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Thread: ProtoTrak Question
08-03-2007, 11:41 AM #1
I'm new to CNC programing and have read that ProtoTrak does not support G code. Is this true or does it have a conversion capability? Is this a dumb type question? Thanks Dale
08-03-2007, 11:56 AM #2
This is kinda true. While the ProtoTrak will not run off straight G code you can write a postprocessor that will convert G code into the ProtoTrak code. The ProtoTrak tech support will be of some value to you but you will probably find that your CAM supplier will be more helpful. ProtoTrak may be able to figure out your CAM file using its built in post processor and you will be good to go. Try it and see what happens.
08-03-2007, 12:33 PM #3
Not entirely correct, Joe [img]smile.gif[/img] At least all ProtoTRAK controls (from MX2 to VM) I have used can read programs direct from a Fanuc 6 postprocessor. Save the file extension as a .cam and the internal converter on the control will process it.
The newer controls can maintain the file as g-code if saved that way, but the default is to save it as a ProtoTRAK file. But you're right that all programs are converted to TRAKs own code somewhere in the process.
Programs written in conversational can be converted as well to g-code on the newer controls...but default TRAK code is a mess that you can't really decipher.
I haven't yet used a postprocessor that put it directly to ProtoTRAK code. TRAK's canned cycles I think are funky, and I'm not sure if I'd trust it to have anything usable if I opened it on the conversational side.
But to answer the man's question...yes, ProtoTRAK controls (at least the ones made in the past 10-12 years) can take g-code. The older controls are very limited (like to 500 events) so you might have to RS232 drip feed to it if the programs are larger than that. Depends on what machine and what control you are looking at.
08-03-2007, 02:13 PM #4
Thanks for your comments. Most appreciated!!
08-03-2007, 05:58 PM #5
Actually if you look at TRAK code in Notepad it comes out very logically laid out. Just for grins one time I taught myself to write TRAK code away from the machine in Notepad. It worked. But not worth the trouble
08-04-2007, 09:13 AM #6
if you drip feed to a prototrak make sure your file extension is .dnc The only draw back is that the buffer size is small. so if your doing a lot of quick move the machine has to stop while reloading code. I one time ran a 3d file into an age 3 dnc, the software run time was 6 hour. But the file took closer to 15 hours to run time due to upload to buffer