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Messages - RandomCheese

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach3 Gcode Manual
« on: September 15, 2011, 09:23:31 AM »
Thanks, That's a great resource.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Wizards - Missing Background Images
« on: August 01, 2011, 04:45:18 PM »
I've noticed that occasionally the back ground image for a wizard will not load if I access it through the "last wizard" short cut. 

General Mach Discussion / Re: fixture specific soft limits
« on: June 13, 2011, 06:07:29 PM »
So far, I've been generating code using the write wizard.  I've also run some tests using stickfont but I haven't found it to be substantially better for my needs than the included write wizard.  My needs are quite simple: text in a specified area.

The concept of a switch that checks the Gcode against the limits of a designated tag sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.  Unfortunately, everything I know about writing Gcode could be painlessly engraved in large block letters on my thumbnail.

I started this project off lookiing for a pantograph.  The Chinese mill and dedicated computer was much cheaper and quite a bit more versatile.  Unfortunately, when it comes to training someone to use it, that versatility translates directly into complexity and that makes training tricky.

General Mach Discussion / Re: fixture specific soft limits
« on: June 09, 2011, 03:23:21 PM »
I don't think I expressed myself clearly.  The fixture locations are marked and programmed.  if the operator can't tell that he/she is at the right fixture, then there's no hope for them.   :)  I'm looking for a way to let them know that the program they've loaded won't fit the fixture they've selected.

The usable table size is quite small, 7.5" X 13.5".   These are set into the "soft limit" locations as there are no safeties on the mill at all.    Each tag-holding depression has a specific fixture setting that denotes the lower left hand corner of the tag as a starting point for that particular tag.  There are currently three fixtures programmed but there is room for and plans to create more.

ex:  Fixture #2 is a 1" X 3" rectangular tag depression .07" deep.  The offset is Xo .5 Yo 1.5 Zo -.355.  What I'd like is the ability to have the program warn me if I try to load G-code that falls outside of X 0.5 to 3.5, Y 1.5 to 2.5, and Z -0.425 when the offsets for fixture #2 are in place.  Fixture #3 is a complex shaped depression 1.75" at its widest point and 2.25" at its longest point, also .07" deep.  The engraveable portion of the tag is approximately 1" x 1.5".  the offset for fixture #3 is Xo .25, Yo 3.25, Zo -.355.  When Fixture #3 is selected/loaded, I'd like a warning if the programmed Gcode falls outside of X 0.25 to 1.75, Y 3.25 to 4.25 and Z -0.425.

Currently, the softlimit warning is only generated if the code compiled exceeds X 0 to 7.5" or Y 0 to 13.5"

General Mach Discussion / fixture specific soft limits
« on: June 07, 2011, 12:19:22 PM »
I am using a small table CNC to make tags for the company I work for.  We have three basic sizes of tag and I have made a single fixture with depressions sized and shaped to hold the tags while they are being engraved.  It works fairly well.  Each location is stored as a separate fixture in the Mill profile (i.e. Fixture 2: G55, Fixture 3: G56, etc.) so this gives me a specific start point for the three most common tag styles we use.  I have to verify that the G-code maximums fall within the designated area for the tags to avoid running the tool into the side of the fixture each time I load a file.  This doesn't take much time and as long as I remember what the dimensions of the tags are, I'm OK.  Next step is to train someone else to use the machine and engrave the tags and I'm less confident in that person's attention to detail.  

I was wondering if there is a way to set up the soft limits so that if the programmed G-code exceeded the programmed dimensions of a particular fixture (or tag) Mach3 would warn the operator that the code exceeded the area available for engraving.  Each fixture could/would have it's own subset of softlimits within the larger set of overall table softlimits.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Write Wizard
« on: May 31, 2011, 01:24:12 PM »
Is there a setting in the "Write Wizard" that sets the end of the G-code to return to zero?  Currently, I'm adding a couple of lines of code to the g-code to stop the spindle and return the tool to 0 on all axis but it would be nice if there was a setting somewhere that I'm overlooking that does it automatically.

In that same line of inquiry, the Write Wizard stores the end location of which ever axis I use as a direction of writing.  (I.e. if the text is written along the X axis in the positive direction, the next time I open the write wizard it has stored the end of that operation as the "Xo" start point for my next batch of text while the "Yo" remains as I programmed it.  If the text is written along the positive "Y" axis the "Xo" does not change but the "Yo" does.  It really seems like there is or should be a simple toggle or setting that would solve this, but I have not been able to find it.


Hi all, Just thought I'd drop a line and introduce myself.  I've already asked a couple of N00b questions in the general forum and received prompt, accurate and helpful replies.

When I started looking for an engraving machine, I had in mind a pantograph style device. (One aspect of a project at work requires more than 1300 engraved tags.) But I soon found that I could get a small CNC machine that was much less expensive and would do everything I needed and a lot more.  I've had the machine and the Mach3 software for a little over a week now and I've started turning out the engraved tags that were the reason why I purchased the whole thing in the first place.  But now I find myself interested in the possibilities that a small CNC machine opens up and wondering how else I can use it. 

This forum is full of amazing projects and very clever ideas.  Even though the majority of my use will be plain old boring tags, I'm sure I can work in some creative ways to use my new toy ... tool...  I mean Tool!


General Mach Discussion / Re: Text in an arc
« on: April 28, 2011, 03:16:31 PM »
That works very well.  Thank you.

General Mach Discussion / Text in an arc
« on: April 28, 2011, 11:32:01 AM »
Is there a way to combine the "Cut Arc" wizard and the "Write Wizard" so that you can engrave text on an arc?  If not, is there another wizard out there that accomplishes this same function?

General Mach Discussion / Re: Write Wizard
« on: April 25, 2011, 08:45:17 PM »
That was it!  Thank you very much!

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