Mach4

Product_Mach4

MACH4 Demo Released!

We have released a Demo version of Mach4 Hobby. This Demo does Not include motion control.

About the Demo: The purpose of this Demo is to give users a look at Mach4 Hobby and the ability to test the screen designer. The screen designer will be nearly identical in all versions of Mach4 and this version allows for the layout of GUI’s. Scripting examples will be included in the next Demo. Many Motion control plug-ins (software driver for motion control boards) are not 100% complete. We are working with many different groups to help them complete and test their plug-ins for Mach4. A version with motion control will be released depending on the time to make improvements from the feedback received from this version.

Mach4 Information: Mach4 is our newest version of CNC motion control software. While the core software is completed, it will take time to complete the software plug-ins that allow Mach4 to communicate with specific hardware devices. OEM’s and equipment manufacturers that have committed resources to developing their software plug-ins, will be the first to take advantage of Mach4’s benefits. Much of the development of the plug-ins is completed by the manufacturer of the hardware.

For this reason, Mach3 will continue to be sold for a year or more, while the number of compatible hardware devices is expanded through plug-in development.

Mach4 is completely new software and has less than 1% of the programming code in common with Mach3. It was written from the ground up to be expandable, flexible, and extremely responsive for use with very large files on any operating system; including Windows, Apple, and Linux. While there was only one version of Mach3, Mach4 will be offered in different versions (not including the many customized OEM versions).

Please read the tabs below for more information.

Screen Shots of the Standard Mach4 Hobby User Interface. Tab controls are used in Mach4 to switch quickly between different screens. Users may modify the standard screen or create a new tab that contains the buttons, graphics, and indicators they need.

Mach4L_Screen

Hobby Demo

The purpose of this Demo is to give users a look at Mach4 Hobby. It will not control the motion of motors.

- The current test version is for

  • 3 Axis Mills and Routers
  • Simulated Motion Control
  • Getting a feel of Mach4
  • Testing the Screen Designer
  • Beginning to understand the major differences between Mach3 and Mach4

Supporting Documents: After you have installed Mach4, you can find a configuration and a gcode manual in the directory where you installed Mach4.  The normal location is C:\Mach4Hobby\Docs\.

Support: No support is currently offered for this version. It is simply a release for users to play with Mach4. As always, we welcome constructive feedback in the user forum.

From Mach3 to Mach4: Mach4 is completely new! Our test users have said, “This is completely different, it is not just like Mach3.” ~ Yes, this is new and there will be a learning curve. The differences are what make the improvements possible. We cannot stress this enough: Mach4 is a completely new software package. It is faster, more responsive, and provides a platform for expansion, modification, and new features. The changes requested by some Mach3 users were simply not able to be completed because of limitations in the Mach3 code. Mach4 is our response to the limitations and requested changes for Mach3.

Modular Design

Mach4’s modular design allows features to be added and removed without affecting the systems operation. This aspect greatly enhances the flexibility for different applications, machines and uses.

- Different modules of the core can be removed, added, or created to create a custom software package for OEM’s, re-sellers, and educational organizations.

- Everything is customizable, Make the software your Own

  • Create Proprietary add-ons for your version
  • Custom Installers
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD) with our Screen Design Mode
  • Increase or decrease functionality with Plug Ins and Add-ons
  • Customizable M Codes for Machine Specific Functions

- No fixed amount of IO

  • IO registered to system without any software interference between devices.

Mach4 Motion

Mach4 can control CNC machinery, PLC equipment, and robotics. The core is a full featured ‘brain’ that ensures all input and output devices are coordinated with motion.

- All Motion control calculated in the core = less dependence on hardware and associated software driver.

- Motion Device Drivers (Plug Ins) have standard format = common level of functionality between components, less complexity, easier and less costly to troubleshoot and support.

Motion Control at the Core:

All motion control calculations are completed in the core. Mach4’s core adapts to the speed (frequency) of the motion controllers attached. Mach3 software relied on the hardware plug-in software and complex buffering schemes to ensure accuracy and coordinated motion. This redesign has several advantages:

- Up to 100x faster response from button click to machine action.

  • Machine hold or speed changes happen as quickly as GUI buttons are selected on the screen.

- Improved Backlash Control & more accurate screw mapping = less jitter and more accurate cuts

Higher quality manual pulse generator (MPG) = very smooth jogging and positioning without lag time.

Some New Features

- Type C (Fanuc) cutter compensation standard in Mach4.
  • More accurate tool path compensation for different size tools
  • Improved Anti-gouging
- Synchronous Motion of up to 6 completely separate coordinate systems (instances) at the same time.
  • Multiple heads, machines and processes to produce complex parts.
- Asynchronous Motion (out of band axis) to control uncoordinated motion.
  • Pre-change tool changers
  • Robotic Loaders
  • Torch height manual compensation control
- Multi-Axis Work Shifts and Head shifts to offset cutting tool path for multiple work piece holders and fixtures.- Remote Control of machinery (IPC)
  • Control or track CNC equipment from a remote location
    • Greatly expanded troubleshooting
    • Track the operation of equipment
  • Link information between other computer applications
    • Excel, etc…
- New Dynamic tool path display
  • View, rotate, pan, and scale the tool path quickly and easily to ensure G-code is creating the path you expect.
- Improved screen layout and easily customizable screen modification tool.
  • Change buttons, displays, and indicators easily, quickly, and on the fly!

Versions / Products

Mach4 Lite – A basic solution with limited support for OEM’s who manufacture small CNC machinery for the consumer market. This software is geared toward 3-axis, desk top machines that are sold with configured, customized software, for a machines specific purpose. Support for this product will be online and in coordination with the OEM. This software will also be integrated into some hardware devices that are connected to PLC’s or CNC controllers. This is not a retail product and does not have a retail price.

Mach4 Hobby – A full featured software version to be marketed toward those interested in using CNC machinery for their own personal /non-business use. End-user support is limited to e-mail and online forums. Add-ons, expandability, and updates will be available. This version is the direct replacement for Mach3. The expected retail price is $200.

Mach4 Industrial – A full featured software version with greatly expanded customer support, including phone support for customers in a manufacturing environment where every second counts. The expected retail price is $1,000 – $2,000 depending on if/how we develop a service contract.

> Because these products are completely new and took extensive development, we are unable to offer an upgrade from Mach3. When Mach4 goes on sale, we will offer it at a discount rate and hope our current customers are able to take advantage of the offer.

*Customized or OEM versions will be offered for each of the products listed above.