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Robot (& controller) recommendations for milling wood
#1
Hey guys! I'm a woodworker who is very interested in CNC routers.  I should probably build a router table first, but I am so intrigued with robots, and I have already found a few arms for decent prices.  There are so many used robots on the market, and I'm wondering if there are certain brands or controllers that work best with RoboDK.  Obviously the newer the controller the better I assume, but are there certain older controllers that work really well with RoboDK for milling projects despite being old?  I know programs tend to get large with milling operations, so memory available on the controller is a big issue, as well as the ease of getting them onto the pendant.  

I see a lot of guys who mill using Kuka robots, and I have talked to one guy who loves his krc2ed05 controller, which runs windows xp and has a program size limit of 20mb which he says is plenty.  Are there certain Fanuc or motoman or ABB controllers that work well or ones that should be avoided at all costs for milling?

Thanks for any thoughts!
#2
Yep, milling programs tend to be huge, and get above the robot controllers memory limit.

But, in some cases, You can "stream" the program to the robot, using some manufacturer optional software (KUKA CamRob, fpr example), or maybe using RoboDK "connect to the robot" feature. Never did the last one myself, but I think this would be doable.
#3
Hi guys,

That Massula said is right, milling projects tend to be quite big and are often too big for the robot controller memory.
The first option Massula presented is valid, but I would not try using the RoboDK "Connect to the robot" feature for a milling case. The problem is that if you use the "Connect to the robot" and the "Run on robot" option, you lose the ability to use continuous movement (blending, zone data, rounding - All different names for the same concept depending on the robot manufacturer) as the controller loses the ability to see ahead in the program.

We found alternative ways of dealing with that situation for some robot controller. We use what we call "Drip feed".
To do that, we simply split the milling program in multiple smaller programs and we generate a "Main" that will call them all one by one.
For it to work, you need to have a controller that can accept PC to Controller program transfer via some communication method.
The goal is to use the PC as some kind of external hard drive for the controller.
With the drip-feed, we generate a Python script that loads the "Main" and the first two smaller programs. Once the first program is finished and the second one is running, the python script will delete the first program and load the third one. On so on.
I know that this works well with Fanuc as I did a project with a client using that application.
I can take a look if it's part of our Fanuc post-processor.
If it's not the case, you can either try to do it on your own, or we can help you with that if you own a professional license.

Jeremy
#4
Thanks for the thoughts guys. Currently I don't own any license or any robot, but I'm looking into it. In general is there a certain brand of robot that is the easiest for a noobie to get programs from roboDK into the machine? Seems like lots of guys use KUKA, but are ABB or Fanuc just as easy? I've read in the manual docs about which controllers are supported, but supported doesn't always mean super easy? I appreciate any insights!
  




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