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Topics - biscuitbrothers

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General Mach Discussion / Here's our setup - and we've got some questions
« on: November 20, 2013, 11:00:14 PM »
Hey everybody! Besides my intro post, this will be our second. My comrade-in-robotics and I are going to use the same account to simplify things, to explain why I frequently reference "we."

Alright, so this is our setup:

CNCRouterParts.com Pro 4'X8'
Prewired Nema 34 1.8 kit with Gecko 201x' and a 5th axis capability
We haven't purchased the router yet - any tips on that would be welcomed. We'll be working mostly with wood, periodically with long run times.
Mach3, of course.
PMDX-126 2012-10-19 N4 PRO pre-set XML profile from CNCRouterParts.com

So the machine runs - we even were able to get it to simulate cutting out a skull & cross bones from some Gcode that came with the XML profile. There are some questions that linger though, after reading the Mach3 manual, watching some MachSupport tutorials, and referencing other materials.

1. I have established soft limits in the homing/limits settings, but the axes stop moving a couple inches before they reach the limits I've actually set up....not sure how to understand that.

2. In spite of establishing soft limits (currently inactive), the "red outline" of the table display the video tutorial suggests we should see does not exist. I have not been able to find any setting that makes this appear, and I have enabled "Machine Boundaries" in the ToolPath configuration to no effect.

3. When we load Gcode, it seems that the bottom left hand corner of the Gcode pattern is actually our X home positive - my impression from the tutorial video is that the bottom left corner in Mach3 should be your X home negative. I have not been able to find settings that reverse or correct this.

4. We have run a couple of tests with other Gcode, and in spite of Ref All Home for Machine Coordinates, when we activate the Gcode, it slams backwards into the bumpers and limit switches (running towards the negative) as though the pattern was extended far past the actual table. What am I doing dumb here? I can't wrap my head around where this mistake would be coming from.

5. I set a safe limit for the Z axis, but even after establishing that it will jog right past it as though I never set anything. This is kind of a general theme actually - the coordinates in my settings do not seem to respond exactly to my real world coordinates and I can't understand where the variance is. We tested the steps per unit that were preestablished by the provided XML profile and they were exactly correct. Where am I losing/gaining inches? Machine Coordinates should be highlighted red when I Ref All Home to establish the minus limits of the table, and that should serve as a good baseline for additional testing, correct?

- I

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