Amazing DIY Tool Changer for the Longmill?

This is quite amazing. A DIY tool changer idea: Hackaday Prize Entry: DIY Automatic Tool Changer | Hackaday

He updated the original design and posted a new video in the Logs section on Hackaday. You can see the video here: XATC S01E03 - YouTube


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Looks like he evolved it even further. Here the latest video linked from his github project: IMG_1757.MOV - YouTube

Neat wheel that integrates a bunch of the previous functions.

@chrismakesstuff you could be the first company in this part of the market with an ATC option. :slight_smile: Here is the github: GitHub - xpix/XATC: DIY CNC Automatic Toolchanger


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Ha! This is a great and wacky idea! Thanks for pointing this out Jeff

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@jwoody18 Jeff: I love the ingenuity of this, but it does look like something you do because you simply must see if you can get it to work, rather than addressing an issue. I’m sure any of us can change a bit manually faster than this changer does. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t build one if I could, though. :grinning:

I’m assuming that this would only work when using a software-controlled spindle, yes? The spindle is turning when it first grabs the bit, then stops when the collet nut engages with the nut holder, then starts while the wrench lines up with the flats on the spindle, then stops again to tighten the collect. That could not work with my Makita router, for example.

I noticed the same thing about the spindle spinning. Although I thought in his very first video that wasn’t the case, but I didn’t go back and check. I thought his original design with the gator grip to hold the endmill used a rotation through an arc to lock and unlock the bit.

I’m half way through a four hour large indexed cut. I would say homing switches are more valuable than the ATC at this point. Mine should be here tonight, hope I have enough electrical skill to figure them out. I’m afraid, having had to stop overnight half way through the job, that once I move my piece and reset my XY (I had to use front left as the stock is too large to use the corner finder) that I can still get good alignment. But I had a bit slip during the cut last night and I think I may have lost my XY or had it shift. Doh…


@jwoody18 Jeff: Like you, my next upgrade to the Mill will be homing switches. I have the switches, the wire and the capacitors. Now, I need to make mounts for the switches. I’m thinking that this will be more time consuming than difficult (Famous last word.)

When you say “indexed cut” do you mean what is also referred to as “tiling”. The piece is bigger in Y that can be cut without moving it?


I don’t have any capacitors, doh. I thought it was resistors I needed for noise suppression? Maybe I misunderstood? Hopefully I can get it working in concept and then figure out what I need to make it “production ready”.

Yes, tiling is a better word. I am using index pins to cut an almost 5’ worktop that is quite detailed. I can only do ~800mm at a time on my 30x30 one I subtract for pins and a few other things. I’m documenting the process in detail and will share it when done - but must note it’s using Fusion 360 although I’m sure you could adapt the concepts. To make things more complicated, I don’t have a 5’ piece of stock so I’m doing about 80% of it in one piece of contiguous 1" baltic birch then I have to cut the last 20% from a different location on the same piece and join them together in assembly. Hopefully I can get good alignment on my joint, not very experience with my biscuit joiner yet…

I also did a lot of thinking and calculating and design work on upgrading my wasteboard to allow indexing and generally repeatable cutting that I’ll share once I am happy with it.


@jwoody18 It sounds like a heck of a challenge, Jeff. I’ll be really interested to see your process. In VCarve, there is a tiling function built in. I have not yet used it, but looking at the videos, it seems to make things pretty straight forward.

As to capacitors, I’m sure that you can test everything without them. From what I’ve read, they are just an added feature to filter out noise.

I’ll be posting as to how I make out with mine. I hope to at least start in a couple of days. The bit thing for me will be mounting the switches.

I think it’s fair to say it’s built in to Fusion 360 but I don’t think it’s nearly as obvious. All makes logical sense once I documented the process, but boy do you need to keep track of details relative to what you’re physically doing. That is to say I spent a lot of time staring at my wasteboard and calculating and thinking and moving things. To be fair, though, I am trying to use a grid pattern of 3/8" holes I put in my wasteboard specifically to reference. If you’re just going to cut holes for the indexing pins each time, that saves some complexity.

I look forward to your update. I have the same issue with mounting and just posted a new topic under Add-ons requesting that any design update incorporate some kind of standardized accessory approach. I don’t have a 3D printer… but I do have a CNC. Some kind of attachment points that can be easily exploited by woodworkers with a CNC would seem the most appropriate. Something with 14-20 bolt holes or threads and/or 14-20 t-track rails (for example along the very top of the Z assembly, for vac hose hooks, camera mounts, who knows what) would be most welcome.