I am setting up a manual toolchange CNC router system.   In the past 
I've worked extensively with Mach3.

Someone just brought up g-code from an automated CAM that started with 
"M6 T1", and it barfed on loading because "T1 isn't a defined tool in 
the tool table".  This was the one and only tool in the file and already 
manually zeroed so nothing needed to be done for it, but being an 
automated CAM, we couldn't readily tell the CAM program to simply not 
say that.

We made a tool table entry for T1 with bogus values ("T1" may be a 1/4 
ball mill on one CAM generation, then a 1/8" endmill on another, but at 
least it's in a tool table) and yet still got some sort of error (sorry 
I don't have it written down), then in the MDI typed "M6 T1" and got it 
to accept it it to run.  Weird.

Based on what we've done with Mach3, I don't expect we're going to do 
toolchanges within a single file.  When we generate toolpaths with 
Vectric Aspire for example, if you use multiple tools and it's not an 
ATC you generate one G-code file per tool.

IIRC, I had Mach3 set up to ignore the FIRST tool setup, because it was 
presumed you'd already set that up and to throw a "please change tool" 
message with a superfluous stop is annoying.  But a second tool 
specification WOULD, because that's an actual change.  At least I think 
it did, I rarely used multiple tools in the same file.

I see there's the "hal_manualtoolchange" component which seems like it 
would fix this.  Is that the logical answer?  Can I ditch the tool table?


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