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Topics - titchener

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General Mach Discussion / Mach3 tool offset problem
« on: June 09, 2014, 11:28:26 PM »
I'm running Mach 3.042.040 on a 3 axis mill.

I was having a scary situation where sometimes tool offsets I had set weren't getting applied properly and I figured out what is going on.

If you manually use a screen button select to Tool 0 to set its zero reference, tool offsets are turned off as you can see in the Offsets page.

Clicking on the Auto Tool Zero button when another tool is selected by either a button or in a program will then turn Tool Offsets back on.

However if the tool change is selected in the program and offsets are off from previously manually selecting tool 0, they won't be turned back on by the program selection of a tool so a previously set offset for this tool won't be used.

Is this a bug or was it done by design for some reason?

Was it fixed in later Mach versions and is there a more stable Mach 3 version than the one I'm running?

General Mach Discussion / How to make Lathe G83 peck run faster
« on: April 02, 2013, 01:03:57 PM »
I've just brought up a lathe using the 0.057 version of Mach and overall its working well.

One issue I'm having though, with the G83 peck drill command I typically set the peck increment to the drill diameter and the retract height to just above the hole so I can clear all the chips and relube the bit, so typically with a 1/2" drill something like the below:

G83 Z-2.0 Q0.5 R0.2

But unlike my Mach mill, the lathe pecks the hole correctly and rapids out to the retract height but then it feeds back down to restart drilling at the current feed rate, rather than rapiding down to just above the restart depth and then going into feed rate. For deep holes this makes drilling pretty slow.

I saw a mention in a forum posting that there is a Mach config setting for this but I can't find it anywhere, is there a way to turn on rapid moves during the peck re-entry?


Paul T.

I've got my new Mach controlled lathe up and running and its working well and thanks for the help from forum members here to get it running.

I've got a nice set of canned macros I wrote for a different lathe that I want to get running on this one.

Unfortunately the tool change format Mach uses for lathes, ie, "T0202 M6" is different than the other lathe.

The macros depend on being able to set a parameter to do the tool change, ie


and then accessing that parameter in a subroutine that makes the tool change to tool 10.

So far efforts to execute something like:


aren't working.

Is there any way I'll be able to do a lathe tool change in a subroutine based on a parameter setting?


Paul T.

I'm uisng Mach3 .057 to get a lathe running.

The lathe has a gang tool holder I made but sometimes I will also use quick change tools on it.

So the plan is for tool numbers less than 10 to have it do an automatic tool change and for tools 10 and greater (the manual tools) have it pause for manual change.

I've got the config option checked for an auto tool changer and I'm trying to put code in m6Start.m1s or m6End.m1s to pause when the tool number is 10 or greater.

I've tried putting the code below in both the m6start and m6end files but it doesn't do the pause.

Does Mach in lathe mode do the tool changes in a different way or are M00 commands ignored in these tool change macros?

If currenttool > 9 Then
Code "M00"
Message "Change to Tool Number " & currenttool
end if


Paul T.

General Mach Discussion / Switch "direction" of an MPG in a macro?
« on: March 14, 2013, 09:53:34 PM »
I'm just getting a Mach3 driven lathe up and so far its working really well.

I have an MPG mounted on the carriage front and have X and Z labeled switches there also. The switches are setup to run .m1s macros that switch the MPG between the X and Z axises and that is working well.

But since I am sharing the same MPG, right now the X macro works the way I want, clockwise moves the tool towards the part like a normal crosslide handle.

However with it set that way, when I select the Z mode thru the macro, clockwise moves the carriage to the left, opposite the way a normal carriage handle works.

Is there a parameter change I can make in the Z macro that will switch the direction of the MPG moves?


Paul T.

I'm bringing up a Mach3 driven lathe using the 057 version. Thanks to some help from the nice guy at PMDX (real nice breakout boards) I've got it 98% working, axis drives are working well, MPG is working on X and Z, spindle speed/direction control is working, E stop and charge pump are working.

I'm using a joy stick connected to an IPAC with keygrabber to generate key codes to do the jogging.

This was actually the first thing I set up and it was working fine at first.

But something I've done in the following setup caused the jogging to stop working. I've double (and triple) checked that keygrabber is seeing the joy stick switch closes and is sending out the correct key codes and they are the ones set in the Mach hotkey config menu.

Also its set to Continous jog and the jog rate has a non-zero number. But no jogging occurs (no change in the axis DRO's either).

Is there some other Mach setting I could have accidentally changed when setting up the other stuff that could have disabled the jogging?


Paul T.

I'm bringing up a Mach3 based lathe and at the point of getting the screen setup the way I want it.

On my Mach3 mill I started with the standard "1024" screen and was able to customize it so that 99% of the time I'm always using just that screen so it was a pretty good starting point.

With the "default" 1024.lset lathe screen I don't feel as good about it as a starting point, it seems pretty far off from what I would like to have.

I'm not very familiar with the "extra" screens available for Mach, is there a different screen that is a better starting point for a lathe?

General Mach Discussion / Problems running Screen4 on XP SP2 machine
« on: March 07, 2013, 08:13:18 PM »
I'm bringing up a Mach3 controlled lathe using an XP machine with SP2 loaded.

Mach3 runs fine on it but I need to tweak the screen and when I try to run Screen4 on the machine it craps out after loading the screen.
It puts up a bunch of error message boxes but they don't have any message in them so I can't tell what wrong.
The machine is pretty stripped down with hardly any other apps on it and screen4 runs fine on my office machine.

I need to be able to run screen4 right on the machine as I need to tweak some of the hotkey settings and so I need to run right on the machine that has the ipac based machine controller on it.

Do I have to put an additional runitime library or dll to allow screen4 to run on the machine?

Ron, as you probably remember I reported this bug quite a while ago and thought it had been fixed, but if it was fixed it creeped back in again. In the 2.74 version of the surfacing wizard, I have the Mist Coolant button selected on, but as the following generated code shows there is no M8 command to turn it on, only a M9 to turn it off at the end. Note that this "no coolant" problem had occurred in several of the other wizards also, so it would be a good idea to check to see if it got back in other ones also.

(Code by Newfangled Wizard, 5/20/2007)
(Program Posted for Aluminum )
G0 G49 G40.1 G17
G80 G50 G90 G98 
G20 (Inch)
(***** Material Surfacing *****)
M03 S1082.3
G00 Z0.1
G00 Z0.1
G00 X-1.7 Y3.25
G01 Z-0.01 F20
G01 X8
G01 Y1
G01 X0
G01 Y-1.25
G01 X8
G0 Z0.1
G0 X0Y4
M5 M9

The toolpath that is generated to do the surfacing also has a problem. This workpiece is 4" wide, 8" long and the zero point is at the lower left hand corner and is selected for this in the wizard. The cutting tool is a 3" diameter face mill and the wizard is set for feed stepover. The first pass makes sense, its at a centerline of Y3.25" which gives the expected 75% overlap of the cutter with the top of the workpiece. The second pass then occurs at a centerline of Y1, which makes sense as the cutter is moved over for another 75% overlap with the uncut part of the workpiece. Since the cutter is 3" in diameter, this means the cutter overhangs the bottom of the workpiece by .25", so after the pass the surface cut is complete.

However for some reason, an additional cut is made with a centerline of Y-1.25, making a .25" overlap cut on the bottom of the workpiece which is unnecessary since this part has been cut already.


Paul Titchener

Newfangled Solutions Mach3 Wizards / Bugs in NewFangled Wizards
« on: February 11, 2007, 09:31:56 PM »
I saw the mention of the PowerFeed wizard and was encouraged to see there was some activity to improve the wizards. Here's some bugs I posted a while ago that never got fixed:

In addition to the bugs listed below it appears that in the slotting wizard the spindle doesn't get turned on. I beleive the problem below mentioned with the coolant not getting turned on is present in several (if not all) of the wizards.

Paul T.


The Wizards are still giving me 2 problems, when I click on the Flood
Cooling option there's no M8 placed in the resultant G code to turn
on the coolant (there is an M9 at the end turning it off though).

Also with the Surfacing wizard, the Traverse height comes out wrong
as shown in the previous post below. By necessity I have to run my
quill pretty close to the limit, so having the traverse height come
out higher than the specified setting causes me problems.


Paul T.

> Brian-
> For the code generated below, the material was set at 0.000", the
> Rapid Height at 0.1", and both the Depth and Step size were set at
> 0.010", but as shown in the code, in the later parts it uses a
> height of .11", not the expected .1" over the 0.0" material top.
> Thanks,
> Paul T.
> > > (Program Posted for Aluminum )
> > > G0 G49 G40.1 G17
> > > G80 G50 G90 G98
> > > G20 (Inch)
> > > (***** Material Surfacing *****)
> > > M03 S4329
> > > G00 Z0.1
> > > G00 Z0.1
> > > G00 X-0.475 Y1.8125
> > > G01 Z-0.01 F30
> > > G01 X5.175 F60
> > > G00 Z0.11
> > > G00 Y1.25
> > > G01 Z-0.01 F30
> > > G01 X-0.475 F60
> > > G00 Z0.11
> > > G00 Y0.6875
> > > G01 Z-0.01 F30
> > > G01 X5.175 F60
> > > G00 Z0.11
> > > G00 Y0.125
> > > G01 Z-0.01 F30
> > > G01 X-0.475 F60
> > > G0 Z0.1
> > > G0 X0Y2
> > > M5 M9
> > > M30

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