CNC Programming and Pod Positioning

Ways to keep CNC tools from crashing into vacuum pods. May 20, 2009

I am working in a shop that will be using Microvellum 67 with a Holzma beam saw and a Weeke Venture 3M machining center that uses vacuum pods. I am very fluent in MV, but all my past work has been with nested-base vacuum tables, so my basic question is: how does MV write G-Code that takes into account pod-positioning? Is it handled by toolfile?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor R:
MV, as far as I know, will not account for the pod locations. This is always one of the drawbacks of pod machines. CMS did make on at one time that automatically positioned the pods, but you can imagine the upcharge! Carter Products makes a laser projector that projects the outline on the bed of the machine, allowing for pod placement.

From contributor M:
If the Weeke is similar to the machine we have, you can do a dry run of the program with no material on the machine. Then the only thing you have to watch for is any place where any of the tools full penetrate the material (through). Now, if the machine can be paused and restarted in mid program like ours, you simply move the pods out of the way of the tool (prior to all this you leave them loose if they are manually tightened), then when the program finishes its cycle you lock all the pods in place. Run it one more time to be sure they all clear the tools. Then make your production run. Yeah, it costs a little time and this is how it was done on many of the older machines for years, but it's a lot cheaper than replacing pods!

From contributor L:
We don't use MV but we do use Mastercam to program our Weeke BHC 300 and then post to WoodWOP. The pod positions are then set up graphically in WoodWOP very easily and saved in the Weeke MPR file.