Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => Mach Screens => Works in progress => Topic started by: MyGarageShop on May 13, 2017, 11:03:18 AM

Title: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: MyGarageShop on May 13, 2017, 11:03:18 AM
I have a mixed background Machinist, Manufacturing Engineer, Robotics and Automation, and 27+ years of software development experience.
I now am semi retired and have a shop in my garage.

Velox CNC Router, with a CandCNC Controller (that I have converted into a Tri-Purpose machine)
   Routing ( with a precision aluminum vacuum table )
   Plasmas Cutting (including a Dual Chamber Water Table which is tucked under the router table )

I was disappointed with the default screens that came with Mach. I also wanted to be able to control all of my CNC support equipment from my gcode (Dust Collector, Vacuum Table, Fume Extractor, Fume Divertor, Plasma Cutter, Laser Crosshairs, etc)
So I wanted to add at least 8 relays to the setup.

Since my run times were 24+ hours I wanted to be able to email status of the system and related information.

I looked at some of the existing offerings and decided that I would create what I now call SmartScreens for Mach 3
I have created about 60% of the Core functionality and have tested it extensively. Now I will continue to finish the balance of the functionality.

My goal was to build intelligence into the screens to make it easy to use, to make them SmartScreens not just screens that look better.
I also wanted to finally have an uncluttered, organized, uniform user interface. I know that you cannot see any of the intelligence from screen shots... I am happy to answer questions, accept constructive criticism, design suggestions, Must Have Features.

Let me know what you think and what functionality is most important to you.

Thank you

I could only attach 4 screenshots so there is more to see
Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: garyhlucas on May 13, 2017, 01:50:51 PM
I have a homebuilt multi-purpose machine as well. It is a vertical and horizontal mill. with a 4th axis, a horizontal and vertical lathe, and a 3d printer. I have air blow off, mist buster coolant, and shop vac connected.

I really like what I see. It is very clean, well organized, and lots of useful functionality. I'd like learn more about your screen set and what your plans are for it.
Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: MyGarageShop on May 14, 2017, 05:37:14 AM
Thank you, I have put a lot of time and effort into these screens.

I currently finishing some new "Smart" functionality.
The first released version (which is currently my 7th version) will have all of the "Core" functionality, with as much "Smart" functionality as I can cram into it.   
My plan is to make these screens available to a limited number of users (25 or so) at no cost. 
For those who provide the most useful feedback they will receive a license for the finished product at no cost.

What I know for sure is that how I use my equipment is not exactly how others use theirs, I want to understand what is lacking in the "Core" and "Smart" functionality before I add some very "Advanced" functionality.

Up till now my design criteria has come from my own frustration... with how things operate or don't operate.
Also reading the frustration of other users like me in posts dating back 10+ years... With no resolution in site.

I want the users who receive this to really want to provide feedback positive or negative.
For me my hobby is my passion and I want these to be the best that they can be.

Title: I have successfully replaced the Mach 3 Tool and Offset forms
Post by: MyGarageShop on May 18, 2017, 03:50:15 PM
This new feature of SmartScreens will read and Write the standard Mach 3 information.
No import or export required. Our forms read and write existing so they are 100% compatible.

We even corrected so of the "inconsistencies" with the existing forms.
I could be wrong but I do not think any other screen offerings provide this level of integration.

Take a look

Tell me your thoughts
Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: MyGarageShop on May 18, 2017, 04:25:44 PM
Here are screensshots of both forms
Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: MyGarageShop on May 18, 2017, 04:48:26 PM
If you notice our screen recommends that if you use our screens you don't use the standard Mach forms...
We do that because there are some "inconsistencies" that we found when we were investigating how this all works.
Like we said it is 100% compatible, we just think ours is a little better.
Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: MyGarageShop on May 24, 2017, 12:56:19 PM
Here is the Lathe Tool Version of the replacement Tool Grid which is part of the SmartScreen System I developing

It allows me direct access to the information one row at a time or the entire table in both read and write without having to open this grid or the default Mach 3 grid.
This allows me to over come may hurdles in creating a screen set that is New and Different.

I am currently adding the ability to save the Work Offset, Tool and Lathe Tool information to a delimited CSV, or Printable Text file formats

Any thoughts or comments are welcome
Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: RICH on May 24, 2017, 03:36:39 PM
Never mix front and rear tooling in Mach....Rear uses work offset G55.
Also note that the table axis offsets are in radii values irrelevant of the mode you will be operating.

Just some additional comments on lathe geometry outside of the Mach enviroment.
Most CNC programs require additional information for the tooling via a drawing of the tool or providing additional info to avoid gouging when
generating the toolpaths. The programs are similar but different.

Tip orientation is required in Mach3 when using compensation ( not for this dude as manual coding is not done).But the direction can be used to help populate another table for later use if so desired.

Turret orientation and associated angle in degrees.
Tip compensation depending on how touched off tip center or precompenstaed code based on cutting edge.Then you need to cover basic inserts types along with tolerance diameter, etc. Manual sharpened tooling needs to be measured.

Major "to do" in populating the table are x and z offsets, but depending on how touched off / probed, require an easy way to just modify the offsets for drills, reamers, etc.

Thoughts for later on ....., ;)

Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: RICH on May 24, 2017, 03:56:30 PM
adding the ability to save the Work Offset
Consider what for or why?

Are you meaning tool offset?
Work Offset ( G54, G5...... ) is distance from controlled point ( home / referenced ) to stock and have yet to ever need more than 6 offsets. The work offset is used for multiple turning using the same code and offsets for using live tooling when drilling off center or whatever.
Simple one here, my home is always the same as machine coordinate x and z=0 and conveniently also tool change position.
Switches on a lathe are like things on a bull. ;D  But I work different...others may differ in opinion. ::)

Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: MyGarageShop on May 24, 2017, 10:09:23 PM
I agree on the work offset...
I never use more than 3 but...

Mach has the ability to do 253 so I do not want to take away functionality
Besides  writing code for 6 rows is not really different that writing for 253 rows.

I created the spreadsheet screens to make the first 6 or so of everything readily available and with a consistent, uncluttered, easy to use interface. The grids will only be used if you need something more than that.

My setups vary a lot. I am constantly jogging the machine here or there... So I made positions I need ( and I have seen on other posts and screen sets ) they are all in one spot, easy to create, modify, verify and use.
I also have MCodes for the predefined positions so I just post process them out when I do my GCode

Because I have such long run times my parts typically finish in the middle of the night.
So I have a 2 HP Dust Collector, a 7 HP Compressor, a 1 HP Vacuum Table Pump, and a Hypertherm 85 Plasma cutter etc... Running so my electric bill was through the roof. this way I can turn something on when its needed, turn it off when its not. and shut everything down including the virtual computer running Mach and the host computer. Its saving me $55 a month on my electric bill.

An Example of one of my projects

Honestly  I appreciate the information about how differently you use your equipment. That is EXACTLY what I am looking for.
Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: RICH on May 24, 2017, 10:22:53 PM
EMAIL sent to you with comments for YOUR use.

BTW, Some in my family  believe  electric is free as the meter just measures how much they are giving away.
Maybe you should look into getting one of the  new meters.  ::)

Title: Re: SmartScreens for Mach 3
Post by: MyGarageShop on January 13, 2018, 11:59:50 AM
Its ready