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Topics - Bertho

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Feature Requests / G-code pre-test
« on: August 26, 2017, 03:09:35 PM »
When Mach-3 loads a program it automatically reads the program looking for errors like illegal commands, missing parentheses, or other typos.
I really miss that feature in Mach-4!
It is really frustrating after machining for a long time and then it stops because of a typo. >:(

General Mach Discussion / 3D Printer: Extruder
« on: January 26, 2010, 06:22:31 AM »
I am very interested in building an extruder type 3D printer using my existing CNC mill. There are basically only two items missing:
1: A heater with temperature control.  The heater is typically controlled to hold the temperature around 240C.  Either one of the available extruder head controller boards can be used or an off the shelf PID heater controller (about $30 on eBay).  It might also be directly controlled by the pulse width function similarly to how laser cutters are controlled.  It would be very simple to have a temperature feedback using a voltage to frequency converter that produces “index” pulses to show temperature: 240RPM= 240C temperature.

2: A motor to feed the filament into the heater.  I think the head can be greatly simplified by using a simple machined bracket and a very small stepper motor.  In our case the stepper could be directly driven by existing electronics and the A axis function in Mach3.

Here are examples of the extruder heads.  They are all open source with full documentation.  Typically the mechanics are unnecessarily big or too many pieces since they are usually designed to be easily duplicated by hobbyists with limited tooling.




It is a big PDF file.

It should be very easy for us in this group to do it. Typically we have the CNC experience and we have good equipment to make any custom required parts.
The typical 3D printer hobbyist does not have the mechanical equipment or CNC experience. Most of them are starting from scratch.

Here is some info on conversions done with EMC instead of Mach3:

Is there any information on a conversion like that using Mach3? I do not want to start from scratch if not needed.

LazyCam (Beta) / LazyCAM Turn: Arcs are "backwards"
« on: November 15, 2009, 09:44:26 AM »
I created a profile with several arcs joining lines like a rounded corner.
The program generated the lines OK but all the arcs are the opposite of what they are supposed to be.
For example, the arc joining the two 90 degree angled lines is supposed to be a short outside convex segment of 90 degrees but it became a 270 degree inside concave segment.
Presumably I am missing something very obvious.
What am I doing wrong?

I am getting tired of hand calculating all the arcs and I am waiting for LazyTurn with the finish path option.
Thanks in advance,

LazyTurn / Tool Path Up-Down
« on: November 14, 2009, 07:22:21 PM »
In Mach3 Lathe the tool path (profile) is shown as looking down on a regular lathe with the tool bit in a normal position and it makes sense to me from a practical viewpoint and it is easy to visualize.

LazyCAM Turn flips the profile so it is the backside that is displayed.

LazyTurn manual does it both ways.  

Is there any good reason for all the confusion?

Hopefully LazyTurn will standardize to match Mach3 Lathe.
Happy Machining and have a great weekend!

General Mach Discussion / MachTurn problems and questions
« on: September 22, 2009, 03:16:44 AM »
After using Mach3 Mill and switching to MachTurn, I am still very much in a learner stage; I have a few comments and questions. I realize the program is work in progress.

1: Is there a problem list so I do not have to carefully document known problems?

2: I miss the tabs or screen selection style of Mach Mill; I can instantly jump to the screen I want. Here I often have to take a detour to the front screen.

3: Why no jogging option in Diagnostic? It is useful if testing limit switches.

4: There is an Edit, Cycle start and Rewind button in the diagnostic page.
Why run a program from there?

5: The Single step button works but there is no LED indicator so I do not know what mode it is in.

6: On "Auto page", the "cycle start" is not a cycle start button, it goes to another screen. I was "scared" to push it since the G-code program was not shown in the "Auto page" screen.

7: There is no indication in the upper left Axis display if it is machine, program, or part coordinates

8: "Set Home" moves at selected homing speed so that is good. "Home" returns to the home positions extremely slowly, maybe just 1% of max. How can I change it?  This also magically started to work.  See #10 below.

9: I get an error message "Simulating feeds, no spindle feedback" I have a spindle sensor and it correctly displays the RPM

10: Ref/Home LEDs never change, even though I have switches and homing works.  Actually this started to work.  The following day after restarting the program it looks OK.  Maybe it wakes up and works after the program has been restarted if the home functions have been changed

11: What is the "Feedback" LED on the "Auto" - "Run" screen?

12: I select metric mode but the "Run" screen still displays feed in Inches/minute

13: I select Diameter mode, it displays “Diameter” but the DROs are in radius mode


To get uniform cutting depth the laser power needs to be proportional to the actual feed rate which will vary as the laser head accelerate and slows down. This is commonly done by pulsing the laser on for fixed power burst every time it moves a fixed distance. For example it can fire every 0.1mm (4mils). So by first setting the power level by the duty cycle modulating the laser by for example 25% duty cycle and then pulsing it every time it moves the fixed distance the cutting power will be uniform.

After that long introduction comes the question: Can the Mach-3 software do the proportional pulse control? If not what suggestions do you have? I can always build a little embedded controller looking at the X-Y movement and calculate pulses based on that but I really do not want to spend the time doing that.
I have to hook up my CO2 laser to my Mach3 controller instead of the mill this weekend.  Any god references or reading material?
TIA for any suggestions.

VB and the development of wizards / Understanding the Wizard structure.
« on: September 04, 2008, 03:40:52 AM »
I have been studying the Digitize Wizard to learn how to write my own.  I understand the code section but I am missing some obvious steps:  There are sections of binary code in the beginning and at the end.  Where do they come from and how are the sections linked.  There got to be some obvious help and information available.  Where should I go looking to learn more?  TIA

VB and the development of wizards / RS232 instrument I-O
« on: September 04, 2008, 03:32:47 AM »
I am working on a touch-less digitizer and at each X-Y location I need to send a command to the instrument to take a reading.  The instrument will then respond by nnnnn.
I found the command to send a string in the "Customize Mach-2" manual but nothing about receiving RS-232.  I also saw an old post since 2006 that said that it is not available.
How can I read the data coming back in Mach-3?  TIA

General Mach Discussion / Mach 3.00 problems
« on: January 02, 2008, 07:58:17 PM »
I downloaded and installed 3.00 and I have been having some problems:
I am running on XP-Pro on a recent and fast computer and a Taig Micromill DSLS 3000.  The G-code worked previously and after reinstalling 2.58 all was OK again.  #2 & #3 are repeatable problems; I only tried the installation once.

1.   Upgrading previous versions has worked just fine by installing it in the Mach 3 folder.  This time some of the pin configurations were changed and of course it took a while to realize what had happened.
2.   On a rapid move of a couple of inches, it tried to accelerate too fast and it got out of sync after about half an inch.  It is not a speed problem since it never had time to get up any speed.
3.   The feed rate override control quit working in the middle of the program.  I had it set to 200% and it worked fine cutting pockets and then halfway through the program it drops the actual federate to 100% although the screen says 200%.

LazyCam (Beta) / Layer-Chains out of sync
« on: January 02, 2008, 08:47:48 AM »
I have a DXF file with 7 rectangular cutouts with radiused corners.  It imports OK and I clean and optimize.  All looks good so far.  I then offset each one identically inside and it create 7 new layers: Offset2, Offset2, Offset3, Offset4 Offset5, Offset6, Offset7.  Note dual Offset2.

The first Offset2 lights up the cutting path when selected by clicking on it in the left panel.  Clicking on the associated chain under that layer lights up another layer’s chain! 

Under the second Offset2 there is no layer!

Am I overlooking something obvious or is this a bug and if so, how do I work around it?

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