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Messages - mechfx

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General Mach Discussion / Re: CNC plasma wont cut in a straight line
« on: December 19, 2017, 07:42:11 PM »
Still nothing obvious,  sorry....

can you tell if it is effecting 1 axis only ?

try cutting/drawing some horizontal lines and then vertical lines separately, so only 1 axis is in use at a time.

I'm sure you have checked for mechanical "slack" in the system? and the floating head mechanism ?

bearings ? gantry is at 90 degrees to the long axis ( not crabbing as mentioned earlier)


General Mach Discussion / Re: CNC plasma wont cut in a straight line
« on: December 19, 2017, 03:28:27 PM »
Can you post a copy of the GCode for the cut you have posted the picture of.

Also what velocity and acceleration are the motors set at.

after you run the cut, if you press GO TO ZERO , does it return to the same zero position (this will show if you are losing steps )

trying to eliminate the options...


General Mach Discussion / Re: CNC plasma wont cut in a straight line
« on: December 01, 2017, 07:42:39 AM »
At a guess , If it is drawing a straight line without the plasma being on, and wobbly lines when it is, then I'd say that there is a significant electrical interference occurring.

I'd be checking the earth connections, making sure the motor cables are not running parallel to the Plasma torch line or earth lead anywhere.

Is there shielding in the motor cables ?

I'd also try again without the THC switched on. Try and isolate/eliminate one thing at a time.

Note : The proma THC instructions make a point of making sure the earth of the THC board is NOT shared with its power supply earth, it must be common with the computer/table earth.

trying to help,

General Mach Discussion / Re: CNC plasma wont cut in a straight line
« on: November 30, 2017, 11:03:28 PM »
If you connect a marker pen to the torch head, turn the plasma machine off, run the program, does the machine draw a straight line ?

General Mach Discussion / Proma THC success , question about resetting zero
« on: November 30, 2017, 06:21:30 AM »
Hi, Have Mach 3 running a plasma cutter via Smoothstepper Ethernet card and Proma THC.

Everything is working well.     except... this is happening..

If I am doing multiple cuts in a program , cutting out the letters of a word for example.

the Torchhead is crashing into heat buckled sheet , as it moves between cut sequences.

my procedure is -

manually set z-axis Zero.

run program , plasma starts, z axis moves to pierce height , thc adjusts height during first cut as material warps with heat.

program commands plasma off.

Head raises to safe travel height , moves to next pierce point.

Machine then attempts to drive down to the originally set pierce height when the sheet was flat.

As the material has warped (higher of course) this is now the incorrect height.

Z-axis either stalls out or plasma fails to fire because it is in contact with the workpiece.

Is there a way of automatically re-zeroing after each cut by the amount of the THC adjustment ?

Or am I missing something obvious ?




General Mach Discussion / New Computer port address issue
« on: November 08, 2017, 06:00:49 AM »
Hi all,
Just upgraded to a new computer since a hard drive fail. hence no old XML or custom screen files.
Running Mach 3 on a 3 axis plasma table. Windows XP.
New computer didn't have a parallel port so running a card.
I didn't install the previous system so I am slowly learning what is required to make it work again.
I have managed to get the table running but the x axis is now outputting through the z channel and there is no z axis output anywhere.
I read the port address via the device manager.
E stop and plasma trigger relay output seem to be working.
All cabling and motors are working (I swapped them to a channel that was operating and they responded correctly)

Can anyone guide me where to look next ?

SmoothStepper USB / Smooth Stepper does NOT support THC for Plasma
« on: November 26, 2013, 10:35:04 PM »
After a lot of messing around I have discovered through the SS forum that THC is NOT supported with the USB-parallel port card.

The THC board I am using is getting the signal all the way back to MAch3 OK but there is no connection between the Up and Down indication on screen and the signal to the Z-axis to raise and lower.

Can anyone think of a macro or subroutine that could "read" the signal that the on screen indicator is reading and link it somehow to a hotkey or similar to allow mach3 to raise/lower the Z axis on the run ? I am no expert in this area

I already have a hotkey set up on the pendant that can drive the z-axis on the run.



General Mach Discussion / Re: Limit - Homing Problem
« on: September 25, 2012, 11:45:16 AM »
Had the same problem and this solution worked 100% for me.

X axis worked fine, y axis was the problem. The Y axis home switch wiring runs alongside the stepper motor wires along the gantry (Plasma Machine).
Classic recipe for induced noise.

Sorted... Thanks


If you set the pause time after the pierce to 60 seconds (i did this by mistake).
then as soon as the plasma stream is established if  you press Cycle start again(Alt S) then the sequence will continue to the next line of code and carry on.

I've found this handy if you are having problems establishing a cut start in heavier materials and dont want the cutting to continue untill a healthy pierced hole is established.

down side is you have to do it for each start point and pay attention....

General Mach Discussion / Re: Jogging Z axis while machine is cutting
« on: June 12, 2008, 07:17:48 PM »
Re post 9 from Wolfram

Go the settings page (alt 6) in the lower middle right hand side change the THC max and THC min values .

Do not change the other THC settings on this page.

I discovered this after I had paid for an MP1000 THC controller, which now I dont really need..... Ouch... 

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