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Messages - birdbrain

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1
Thanks guys, that's a big help.  :)

The VB codes work just fine. All I need to do is put a SwapAxis macro at the start of the g-code file and a ResetAxisSwap macro at the end of the same file. This is really great as it saves me a lot of time.
If I wanted to add some scaling factor to the rotary axis (after the "SwapAxis(1,3)" line in the macro) what would I add to the macro?

Oh yeah... I have a copy of CNCwrapper but it doesn't like my G-code files. They are generated by CamBam and have lots of G2/G3 movements. CNCwrapper can't handle G2/G3. I also had an issue with CNCwrapper where I couldn't get it to run on my WinXP French PC and needed to run it in a Windows XP English emulator  ???.

2
I have made a new mach3 mill profile (called Mill_XAZ) as a clone of my original profile (caled Mill_XYZ). The new profile is so that I can mill easily on tube surfaces. The profiles are both for the same mill and nothing is changed on the mill.
The main difference betwen the 2 profiles is that in Mill_XAZ, I have swaped the motor outputs betwen Y and A axis. There will also be scaling of A axis when I have calculated it.
With the new profile, I can now run g-code written for XYZ with the machine using the rotary axis in place of the Y axis.
How can I get both profiles to share the same offset and tool tables? This is important because if I change a work offset or a tool, I need the change to be exactly the same in both profiles.

3
General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 21, 2009, 11:55:32 AM »
Fair comment Gerry but its hardly hours is it? modifying your Y axis steps per and step and dir pin numbers should take about a minute at a push. You then save as a separate profile. One for linear Y one for rotary Y - job done and down the bar with your $20....

Thanks, Stirling. That's what I want to do.
How do I get Mach3 to save and load different profiles??

4
General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 21, 2009, 10:32:35 AM »
If replacing Y with A in the code doesn't work because Mach doesn't like doing G2/G3 in the "XA" plane then just swap the settings in ports n pins so that the rotary axis is Y. As far as aspect ratio is concerned - that's what I meant above by get the steps per right.

Cheers

Ian

Would it be possible to change the port configuration automatically from within a g-code file, perhaps by running a macro or a vb script?

5
General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 20, 2009, 02:17:36 PM »
Would this work?
Take an existing g-code file and change it from cutting on the XY axis to cutting on the XA axis by replacing references to the "Y" axis with "A".
The A axis is rotational. It wraps around the X axis in place of linear Y axis.

e.g.
before replacing "Y" with "A",
G0 X10 Y10
G2 G91 X2 Y2 R3 F100

afer replacing "Y" with "A",
G0 X10 A10
G2 G91 X2 A2 R3 F100

Of course, I know that there will be scaling needed on the A axis. The point that I would like to know about is whether G2/G3 code can be used on XA axis as it can be on XY axis.

6
General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 20, 2009, 12:13:12 PM »
why is "special" software needed for wrapping engraving gcode round a cylinder? just swap the Y code to the A code and as long as the steps per are set right - job done. Isn't it?
I have been considering doing this by running a search/replace on the g-code changing all instances of "Y" to "A". The only thing stopping me trying it is that the g-code certainly has G2 and G3 moves. I seem to remember reading in the Mach3 manual that G2/G3 are limited to the XY plane. Would it be OK to have G2/G3 in the XA "plane"?

7
General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 19, 2009, 04:47:38 AM »
Creating g-code from an image file is very inefficient. You might want to convert the image to a vector file first, then convert the vectors to g-code. Could cut your machine time be a factor of 10 or more.
This is a very important point.
I have now bought a really good vector drawing program (serif DrawPlus)http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/software/drawplus/index.asp, it only cost 9.99 GBP for the full version!. Drawplus can save files in the DXF format and they are easily converted to G-code by Lazycam.
I also have D2NC installed and it is really good for making quick wizards. D2NC can also convert Drawplus DXF files to tube wrapped G-code.
So, thanks to all for your advice. I have been able to check out some software that I didn't even know existed.
By the way, CamBam looks like a very useful piece of software. I'm definitely going to install it. Only thing is that it'll take some time to learn how to use it.  ::)

8
General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 17, 2009, 03:14:35 PM »
Cnc Wrapper will be handy when I have managed to make a G-code file from an image.
Does anyone know of a cheap software that can convert an image file (i.e. a logo) into G-code?
I have lazycam but it seams unable to convert any of my images. The images are Fireworks PNG files (they can also be saved as GIF, TIFF or JPG).

9
General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 17, 2009, 01:28:14 PM »
Check out CNCWrapper http://www.cncwrapper.com

Daniel

Hey Thanks Daniel!
That's just what I've been looking for.

10
General Mach Discussion / Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 17, 2009, 10:43:53 AM »
I have a job to do which involves engraving text and logo around the outside of small (20mm) tubes. The engraving would be at a single fixed depth of, say, 0.1mm.
My mill is a K2 clone with a 4th axis (rotational). The rotation is parallel to the Y axis. So, the cutting movements will be on X and A axis( with the plunge on Z axis as usual).
I also have the full version of Lazycam installed. 8)
The logos etc. are graphics files. They can be easily converted between graphics file formats.
How can I do this engraving job without buying additional, expensive software?

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