CNC Workflow for DATRON neo High Speed Mill

Apr 18, 2017 | Blog

DATRON neo was specifically designed and purpose-built to provide an easy and affordable introduction to high-speed milling. It’s a Plug-and-Play system that features the new DATRON next software which gives you full control of 3-axis milling without requiring years of experience as a machinist. That said, customers ask me all the time about the CNC workflow for this machine and whether it is actually as easy to use as we say it is. Well, I’m not a machinist, I’m a salesman, but in detailing the CNC workflow below, I operated the machine myself (as evidenced by my reflection in the touchscreen). Keep in mind, that I’ve included instruction on many optional functions and features and the actual CNC workflow for DATRON neo can be as short as 4 simple steps. Anyway, here goes:

CNC Workflow for DATRON neo

Once the CAM’d part or “G” code is done, simply load onto a flash drive or send to DATRON neo if networked.

Loading a program to DaATRON neo can be done with a USB drive or sent via network connection.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 1 – Load Job Program (CAM or G-code).

Once loaded, DATRON neo will take the operator through the steps to run the part.

DATRON neo CAM Assistant starts to walk you through the CNC workflow.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 2: CAM Assistant

After loading the “G” code into the DATRON neo, the operator can pick the saved file to run.

Just pick a program from the DATRON neo touchscreen menu as the next step in the CNC workflow

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 3: Pick Program from Menu

As the operator moves through the process, DATRON neo will check the tools already loaded vs tools the file calls for. If a is tool is missing, DATRON neo can suggest a tool that is already loaded.

As the next step in CNC Workflow the DATRON neo will select tools based on the program loaded.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 4: Tool Selection with Assistance from DATRON next software.

Next, the operator can drag their finger across the screen and use the integrated camera system to locate the part for probing.

Part location is the next step in the CNC workflow for the DATRON neo high speed milling machine.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 5: Part Location

Once the part is visually located, the operator can simply draw on the screen to start probing with the integrated probe on the DATRON neo.

Probing is the next step in the CNC workflow when using DATRON neo.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 6: Probing

DATRON neo will automatically place probing points based on the operator’s drawing. These points can be easily moved as the operator sees fit.

DATRON neo's probe field can be set and moved using a finger on the touchscreen.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 7: Probe Field Adjustment

Another option that the DATRON neo operator has, is to move the probe points individually and manually set the parameters to avoid any special features, all by touch.

Milling parameters can be input automatically or manually as part of the DATRON neo CNC workflow.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 8: Options for Input of Milling Parameters

Once the probe points are to the operators liking, they just hit go.

Hitting GO is the next step in the CNC workflow for DATRON neo.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 9: Hit Go!

The next screen will bring the part into a simulation so the operator can see the tool paths they created and make sure the part is ready to run correctly.

Milling simulation is the next step in CNC workflow for the DATRON neo high speed milling machine.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 10: Simulation

The DATRON neo operator has options on how to view the part to ensure the correct machining file was chosen.

Optional simulation modes as part of DATRON neo CNC workflow.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 11: Simulation Options

After the simulation, the DATRON neo is ready to execute the program.

At this point in the CNC workflow for DATRON neo you execute the program.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 12: Execute Program

Other options can be done on DATRON neo for quick and simple milling. Macros are pre-set on DATRON neo to run pockets, drilling, face milling,  and contours. For quick prototyping, these operations can be done right on the machine without the need to CAM a part.

Optional pocket milling as part of the CNC workflow can be set up easily with DATRON neo.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 13: Set Pocket Mill Parameters

Chip disposal could not be easier. DATRON neo has a removable drawer. Here, clean dry aluminum chips can be vacuumed out. DATRON neo uses a Minimum Quantity Lubricant (MQL) system instead of a traditional flood coolant system.

Chip disposal is easy with DATRON neo's removable chip drawer.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 14: Chip Disposal

With DATRON neo tools can be hand loaded into the machine very easily.

Cutting tools can easily be loaded or replaced in the tool magazine on DATRON neo.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 15: Replace Tools

After the tool is placed, the operator can simply tell  DATRON neo which space and tool were used.

As part of CNC workflow on DATRON neo, tell the machine which tool and space was selected.

DATRON CNC Workflow 16: Tool Assignment

DATRON neo can track tools inside the tool changer, as well as tools in the shop inventory. DATRON neo also has DATRON’s full tool library installed. This makes it a breeze to load tool information.

Loading tool info is easy because DATRON neo trachs tool changes in the magazine and references the DATRON tool library.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 17: Tool Tracking/Inventory

DATRON neo can accommodate two vacuum tables and each can be operated independently. Also, DATRON can provide a sacrificial card that is air-permeable. This allows for parts to be cookie cut without milling into the table.

Integrated vacuum chuck workholding can be used with DATRON neo.

DATRON neo CNC Workholding 18: Vacuum Table

DATRON neo has vacuum port controls at the front of the machine to easily turn the vacuum tables on and off. This type of workholding is a great option for flat parts. When using the vacuum table, parts do not need to be perfectly aligned because you can use the probe to locate parts and their rotation will be compensated for automatically.

Vacuum controls on the DATRON neo allow you to control each vacuum segment independently.

DATRON neo CNC Workflow 19: Vacuum Controls

There are a host of other accessories available for DATRON neo including a dust extraction head and pneumatic clamping. Please let Datron know if you would like further information on these items.


High-Speed CNC machining is more than 60,000 RPM spindle-speed. When you’re making small or complex parts, you need speed and precision at every stage. DATRON AG engineers didn’t just invent a faster, more precise CNC machine. They re-interpreted and optimized your entire machining workflow from start to finish.

About the Author

Kevin Flanagan is a Regional Sales Manager representing DATRON on the west coast. He has consulted some of Silicon Valley’s most renowned manufacturers on the implementation of custom-configured production solutions that have successfully met their specific needs and manufacturing challenges.

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