass. A 3 means it’s a “fine finish” pass. No final number means it’s a roughing pass. Of course this all doesn’t help when you have multiple materials with different settings - but for that I’m working on creating a spreadsheet to keep track of stuff.

If there is one thing I would kindly ask of @robgrz is that he allow non-numeric characters in the “Tool Number” field. A few dashes, underscores, or even some letters would be a great improvement! If I could name my tools things like: 303_5500_FOAM_2, or 101-7500-MAPLE-4, things would be much easier.

Of course it would be even better if we had a “Tool Description” field, but let’s not get crazy…

Someone complained of G-Wizard being subscription software — I actually find their licensing a nice compromise — one gets a perpetual license limited by HP matched to how many years one pays for.

The Nomad spindle only needs a single year’s payment.

My G-Wizard trial expired about a week ago. I decided to buy. There was an option to get a 3 year subscription for a 1 year cost. Too good to pass up.

G-Wizard has taught me so much that it is worth it even if I don’t actually use for what it is intended for.

Thought I’d mention all this because I wasn’t even aware of the promo until I was trying to complete the purchase.