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Third party software and hardware support forums. => Newfangled Solutions Mach3 Wizards => Topic started by: Ron Ginger on August 31, 2012, 08:06:44 AM

Title: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on August 31, 2012, 08:06:44 AM
I have been working on the wizards for Mach4. This is a total re-write, using C++ At the present it is a standalone program, but it will become a plug-in to Mach4.

It is great to have the full power of a real programming language to work with and has allowed me to make some interesting improvements. Among the changes:



Below is a screen capture of the main screen.

I will be looking for a limited number of testers son, but I would like some input on a question about depth of cut strategies. I have created a poll in the poll section of this forum. Please look at it and give me your view.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on September 23, 2012, 07:34:47 PM
I have another question I would like to have some input on.

I have added support for either Z strategy- I can equalize the cuts or follow the input exactly.

The current wizard set allows you to string together several basic operations into one gcode program. There is a button that allows you to delete the last operation entered.

Would it be useful to allow a more general edit of the operations? In the simplest case to delete any op, but maybe also to go back and re-enter the values for one of the ops.

Do people use the multiple ops ability? Has anyone used more than 2 or 3 ops in one program?

I now have all the basic ops that the V3 set has, plus the text engrave. What other base ops would be useful? Im thinking about one to cut an ellipse and one for a general polygon.  What else is useful?

Brian expects to have the license code done in the next few days so I can release the first demo version.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Fastest1 on November 12, 2012, 02:25:46 PM
Ron, I was just reading about chaining operations together. Are you telling me that right now in Mach3 with your addon (which I have 2.86) I could say do a pocket in the X/y axis using the wizard generate the code and then generate a code for a hole drilling operation and then copy them together without extensive understanding of G Code? I have always used each operation individually but would enjoy doing a multi op job. Would this allow for tool changes too?
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on November 12, 2012, 06:09:52 PM
Yes, that is exactly how the current NFS wizards work. Aftre each operaton is completed you are returned to the main menu screen where you may select another operation. There is no limit to how many operations can be strung together.

My standard demo is to do a bolt cirlce, followed by a pocket in the center of it, then a circle cutout around it to create a pipe flange, which is a common model part. That can all be saved as one file and reused as needed.

In the V4 wizards there is similar functionality, but even more it allows editing of operations, deleting one, re-arranging them, etc.
Title: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Fastest1 on November 12, 2012, 07:09:18 PM
Wow, I had no idea. That is amazingly useful. I can't wait to go out in the garage and try it.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on November 12, 2012, 09:06:37 PM
I have been wanting to put up more on the V4 wizards, but I have been working on them a lot and have not had time to make screen shots to post.

We have moved them to a strong Job orientation. A job will have certain properties- like Units (mm or in), material, and a couple choices of things like the Z strategy. A NewJob operation always brings up a Tool Select operation, which stays in effect until you select a new tool.

The main screen has a list box showing the job elements, and a right click on the list will let you edit the element, delete it, or move it up or down in the list. This is much greater job control than the Mach3 version.

The main screen also has a large toolpath display, with full interaction to rotate, pan, zoom, etc.

You will be able to save a Job Template and re-open it, make an edit to one or more ops, then re-post the code.

It is really a lot more capable than the V3 product, and it will be offered for Linux, and Mac as well as PC. I am pretty excited about it, and every time I think I can make a release copy Brian comes up with some neat new idea that sends me back to the keyboard.
Title: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Fastest1 on November 13, 2012, 09:00:16 AM
Ron,

   You are talking way over my head. Look how long it took me to realize that I could do multiple operations at 1 time? I was having a good time single op'ing it when I was too lazy to use CAD.

   I do know this, I enjoy the benefits of working with products that achieve the goals I desire and do it well. Your product is 1 of those. Hats off to you and your efforts. In my experiences with the businessmen and women of Mach and CncZone, I have been nothing but impressed.

   In fact I would go further and say, if everyone turned off their divisive TV's and came to sites like these, their confidence in humans would only go up.

                         John
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: mrprecise44 on November 14, 2012, 08:06:17 PM
Hello Ron:

I have a need to use CopyCat to capture the outline of a tiny object, using a Video camera with the crosshairs to trace the outline and save a series of X-Y coordinates.

During a search for "capturing coordinates", I read a post by Greolt, topic 10437.20 HTML, back in 3/11/2009, in which he modified the "CopyCat" screen with the Video screen superimposed to do this very task.
 
Is your current/or future v.4 Wizards program using such a "CopyCat" video type screen?

There are occasions this ability is very useful. My particular application is to get an outline shape of a tiny bronze casting, in order to make a fixture to clamp the object for thread milling.

I am not yet a NF licensee, so have not investigated the latest version.

Thanks,

John
 
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on November 14, 2012, 09:01:02 PM
The V4 wizards do not have a copy cat feature at this time and are not likely to have one with a video screen in the foreseeable future.

sorry,
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: jacmarhal on November 24, 2012, 09:14:00 PM
The ability to delete ANY operation ( instead of "delete last operation") in a string of operations is something that I have been asking for. This would be MOST useful when one is developing a complete program for a part which is still in a design stage without the use of a dedicated CAD/CAM software. Also (perhaps this is not the place to ask), does anyone have any problems cutting a female metric thread in an Imperial machine using the thread mill wizard? I have tried two different methods. Using the machine in inch mode (G20) and inputting converted metric size and pitch to equivalent imperial measurements and setting the machine to metric mode (G21) and letting the wizard do the work. Both methods seem to generate a pitch that is not quite right. I have used the thread mill wizard to generate imperial threads with no issues.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on November 25, 2012, 07:53:41 AM
Beacuse the V4 wizard is being done in C++ I have access to all the normal windows controls- like list boxes, sliders, etc. The program steps show up in a list box, and a right click on an item brings up a popup with Edit, Delete, MoveUp, MoveDown. I also plan to have the ability to save a template file, which can be opened and then edit one or more operations to create new Gcode.

With Brians help we have developed a very good program structure. We can later make specialized wizards. like for Turn or Router fairly quickly.

That thread wizard has always driven me nuts. With all the combinations of left, right, inside, outside, climb, conventional its very hard to keep straight. I have not hear other reports of metric issues, but I will look at it and see if I can find anything.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on December 18, 2012, 09:03:10 PM
Getting close to release now. The video demo is on youtube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK4rbD6C17o

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D70-ViinAjY
Title: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Fastest1 on December 18, 2012, 10:34:35 PM
It looks great!
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: carlboe on February 24, 2013, 06:05:45 PM
Ron
   Mach4  be  able to be installed on computer as a stand alone program?
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on February 24, 2013, 07:07:24 PM
Mach4 will be a standalone program, as will the wizards for mill. Mill wizards are running now even before Mach4 is ready to be released.

There may be more wizards in the future that run as part of Mach4, much like the current Newfangled wizards. Brian showed me a demo of the screen designer and scripting language this week. Its going to be a much more capable system than we had in V3, so I expect a lot of great wizards, but its going to be a while yet- I dont think Mach4 with the full screen designer capability will be out for at least a few more months.

Great things are happening, its hard to wait for them.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: carlboe on February 24, 2013, 07:31:01 PM
Ron

 I have Newfangled wizards for mach3 on my Tormach 1100.  Went I use the Newfangled wizards it says unlicensed wizard.  How do I get a Lic?

Carl B
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on February 24, 2013, 08:57:06 PM
At the top of this page, under the ArtSoft banner you should see a box labeled Purchase. Click tha tbox and down near the bottom of the page that opens will be a purchase button. The wizards are called 'Add ons' and cost $50

You will be sent a license file by email. Save that file then copy it to the folder in which the MAch3.exe file is stored. On standard tormach installs I think that is C:\PCNC

Once the license file is loaded the wizards will save the gcode.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: kevinro on February 26, 2013, 01:43:42 PM
Ron, very much looking forward to the next version.

I have a request for you. The previous version had a few places where depth means depth of cut (drilling), and others where depth meant final Z level (surfacing). It would be VERY useful to label these differently and consistently. For example, in the video, it shows the hole circle panel. The drawing shows Zdepth in drawing form. The input box is labeled Depth and has a negative number. Is the negative number the final Z level? The depth of the drilling? Since it is a negative number, I assume it must be the final Z level?

In my opinion, Depth and Step should never be negative numbers. They should be scalar values. It is a measurement of distance. I am fine with Z levels, I just can't tell which is which and the diagram doesn't match the input boxes.

Thanks so much for your consideration!

Kevin
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on February 26, 2013, 02:54:20 PM
 Zdepth always means the final Z level, based on the current Z zero. It is not a measure from Ztop of work to the bottom of the cut. We did have some debates about this, and it led Todd to re-draw my Z depth screen images in a way we thought was more clear.

I was just using the wizards to make a part for a steam engine model. I thought it would be nice to enter a rectangle length or width as the absolute coordinate of the feature rather than the current length. The real problem I have with things like this is making the GUI clear enough. I could make entries for both forms, but how would I display it in a way guys would understand?
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: kevinro on February 26, 2013, 05:35:05 PM
Zdepth always means the final Z level, based on the current Z zero. It is not a measure from Ztop of work to the bottom of the cut. We did have some debates about this, and it led Todd to re-draw my Z depth screen images in a way we thought was more clear.

I was just using the wizards to make a part for a steam engine model. I thought it would be nice to enter a rectangle length or width as the absolute coordinate of the feature rather than the current length. The real problem I have with things like this is making the GUI clear enough. I could make entries for both forms, but how would I display it in a way guys would understand?

I am also a software guy. I get it. UI is a very subtle artform that many people under appreciate.

I think getting the terminology consistent in the dialogs will go a long way. I fully understand there are numerous ways which can make sense for the specification of the parameters. As long as the drawing is consistent with the form and that all of the forms are consistent, we can work with what makes sense to you.

Having said that, allow me to rationalize a potential change. You have a specification for Zzero in the diagram in the video (bolt circle). You also have a Ztop parameter both in the picture and on the dialog form. So far so good. The picture shows Zdepth, but the dialog shows Depth. Also, looking at the picture, Zdepth is referenced from Ztop, not Zzero, indicating to me that I was supposed to enter the depth of the cut. However, you are saying that Zdepth is always the final Z level, which in the drawing should be referenced from Zzero. This is where the confusing part is.

If I were king of the world, I would change the name Zdepth to Zbottom (which pairs with Ztop), and potentially remove Zzero from the drawing, since it shouldn't be used in the specification of any of the parameters. So the parameters become:

Ztop   (Top level of the cut)
Zbottom (Bottom level of the cut)
Zstep (Step of cut: Always >= 0)

I suppose a Zrapid height should also exist.

Hopefully that made some sort of sense.

Thanks for listening,
Kevin
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: BR549 on February 26, 2013, 07:30:52 PM
There is

Zrapid  ( cleance to move anywhere on the table)
Zclearance  (clearance to move inside of the current operation)
Ztop  ( Top of material)
Z0  ( Z point of origin 0.000)
Zstep (Zstep depth)
Zdepth ( final depth to an operation)

Just a thought, (;-) TP
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on February 26, 2013, 07:43:01 PM
Note that Clearance is not an absolute value, but is a distance measure. One example, when doing a multi-pass pocket it moves up the clearance distance above a cut for the rapid move back to the start for the next pass. Also on the start of a cut it moves down from the rapid height to the clearance distance above the Ztop of material.

All the other values are absolute values based on the current coordinate system.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: BR549 on February 26, 2013, 09:58:33 PM
Clearance AND step are incremental moves and the rest are absolute.

Just a thought, (;-) TP
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on February 27, 2013, 07:18:00 AM
Yes,you are right, I forgot that one.
Title: Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
Post by: Ron Ginger on February 27, 2013, 07:52:29 AM
Lets close this topic and move over to the new section just for the Mill Wizards. http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/board,92.0.html

If I can figure out how Ill write lock this topic.