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I quite literally turned a mountain of spare change (65lbs worth, to be exact) that I had been collecting for ten years into a slightly less heavy pile of metal and granite, and purchased a Tormach CNC Tooling kit. This will allow me to set up all of my tooling ahead of time and pre-measure the heights offline. Using the touch tool I can then safely touch off the Z height of my work, and the varying heights of the other tools and holders are automagically accounted for. This means significantly less hassle when running programs which use multiple tools, as the tool changes are now very quick (under 30 seconds), and I will no longer have to split up my programs into multiple parts and re-touch for every new tool.
I plan to put together a video showing how this all works at some point, since it is not terribly well documented out in the world from what I can tell. My first experiments last night look promising, and after some optimizations I think I’ll be ready to show how I’ve got it working.
In the mean time, here are some photos of the Tormach tool holders and some of my tooling.