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Topics - Chris.Botha

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Bought a 5 axis minitech, been getting her up and running in my spare time.

first cur from her yesterday, 60mm across diameter, 8 hours cut.. pathed with deskproto and even at 1200mm/min i was seeing sustained 150mm actual..
going to try recut using my RhinoCam copy and arcfit the path, see if i can sustain a higher feedrate.

General Mach Discussion / Altering a Macro Help please.
« on: November 07, 2014, 05:04:02 AM »
Hey All,

Need some help from the code junkies please.. I have an existing macro that does my homing and a tool pro be for me.  it runs like so:

Z, Y, X then Probe.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQVm4YjLM3E

I have since upgrade to a 5th axis, and I need to home A and B as well..


B = no issue as it cannot crash anything//

A = Issues..

then script will need to run as follows now:

action sequence:

1. Home Z: then Move Z to a safe distance. (say 10mm down from home switch)

2. Home X: then Move it to Fixture 1(g54) X0  (XYZ share one input signal, I have to move off the switch for next axis homing run)

3. Home Z: then move it to Fixture 1(g54) Y0  (XYZ share one input signal, I have to move off the switch for next axis homing run)

4: Home B:

5: Home A: then move A to -A45

6: Probe Tool: (note Z MUST stay at same height until its directly over tool probe before going Down Z.

7: Return to the safe Z (10mm below Z probe) over X0andY0

So! Most of the code already exists, and the tool probe position is programmed via my interface so all I need added are the A and B bits..

Any help appreciated folks!

(here is the current standing of my build, jsut about ready to start making noise!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQVm4YjLM3E)

and attached is the current Macro. (adding it as file because code is being converted into smiley characters by forum)

HomSigY = IsActive(5)
HomSigZ = IsActive(8)
Xreferd = GetLED(7)
Yreferd = GetLED(8)
Zreferd = GetLED(9)

If HomSigX Or HomSigY Or HomSigZ = True Then
        MsgBox("Home switch active...please deactivate before tool change.")
        Exit Sub
End If

If Xreferd Or Yreferd Or Zreferd = True Then
        MsgBox("Axis not referenced...please home all first.")
        Exit Sub    
End If


SoftState = GetOEMLED(815)
If SoftState = True Then
DoOEMButton (119)
End If

WorkUnits = GetOEMLED(801)
If WorkUnits = True Then
code "G21"
End If

While IsMoving()
Sleep 100

xTSensPos = GetUserDRO(1200)                
yTSensPos = GetUserDRO(1201)                
code "G00"                        
code "G53X" & xTSensPos & "Y" & yTSensPos      
While IsMoving()
Sleep 100

SensGapPos = GetUserDRO(1203)
code "G00"
code "G53Z" & SensGapPos
While IsMoving()
Sleep 100

zTSensPos = GetUserDRO(1202)
SensSpeed = GetUserDRO(1204)
code "G31Z" & zTSensPos & "F" & SensSpeed
While IsMoving()
Sleep 100


Select Case CurrFixture
Case 2
     ProgXZero = GetUserDRO(1209)
     ProgYZero = GetUserDRO(1210)
     ZtoProbe = GetUserDRO(1212)
Case 3
     ProgXZero = GetUserDRO(1213)
     ProgYZero = GetUserDRO(1214)
     ZtoProbe = GetUserDRO(1216)
Case Else
     ProgXZero = GetUserDRO(1205)
     ProgYZero = GetUserDRO(1206)
     ZtoProbe = GetUserDRO(1208)
End Select


code "G00"
While IsMoving()
Sleep 100

code "G00"
code "G53Y" & ProgYZero & "G53X" & ProgXZero
While IsMoving()
Sleep 100

If GetUserLED(1001)= 1 Then
DoOEMButton (119)
End If

If GetUserLED(1002)= 1 Then
code "G20"
End If

Hey duders..

been a while.. i finally sold my lame-ass mdx-15.. then typically just after i sold it I started to need touch probing..   >:( :o

Someone posted a probe video on 3dcadjewelry


which looks like it could do the job? It is running on mach, so will this have the resolution i need? 0.1mm (thats 0.004th for you yankeedoodles stuck in the 18th century..

i would double that at 0.05mm (0.002) but i will settle at 0.1

anyone have info on this? What probe is it, is it good enough, is there better (but still affordable)

(i did try search but info is sporadic and broken up, maybe i was using my "man eyes" as my wife says, if a cohesive thread on this exists, my apologies)

my googling turned up this.. interesting looking project..


he is achieving 0.15mm but so slow I would die of old age before an average scan was done...


General Mach Discussion / Zero an axis from G-Code...
« on: July 23, 2010, 11:32:06 PM »
Guys I am a little stuck here..

I am cutting a job with massive paths.. from two sides of a ring in my rotary unit, the ring being symmetrical.

SO this means when i go to 180 to cut the other side i have to

1: regenerate all paths to reflect he change in A from 0 to 180 (plus indexed offsets etc) (4 hours more pathing)
2: physically be there , manually roll A to 180, zero it out in mach then rerun the same paths

Now... it strikes me that i can automate this by rolling to 180 once my paths are done, then somehow from gcode or macro zero out the A axis so it is at 0 degrees in mach whilst its actually still at 180 on the mill, then just copy and paste my paths.


Thanks :

Tangent Corner / making a snail...
« on: February 25, 2010, 05:01:37 AM »
this came up on another forum.. the technical detail on making a snail..

after my first solution was not acceptable...

i then supplied following advice ;)

ok. i have been thinking about this. and im ready to tell you the secret of how to make a snail....

first.. the daddy snail goes out trolling the pubs and hooks up with a cute little shedevil snail.. they hang around
together and are groovy happening couple.. then one day the mommy snail tells the daddy snail that she forgot to take her birth control and the daddy snail had best sell his Harley and buy a family wagon..

The daddy snail works two jobs and has no friends left by the time the miracle of birth produces the baby snail... the mommy snails body gets shot to hell and her sex drive becomes non existent...

And basically thats it.. A snail is made.

(I tried to explain the fertilization ritual as well but its too complex.. here is a pic instead)

General Mach Discussion / MACH3 to EMC2
« on: February 01, 2010, 03:12:10 PM »
Hi all. Im poking a stick at EMC2 just for kicks. Im not regged on their forums yet as im not ready to give this 100% attention but i have seen many familiar names from here over there.. so... im looking for some info on the easiest way to "copy" my mach config to an EMC one. any easy way to do this? Im sure it must have come up before and since I believe Mach has its roots with EMC it must be fairly similar. I tried running the wizard but they numbers are all different, and the way they ask for them are in differently calculated methods.

Any help appreciated.

Share Your GCode / Profiling plastic sheet
« on: September 19, 2009, 11:05:47 PM »
hey guys..

I am trying to cut stencils on my mill.. i setup a flat area, 400mmx400mm and affix the plastic sheeting to the acrylic table with double sided tape.

everythign works great but i am having nightmares finding cutters and speds that will work ok.

I tried a profile cutter, a pyramid and ever a tapered ballend, all with the same result, a rough melted edge. My spindle cannot go slower than 5K RPM and i cannot chase faster than 780mm/min for now.

the cuts are very shallow, 0.55mm to 0.65mm max so i set it to cut through to about 0.8mm since under the plastic sheeting is just more acrylic anyhow.

I tried "up" cutting and "down" and up yielded better results.

Is anyone else here cutting plastic sheet that can give em a poke in the right directions.

Attaching gcode im trying to cut. The stencil is to be used for spray painting. this is jsut a sample design.

maybe i need to be looking at a drag cutter rather than a cuttintg tool in the spindle?

General Mach Discussion / Do i need a bigger pc for mach..
« on: September 02, 2009, 05:26:02 AM »
I am runnign a P4 3.2ghz Intel HT with 1GB of ram with XP pro, minimal install.. it idles on 169mb of ram.

I have had an issue from time to time where mach will freeze up especially if my toolpath display is on.. today i had a real kicker, im using new pathing software that outputs my usual 4 to 10mb files as about 48mb nc files per side, plus 10mb for rotary, so 48+48+10 106mb path total, but only loaded as one piece at a tiem in mach..

Mach cut really badly.. like it was hoppig and skipping. jittering.. and twice it cut right throug my models, once the A axis starteed turning in code that never calls A once.

The code itself is kosher.. smaller files, IE same fiels pathed with larger stepovers, resulting in smaller filesizes work fine.. so is there some limit where mach runs out of steam with nc files?

after crash 2 i loaded the file again and checks resopurces, mach was using 577mb of ram.. Os 169mb so that should leave me with ample free?

A suggestion i was given to overcome this issue was to change my lookahead? that didnt help.

Roland users cuttign the exact same paths dont experience these issues and they cut from machines far smalller than this? I have been told that they have onboard eproms to buffer code etc.. I think i have asked this elsewhere but will a smoothstepper help in this case?

any clues guys?

Tangent Corner / ever feel like this...
« on: August 28, 2009, 05:46:48 AM »

General Mach Discussion / Not Beef Jerky.. Just Jerky...
« on: August 24, 2009, 05:32:21 AM »
Hello all...

I have picked up a problem which is neither a mill bug nor a Mach bug but an "Understanding Bug"..

i notice that at about 700mm/min and up I get severe vibration running through my setup, to the extent that i can visibly see my Z column shaking.. My first port of call suggested i break open the coling fins on my controllers and tune my motors with the two purple pots in there to take away the  "harmonic???" ...

having further discussed this issue with Jack, my maufacturer we ascertained that i can rapid at 1150mm/min with no vibration at all...


I only get this vibration when i output a path at those speeds with big tools with big steopvers  (yes even if im only cutting air)..  I can actualy jog at faster speeds perfectly smoothly...  Changing velocity and acceleration change overall zippiness but it stays the same issue once I start cutting a path)

Now.. Jack is a smart and easygoing guy, basically a GREAT guy.. he has suggested that I change the CV (constant velocity)  value away from its current 0.06 to 0.5 and test that rather than start poking around with the pots under the hood...  Jack is a real busy guy and i felt bad asking him to explain to my why this course of action would help...

anyone care to enlighten me? had similar issues?

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