MEAM.Design - Guides - Prototrak

Prototrak Guide


Welcome to a quick start guide to the Prototrak in 3 Axis mode.


Reminders!! The upper spindle limit of the ProtoTRAK is 4000 rpm. Remember to adjust your feeds to this upper limit of spindle speed.

1. Obtain permission.

You will need to have a Machining Work Permit signed by a full-time member of the shop staff prior to working in 3 Axis Mode on the ProtoTRAK.

2. Once you import your part into SolidCAM, select MEAM_ProtoTRAK as your machine.

3. Set up your coordinate system, stock, target, tools and operations as you normally would for the Haas Mini Mill.

  • Reminder : The upper spindle limit of the ProtoTRAK is 4000 rpm. Remember to adjust your feeds to this upper limit of spindle speed.

4. Generate and save G-code for your machining operations onto a USB flash drive as a .GCD file.

  • Generate each operation as a separate file
  • You'll see why in Step 11...

5. Have all of the stock, tooling, and fixtures you will need to machine your part(s) on hand.

[++6. Putting the machine into 3 Axis Mode.++

  • When you reach the machine, the first thing you need to do it put the ProtoTRAK into 3-Axis mode. To do this go to Setup --> 3 Axis.

7. Loading your Code

  • Insert the flash drive with your code into the side of the machine.
  • Go to Mode -> Program in/out.
  • When prompted to List Supported Programs select No.
  • Navigate the File Explorer and select your program by choosing Open File.
  • If you file is not saved as a .GCD (it can be a .txt) you can open it as a .GCD using the "open as" option in the "open file" window

8. Setting the "Reference Position"

  • Go to Set-up --> Ref-Position.
  • Jog the Z Axis up enough that the tool will clear your part. This position is also knows as the Retract Position.
  • Once you are clear of your part by a considerable distance, set the position by selecting abs set.

9. Setting Tool Table

  • Go to Set-up --> Tool Table.
  • Enter all the information that is required.

10. Establish the X-Y Origin of your part.

  • Mount your work to the table (via the vise or other means). Make sure it is VERY secure.
  • Locate the XY origin corresponding to your program using an edgefinder.

11. Establish the Z-Zero of your part.

A note regarding Z: Before every op that required a tool change, you will re-zero in Z.
A note regarding loading tools: You have the option to use a Weldon Shank tool holder to verify your exposed length.
  • Load the tool required for your operation into the spindle.
  • Bring the tool down and locate Z by utilizing the quill until the tool is in contact with your Z-Zero surface.
  • Set the Z-Zero by selecting the Z Axis --> abs set.

12. Checking your tool path.

  • Go to Set up --> Tool Path.
  • Use the various options to double check your tool path.

13. Run your code.

  • All standard methods of running CNC machines apply.
    • Utilize a spray bottle for coolant.
    • Always have your hand on the Stop button.
  • You may not operate the ProtoTRAK in 3 Axis mode without confirmation from an authorized individual.
  • You can use the override options (the red and blue arrows next to the F/S button) to change your feeds and speeds.

14. When you're done...

  • Return the machine back into 2 Axis mode.
  • Setup --> 2 Axis