Now offering Mach4-Hobby
We have released Mach4 Hobby. Check the availability of a motion control plugin for your device before buying.
Motion Control: 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. Currently the Parallel Port (legacy license required), Vital Systems, and PMDX have plugin’s available for motion control.
Mach4 Information: Mach4 is our newest version of CNC motion control software. While the core software is completed, it will take time to complete all of 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.
The Demo is found on our main Download Page. The purpose of this Demo is to give users a chance to test Mach4.
- The current version is for
- 3 Axis Mills and Routers
- Getting a feel of Mach4
- Testing the Screen Designer
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\.
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.
The plugins you may need to upgrade a system may not be available and may require the purchase of new hardware. Hardware plugins (drivers) are created and supplied by the hardware manufacturer. Mach3 drivers and code are Not compatible with Mach4.
- Install the Demo on the Actual Machine it will be used
- Run the demo and go to the Help/about screen in Mach4
- Use the PC ID code from the Help/About screen at checkout to license this single computer
The license is linked to a specific PC, requiring a different code for each PC. Use the ‘About’ screen, accessed by the ‘Help’ menu to get the PC code. You must have this exact PC code from the actual PC you wish to license and generate G-code. To obtain your license key, Click the ‘copy ID to Clipboard’ button in the ‘about’ dialog box when running the software in demo mode and paste this ID number in the appropriate location on the website when purchasing your license.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The LICENSE will only work for the Computer for which you supplied the PC ID. Each PC has a unique ID code and the license works in coordination with this code.
If you upgrade or exchange your PC, it will be necessary to contact licensing for a replacement.
Mach4 Recommended Requirements:PREFERRED: 32 or 64-bit Laptop or Desktop – Using an External Motion Controller
- Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8
- An appropriate external motion controller
- Mach4 Plugin for the selected Motion Controller
- 2Ghz CPU
- 1GB RAM
- Video Card with 256MB RAM(Large G-code files, especially 3D files will require a video card with 512MB RAM or higher)
*Use of Parallel Port for machine control only with desktop style computers with 32-bit versions of windows 7 and below.32-bit Desktop – Parallel Port Recommended Requirements
- 32-bit version of Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
- Mach4 Parallel Port Legacy Plugin (cost applicable)
- 2Ghz CPU
- 1GB RAM
- Non-integrated Video Card with 256MB RAM(Large G-code files, especially 3D files will require a video card with 512MB RAM or higher)
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 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
- Multiple heads, machines and processes to produce complex parts.
- Pre-change tool changers
- Robotic Loaders
- Torch height manual compensation control
- 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…
- View, rotate, pan, and scale the tool path quickly and easily to ensure G-code is creating the path you expect.
- 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 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.