Centerpunch Lessons Learned

Having gotten through some of the basics, I decided to try center punching on my pro table. Here are some of my observations/lessons learned.

I generally followed the arc-light video referenced by most, with a couple of exceptions:
1.) I found it unnecessary to check the use points for drilling block when uploading my part. Instead, I used circles instead of points, then when adding the drilling operation, I made sure the max hole size was larger than my largest hole. I actually set it to 2" since that would be the biggest size I’d ever be able to bore with an annular cutter.
2.) A pierce delay of 0 doesn’t work for me. For my cutter (Cut60 at 45 amps) I needed a pierce delay of at least 0.4 seconds to get a reliable punch (exception to follow)
3.) The first punch of any program would never work right for me at .4 and barely at .5, and my pierces got bigger than I liked when running delay that high. My solution is to add a sacrificial “circle” in my cad designs centered over a planned cut line (or anywhere else as long as a microscopic mark isn’t a problem) and then change my cut path to make sure that one gets “drilled” first.
4.) The pause code snippet (m01) he used in the video did nothing in my program, so I was unable to run a low punching current then increase to my cutting current. Had to run the whole program at cutting current.
5.) The bigger the punch, the bigger and deeper the HAZ is to have to drill through later. Doesn’t matter for annular cutters, matters a lot for small holes with a drill bit.

I welcome any comments on what I might be able to do to improve, and hope this is helpful for anyone else.

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I also use the centerpuNch/drill operation with a cut60. Also used archlights and another YT to get the jist of it and haven’t had any issues. i did have the pierce problem at first but upped it to around .7. some pierced thru and others leave a divot but i drill them out after anyways using a harbor freight drill press of all things. lol

For smaller holes that I drill out afterwards I use a center point drill do clean up the pierce before using my actual drill bits.

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