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Topics - diyengineer

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General Mach Discussion / cnc Optical comparator + mach 3?
« on: February 16, 2015, 06:13:57 PM »
Found a optical comparator that the cnc function has stopped working, but the quadra check 2000 still functions, and the light. The shop was using it manually until they bought a new unit. I was thinking I could convert it to "powered" manual with the job and step function that mach 3 has. Worst case I could use hand wheels, but it got me thinking what else I could do with it. I saw the software centrecam, and even remembered mach 3's video plugin. Haven't seen anyone use mach 3 yet like this. Will load up some pictures of the machine tomorrow.

Specs to my knowledge
Image Orientation
Fully corrected, Full telecentric
Optical working distance
7"/178mm fixed on all magnifications
Profile projection: Built-in 24V/150W collimated tungsten halogen Optional 250W mercury arc Optional surface reflection: 1000W coaxial thru-the-lens system
Screen size
15" (380mm) Ground glass with cross-lines
Work stage
Cast iron, hard plated, 30" x 7" (765mm x 178mm) universal dovetail Optional heavy duty 32.5" x 7.5" (820mm x 190mm) universal dovetail
Weight capacity
150 lbs (70Kg)
Work stage travel
X = 9" (410mm) motorized horizontal travel Optional increase of X-axis = 12"/305 with heavy duty 32.5" x 7.5" table Y = 7" (230mm) motorized vertical travel Optional increase of Y-axis = 8"/205 with heavy duty 32.5" x 7.5" table
Stage Helix
+/- 10 degrees via table pivot with 1 min large format side stage venier
Work stage accuracy
Within +/- 0.004mm + [(L/20).001]
Linear scale resolution
Standard: 0.001mm/.00005” Optional: 0.0005mm/.000020"
+/- 1 Scale count (0.001mm/.00005")
Coated telecentric lenses
Fully Corrected: 10x, 20x, 31.25x, 50x, 62.5x, 100x
Lens Mount
Single lens mount or optional 4 position internal motorized turret
Optical accuracy
Within +/- .10% profile projection or surface reflection
Power requirements
120V or 240V AC, 50/60 Hz, 15 Amp
Net 3050 lbs (1380 kg) Crated 3200lbs (1451 kg)

Post Processors / Mastercam V9 through X5 Mach 3 Post Processor
« on: January 08, 2015, 11:06:35 AM »
Full credit to "LowryIndustries".

To prevent file duplication, and confusion please navigate here to download: http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,18586.0.html

"It's been a long while since I installed it but it works like a champ.  It's a heavily modified Post file for Mach3 and Mastercam where the mill I am running is an older Bridgeport Boss 6.  The post is just about as perfect as you can ask for and I have been using it weekly if not daily for a couple years now without a problem at all.

It should work for all versions of Mastercam V9 and greater.  I am using Mastercam X5.

And the best thing about this Post Processor is it's entirely generic.  It will work on any standard mill.  It supports tool changes, tool heights, tool wear, flood cooling, etc.

Just download the attached file to (on an XP system):
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\shared mcamx5\MILL\Posts  "

Mach Screens / POLL! FAV screen set?
« on: April 12, 2013, 06:39:09 AM »
Don't see a screen set that should be listed let me know, or comment.

General Mach Discussion / Trip Limit, Causes Spindle to rotate!?
« on: April 11, 2013, 02:13:25 AM »
First off i have this:


Inside that machine, it controls the spindle (DC motor (all factory)) with this board:


Just plugged it in, using the .xml mach files that came with the machine off the CD (may be old?) dialed in each axis pretty close, but can't get the spindle to turn on by hitting F5, Manually entering MDI/MDA M3/M4 S1000, etc.

Here is the REALLY ODD part!

When i hit the top Z limit switch, the z axis stops, but my spindle instantly starts to rotate! If i try and continue to jog up, it will jog my spindle?! As soon as i jog down off the limit switch it stop rotating.

Can anyone explain this? The spindle under motor setup is not sharing any pins with the other axes.

Really impressed with this little mill, but i can't believe they didn't supply a decent .XML setup for true plug and play operation.

Earlier today, i hade the parallel port address set wrong, and it was jogging multiple axis (xandY) at the same time in one direction, not allowing them to reverse?
I'm using a PCI parallel port add in card, not using the standard parallel port address. I found the correct address under device manager.

Thanks for the help


General Mach Discussion / cnc4pc.com probe + mach 3 plugin
« on: June 13, 2012, 10:20:27 PM »
So the probe works, and when triggered the digitize light comes on.

What i can't figure out is how to work the digitize wizard.

It gives a Z- command but instead of probing down to my table it goes up and trips my upper limit switch.

can someone give me a crash coursE?

Video P*r*o*b*i*n*g / cnc4pc.com touch probe! Anyone?!
« on: May 15, 2012, 04:24:07 AM »
cnc4pc.com Touch and Tool Probe W 1/4 Shaft.

Anyone used one yet? I have played around with the auto touch off tool in mach but not the touch probe yet. I want to touch a simple object and plot its points, even possibly get that model into solidworks some how.

Any links, code, etc will be great!


I have 2 practically new computers and 1 older computer.

Computer 1: Micro Atx intel motherboard, Intel E1400 2Ghz, Nvidia Quadro 3400, PCI parallel port card. (windows XP)
Computer 2: Mini ITX, Intel motherboard, Intel Atom 1.6Ghz, On board graphics, On board parallel port. (windows 7)
Computer 3: ATX, Intel Motherboard, Pentium 4 1.8Ghz, Nvidia Geforce 6200, On board parallel port. (windows XP)

I would like to run as fast as possible. My Viper drivers are capable of 125Khz max input so i wont max them out. Currently have a smooth stepper running them but wanted to see how the parallel port works for me, and backlash compensation.

Attached are the pictures of each driver test screen shot. The numbers really didn't move much, nor did the graphs on any of them so each picture should accurately give everyone a decent assessment.

I built computer 1 to be the controller of my machine. I would just like someone to let me know how the numbers stack up, and if everything looks good! Thanks everyone!!

Computer 1: "microatx windows xp.JPG"
Computer 2: "mini itx atom windows 7.JPG"
Computer 3: "old pentium windows xp.jpg"

G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Solidworks, to solidcam, to mach 3.
« on: March 22, 2011, 03:53:55 AM »
Is it that simple? Do i need a post processor for the Gcode to work correctly on mach 3? I have a simple 3 axis gantry machine, that will use mach 3..

Thanks everyone!!

(also, anyone using it? like it? )

General Mach Discussion / Hards, Homes, Limits, Softs, Slows, Offs.
« on: March 08, 2011, 10:09:03 PM »
Attached is a pictorial i made of how to envision the homing/limit system. I would like for someone to verify if this is "usually" general practice to how things are done.

Lines of defense, from inside to outside:
1. The slow zone- I assume this distance in X units starts at each min and max soft limit and extends inward X units.
2. Min/Max Soft limits- I assume these come after the slow zone. These act as a digital limit switch, for double the safety.
3. Limit/home- These come after the slow zone, and the min/max soft limits.
4. Mechanical Hard stop- Something you never want to hit.

Am i correct about there order?

when using the "home off" function. Does that move the machine "x" units away from the home switch once it has tripped?

Thanks for the help. Trying to clear this all up. :)

General Mach Discussion / MACH 3 Major E-STOP ISSUE:
« on: March 08, 2011, 08:22:57 PM »
E-stop causes the machine to properly stop. However.. When i turn E-stop off. It will NOT get out of estop in mach3.

I have the newest version of Mach 3 installed on a fresh windows XP 32bit system, with the newest smooth stepper plugin and drivers installed. Machine runs perfect, just this estop issue is annoying. I have to power cycle my system and restart mach every time.
Below i show the first video of the issue. In the second video, i use a fresh install of mach, on a brand new controller, and grounded the smooth stepper better. Both had no effect on the issue. Arturo over @ cnc4pc.com has been helping me figure out the problem, but the guys @ cnczone suggested it might be a mach 3 bug. Hope to hear from someone soon. Thanks.

First Video of issue:
Second Video of Issue:

Link to my build log:

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