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Topics - derek

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General Mach Discussion / M3 and M4 compiler issues...again
« on: November 07, 2014, 05:25:16 PM »
Having some issues with M3 and M4. Mach is blowing right past them. This is happening on two different machines with the same mach version. .056 The other machine is kind of basic with no ATC and I haven't done any spindle direction changes. I will miss a M3 occasionally.

The real problem is my main machine with the ATC.

The error I get is "Scripter compile error in M4.M1s."

Here is some pertinent error stuff:
Fri - 12:16:37 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:16:47 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:16:58 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:17:09 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:17:12 ---tap 5/16-18 rotate 90
Fri - 12:17:35 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:17:46 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:17:57 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:18:07 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:18:18 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:18:29 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s
Fri - 12:18:54 ---Mag pocket rotate 90
Fri - 12:19:08 --- Spindle Stopped
Fri - 12:19:26 ---Tool Change Complete.
Fri - 12:34:06 ---Too Fast for Pulley..Using Max.
Fri - 12:47:06 ---Mag pocket rotate 270
Fri - 13:00:28 ---Offset #38
Fri - 13:00:49 --- Spindle Stopped
Fri - 13:01:07 ---Tool Change Complete.
Fri - 13:03:37 ---Offset #38
Fri - 13:06:18 ---Offset #30
Fri - 13:06:29 --- Spindle Stopped
Fri - 13:06:51 ---Tool Change Complete.
Fri - 13:06:52 ---Too Fast for Pulley..Using Max.
Fri - 13:08:42 ---Offset #30
Fri - 13:10:45 ---tap 12/24 rotate 270
Fri - 13:10:58 --- Spindle Stopped
Fri - 13:11:20 ---Tool Change Complete.
Fri - 13:12:23 ---Scripter Compile Error. In:M4.m1s

The first error was in the middle of a tapping cycle. Fortunately when the spindle didn't reverse the tap pulled out of the collet. I wasn't watching the machine so I didn't realize it happened. The second set tap 12/24 I happened to be standing there when the spindle didn't reverse. It seems to be a random thing. The second set of 5/16 has 8 cycles. it only errored on 6. On the 12/24 it completed 3 before it kacked.

I've been having this issue for a while with various versions. I had a hard drive take a dump and I had to start from scratch and afterward it seems to be happening more frequently. Counting the tap and the scrapped part it's in the $30.00 range every time it happens so it's starting to get costly. This time it was twice in one run two different parts.

I really wish mach would estop on compiler errors.


General Mach Discussion / AC servo for spindle
« on: October 25, 2014, 11:01:32 AM »
I'm thinking that switching over to an AC servo for my spindle.
This is on my knee mill. The things I'm trying to accomplish are:
Spindle indexing for ATC
Rigid (tap to an accurate depth) tapping
Torque over a wider range than I currently get from my VFD.

If I do a straight conversion from the 2hp motor to KW it's 1.5KW. But since AC servos have more torque at a lower range do I really need 1.5KW.

Most of the AC servo drives and motors I see are in the 2000-3000 rpm range. I run spindle speeds up to 6000 RPM so there will be a loss of HP there.

I know a few of you run AC servos for spindles and I'm looking for real world feedback.


Is anyone using the onboard analog output on the UC-300 to control their VFD.
I'd be interested in what kind of results you are getting.

I'm also interested in adding an encoder to the spindle so any feedback on that would be great as well.


General Mach Discussion / Rotational soft limit issue
« on: August 08, 2013, 07:49:31 AM »
I've redone the config for my mill.
I started with a clean XML. I can't seem to get the rotational soft limits to be ignored. I had no problems with this in the old XML.
I have "Rot 360 Rollover and Ang Short Rot on G0" checked. I have "Rotational Soft Limits" unchecked. I can increase the the distance in "Homing Limits" but that's not really the solution I'm looking for.
I examined the Rotsoft parameter and it was set to 0.

Any thoughts on this or is it yet another "wait for Mach4 issue".


General Mach Discussion / Stuttering problem with line segments
« on: April 17, 2013, 10:49:27 AM »
I’ve been ignoring this problem for a while now but it’s now bothered me to the point where I need to try and fix it.

The picture I’ve attached  is a cut using a waterline strategy. It was done with line segments as opposed to arcs. This section is where the Z drops down .005” and then proceeds around the perimeter. When it makes this move there is a noticeable thud and the gantry stutters. You can see it in the cut as the chop diminishes in size. The other corners are smooth so it’s only right after it makes a Z move. The Z move is on a line of its own.

If I convert the line segments to arcs the problem disappears.

I’m running a smooth stepper and if I convert any large tool paths to arcs then invariably the smooth stepper will crap out and throw an error at some point during the run. Usually about 15 min after I leave for the night:) So consequently I’ve stopped converting my tool paths to arcs. Nothing worse than setting up for a 12 hour run and you come in the next day and you only made it through an hour of it!

My look ahead in general config is set to 100. I bumped it to 200 with no change.

Here are a couple of links to videos.
The first one is of the line segments. If you observe my patented shot glass vibration meter you will see the jerk that ultimately causes the stutter.

The second video is of the arc segments. Note the lack of shake.

Any thoughts on this?


Oh and don't ask why I have a shot glass near my router:)

General Mach Discussion / Mach blew right past tool change request
« on: February 26, 2013, 06:47:52 PM »

So here’s the deal
This is on my knee mill with my 10 tool ATC conversion.

The code has been run well over 250 times and had been run 7 times before the incident.
9 tool changes total. First face with end mill. Second spot drill 16 holes. Third tap drill holes. Fourth thread mill....and there’s the problem. No holes for the thread mill. There goes $40.00 :(
It seems to have skipped right past the entire drill cycle .
It’s not a case of it missing the grab on tool #3 ( the drill) as it’s still in the carrousel. If the drawbar misses the pull stud (has never happened) the tool will just drop down when the carrousel retracts. The only plausible scenario I can come up with is Mach just had a giant fart and decided to skip over a whole tool operation.

Has anyone else with tool changers experienced this? I’m not overly concerned but it would be nice to know if others had seen this


General Mach Discussion / Time to show off my ATC
« on: December 27, 2012, 11:48:04 AM »
Well like so many people after seeing  Dave DeCaussin's ATC on you tube I had my “I want that!” moment.
The thing that put it over the top for me was being able to regrind the r8 to work with the BT30. I settled with using the 4 ball gripper design and Belleville washers for the drawbar pressure. My quill is locked and I use the knee for the Z axis so that made things a little easier. All of the drawbar parts are A2 that I hardened and tempered. The drawbar has about 1000 lbs of pressure. I’m using a 4” Bimba flat multi power cylinder. I needed the multi power as I don’t have a ton of travel on my Bellevilles. I’ve been using the drawbar setup since July and have had zero problems. I took it apart about 2 months ago and it looked perfect.
When I started working out my design for the ATC I was going to have the carousel on the end of the table and have the X axis bring it over to the spindle. I had a job come up where I really needed some sort of changer so I knocked together a quick tray type. One thing became immediately apparent was that I was running the crap out of the X axis. So out went that idea and I settled on a more traditional “fly it in” design. Over the course of time I settled on a 3 stage system. One stage down to line the forks up with the tool. one stage to engage horizontally and one stage to bring the tool down out of the spindle. There are proximity sensors at the end of each travel. The M6 macro is written so that it operates in a follow the leader fashion. When the first stage proximity activates it triggers the next stage. This works really great and is very safe.   I opted to use slides from cncrouterparts. They are inexpensive, well built and really versatile. They are designed to work with 80/20 extrusion and 1/4” CRS flat bar. I’ve used them in a couple of other projects and I was really happy. The carousel is driven by an extra servo motor I had and is designated as a C drive.  Spindle indexing was supposed to accomplished with the new Delta VFD-M I purchased but unfortunately it didn’t play nice with my 2 pole motor. I ended up going with a shot pin arrangement until I can afford a new motor.
Terry (BR549) wrote really slick macro for me that makes it all work. He has the spindle stop then turn slowly to the index signal. It then kills the spindle and shoots the pin. Another neat thing he did was instead of having a fixed position for the tool change he uses the “tool change position” DROs on the setup screen. This allows me to position the tool change at the most efficient spot for each setup.
I’m a big proponent of working out designs in 3D before committing to actual construction. The first thing I did was model my mill as closely as I could. I included the table and a couple of Kurt vises. You can download 3D files of the vises directly from Kurt. This allowed me to run the table through it’s motions and get a better idea of what kind of envelope I had to work with.

Then I proceeded to model the rest of the components as I worked out all the motion and clearance issues. Although his kind of modeling takes time I find for me the end product is so much cleaner. Plus I build it a few times in the computer so when it’s time for actual construction I have a good idea of what I’m doing. Most of the purchased components offered 3D files so this made things a lot easier.

Even 3D files of the pokeys were available.

The build was fairly straight forward. Most items were made from .5” thick 6061. I have a small anodizing line so I anodized everything. The extra holes in he parts are for mounting things if necessary. When I prototype I put extra drilled and tapped holes all over the place so that if I have to add something it’s not a big deal.

I opted for a traditional fork design with tension spring to retain the tools. It took a few designs to get it to slide over the balance holes drilled in the tool holders.

I also engraved the tool slot numbers in the edge of the carousel. Not sure how well this will work when I get the cover on.

Using the 80/20 extrusions and cncrouterparts slides made designing things like brackets much easier to build. They have 3D models available for all their components.

I’ve done a few thousand tool changes in an actual machining environment and only had a few bumps and those were caught by the proximity system.The things I’m going to change are pretty minor. The main vertical movement is too short. The tools collide with my splash guard mounted on the table. I have plenty of height and the higher I can get the tools the less chance chip contamination there will be.  Coincidentally I didn’t model the splash shield in my original model and now I’m paying the price. I also have a bit of tidying up to do but I’ll do that after the vertical mod.
Having an ATC has opened up a whole new set of things I can bid on and has already paid for the price of the parts in the few jobs I’ve done with it. Plus it was a gas to build and that in itself made it worth it.
Here's a couple of videos. The first one is a normal change with a 6000 rpm spindle speed and spindle indexing. The second one is an earlier macro before the indexing was hooked up but it shows the speed of the change.
Thanks for looking

General Mach Discussion / And looking for a little more macro help
« on: November 28, 2012, 05:55:37 PM »
Well I'm working out the final details (I hope) on my ATC.
I'm having a little trouble figuring out how something should be phrased.
Here is what I'm using

 Do While Not IsActive(Input1)
 sleep (10)         

But instead of it looking for input1 being active I need it to look for oemled 1005 being active.I've tried a few things but I can't seem to get a handle on it.


General Mach Discussion / Improving resolution on C axis
« on: November 26, 2012, 02:23:49 PM »
I'm using my C axis as the drive for my tool change carousel. I'm using an extra servo motor I had with a 250 count encoder. I have a 4:1 belt reduction. Consequently I have to set the steps per inch at 27 (or so) to calibrate it at 360 degrees rotation. It's not too smooth and cogs like crazy. I put this together with parts I had on the shelf so before I order new pulleys is there a way to improve this in Mach?


PoKeys / Pokeys and M39 relay board weirdness
« on: November 25, 2012, 07:30:30 AM »
I have a pokeys 56U and a CNC4PC m39 relay board. With nothing connected to the relays everything operates perfectly. The relays turn on and off properly. As soon as I put any kind of load on the relays when I switch on a relay it turns on some or all of the other relays randomly.

Any ideas on this one?

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