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Topics - PapaRubbery

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General Mach Discussion / New to CNCing and Mach3
« on: February 06, 2010, 08:32:28 PM »
Hi all,

My name's Alex and I'm a Neuroscience/Surgery student from Australia. I bought a CNC machine through Ebay to let me custom make some computer components, but also to design different tools for my studies and for work. Also I have architecture friends that could use the CNC for some forms of miniature modelling. I should stress that I am fairly up to date with computers, but CNCing I think is beyond me. It's also out of my reach in terms of learning and time commitments to get things up and running smoothly unassisted.

So I come to ask for some assistance in getting my machine running, as I've run into some real trouble. I'll describe as best I can the situation and if anyone can assist, I would be greatly in your debt. Here goes;

I’ve managed to install Mach3 and have positioned the Zero of my machine at one end of travel, such that when I hit “GOTO Z” it finds itself at one polar end of travel. What I need it to recognise is it’s software limits. How do I do this? If I click To Go then Soft Limits nothing happens.

Ive also REF ALL HOME as my GOTO Z. Gathering that home should be safe as zero.

The physical limits of travel for the machine is about 600x400x100.

Steps per pulse is set at 200, Velocity is 600, Accel is 300 – Step pulse is 5 us, as is Dir Pulse. Each spindle motor generates 0.03059 G’s. Even though all are set at the same, it believes the dimensions of X is less than Y, which doesn’t make sense as they are the same values on Mach3 – but physically it travels 1.5x more than Y?

So help me please – how do I get Mach3 to recognise its software limits without using hardware switches? And if I have to, is there some form of prebuilt kit I can buy and install?

When I try to use Wizards, it sends itself outside of the Motor Home/Soft Limits, of which screen looks like:

AXIS   Reversed   SoftMax   SoftMin   SlowZone   Home Off   Home Neg   Auto Zero   Speed %
X   YES   0   -340.00   1   0   NO   YES   20
Y   YES   0   -650   1   0   NO   YES   20
Z   YES   0   -135   1   0   NO   YES   20

With G28 Home Location Coordinates set at 0 for XYZ

Yeah, so it’s not working because it’s not recognising it’s own dimensions – and I can jog it past those Software limits if I want, and no warnings or anything come up.

If Mach3 is too difficult – is there any other more simple software?  Otherwise what am I doing wrong? I followed the install guide from the ArtSoft website (which was amazingly helpful!) but now I’m lost.
I have AutoCAD freeware software that I’ve tried to convert into GCode from LazyCAM and import, but again, it just runs itself outside of it’s outer limits.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated – I’m going spare at the moment trying to work this out. The Australian heat and my shed being a hotbox isn’t exactly helping!

Regards,

Alex

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