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Topics - stephanbrunker

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General Mach Discussion / Mach3 Turn, ESS and G95 - very strange
« on: January 13, 2016, 02:47:59 PM »

after probably fixing the problem on mill with the G31 mode, I'm trying the other problem zone - G31 and G95 moves in Turn. I'm running the last two Mach3 versions (066 and 062) and two versions of the ESS plugin. But if I try a G95 move, I'll get something like on the screenshot in the attached picture, which doesn't make even remotely sense. As you can see, my Spindle Index is configured correct and shows 70 revolutions per minute. The GCode states G95 and a F1, so the feed should be 70 mm/minute or 1 mm/revolution. But it is 0.38 !!

Something similar happens if I code a threading move, G32. Then the feed is so slow, only 0.0 is shown. But in the G76 threading macro, it works which is completely out of the picture, but only in the sequence G32,G32,G1 like in the original version of the M1076.m1s macro. Any other combinations there will fail. I tried to optimize the threading sequence while working on my threading helper application, but that seems to be impossible. Anyone an idea where the problem is located? Mach3 itself? ESS plugin? Or between the ears of the poster?

A few tries later, it gets even move confusing: With manual Gcode, it works like it should. But now the same shown program feeds only with 0.015 per rev. !? And I get even more different results if I change the sequence between G95, F1 and M3. Without the init G94 and F85, I'll get 0.13, with initial G95 and F1 direcly after s65, 0.00 like in the G31 case ... but never, ever 1.0. That looks like a very fatal error.

General Mach Discussion / Another strange axis movement: G37 and 4th axis
« on: December 31, 2015, 12:24:14 PM »

currently I'm fighting some strange axis movements after I've added an 4th axis (A) to my mill. Now, an G37 (probe) move in the X,Y or Z direction moves mostly the A-Axis with the feedrate given and the axis given in the G37 command only in very small steps. That is in G90 and G91 mode. Only if I disable the 4th axis in "Ports and Pins" the problem vanishes. Any Ideas? Known problem? Bug? RTFM? No slaved axis there, of course.


I just have released a beta version of my Mach3 Threading Helper. To actually cut a thread with Mach3 and the G76 macro, you need a couple of parameters, the numer of passes etc. For metrical threads, Mach3 comes with the G76_thread.exe. My application is far more sophisticated: i lets you select a thread from several standards or let you create your own size. The important feature is, that the tolerances are calculated given to standard and size, that it fits. Then you can simulate the cut - means you can try some number of passes to get the increment you need. Finally, the program generates the GCode which you can copy & paste in your file. So far, my threads had a perfect fit. And it's Open Source.

The supported Threading standards in version 0.10:
  • M - Metric in medium (6g/6H) and fine tolerance (4g/4H)
  • G - Withworth Pipe
  • R/Rc - Tapered Withworth Pipe
  • BSW & BSW Withworth
  • M keg - tapered Metric

When supported, you can cut threads with multiple starts, too.

I've also made a throughly improvement of the G76, G77 and G78 macros and fixed the bugs there as far as possible.

The Sourceforge page:

Try it out and report if you find any bugs ...


I have serious problems with the "run from here" function in Mach3 Mill. In a program with tool changes, e.g. g43 hxx, t... and m6 commands, resuming a program is impossible and dangerous. Why? I set up my tool table as written in the manual, with the shortest as 0 and all other with the function in the offset screens. In a continous program, everything works fine. But if you have to stop and resume the program with "run from here", it goes south ... or, more precisely, straight down at full speed. Even if you have the matching tool in the machine (at this postion in the program), the correct offset and the DRO's show the right z position, the preparing move overshoot the Z value shown in the preparing move sceen (for example 50) and the DRO and plunges farther down (49,48,47 ...). I don't know how far ... I was lucky enough to avoid a crash so far. But I presume that it ignores the tool offset value and goes for the Z value in combination without Tool offset. I guess that everyone is working on Mach4, but this one should be corrected. The only solution so far is copying the remaining program in a new file and start from the beginning what is somewhat annoying - and that isn't speaking of the danger involved.

After I got a manual Tool changer, I was going to set it up and just with luck I avoided a major crash. But from the beginning: If you've a tool changer its a good idea to have a home switch too, so I configured Mach3 with these swiches and referenced my machine. According to the handbook version 1.84 I then selected my Master Tool as #1 and zeroed the axis. The first issue then is that the description in the handbook is wrong. For the next tool, if you push the "Touch X" button in the tool setup screen, the entry for the x offset in the tooltable is to the machine coordinates, not to the part coordinates. In a way, this makes actually sense: If you setup your machine and reference it, after entering the actual tool number the x coordinate is directly the radius of the workpiece. But, different from the handbook, the master tool also has that offset and not zero.

The Z axis is different as it really copies the offset to the work coordinates (which is 0 for the master tool) in the tool table.

The gravely issue are the default options in the turn xml file. If you have your tool table and switch between the tools, everything seems fine, the coordinates adjust and you can also work with manual G code input. The really bad surprise is if you type your G code in a file and let it run. Because it starts with an rapid move in a surprising direction. Why? Because the "Tool Selections Persistent" box is unchecked. So, even if you've everything set up correctly (right tool, part zero ...), it runs the program with Tool 0 - and that's of course very different from your actual tool. Luckily, because of the behaviour above, it has run in x+ direction, what was away from the workpiece.

After I checked that option, I tried tool change and the next problem arised. With the Option "Manual Tool Change - Press Cycle start" the program uses internally the M6 macros even if for example only a T0303 word is in the code. And this macro is by default the same as for the mill:

  tool = GetSelectedTool()
  SetCurrentTool( tool )

REM The default script here moves the tool back to m6start if any movement has occured during the tool change..

x = GetToolChangeStart( 0 )
y = GetToolChangeStart( 1 )
z = GetToolChangeStart( 2 )
a = GetToolChangeStart( 3 )
b = GetToolChangeStart( 4 )
c = GetToolChangeStart( 5 )
if(IsSafeZ() = 1) Then
   SafeZ = GetSafeZ()
   if  SafeZ  > z then StraightTraverse x, y,SafeZ, a, b, c
      StraightFeed  x, y,  z  , a, b, c
Code"G00 X" & x & "Y" & y
end if

I don't know what exactly happens, but if I pressed "Cycle Start" after the T word Toolchange the x axis runs rapidly in the minus direction until it hits the limit switch. And in this case, the DRO tells correctly something far in the minus. No idea to what position it wants to go. I emptied the M6End macro, and that fixed it. Perhaps because the SafeZ is not defined in Turn, who knows ...

Now, it seems to work correctly, but these are dangerous bugs because it's different than in the handbook and the default values are simply wrong (another was "Reversed Arcs in Front post" )

General Mach Discussion / Bug in G77 / M1077 macro
« on: August 18, 2014, 06:42:48 AM »
Because mentionend in the Turn Handbook, i tried the G77 / G78 canned cycles. But in G77 I found two bugs.

Line 48-52 must be:
Code: [Select]
If( Taper = 0 ) Then
  ZCalc = Abs(StartZ - EndZ)   'was ZCalc = 0, which ignores EndZ further on
  ZCalc = Abs(StartX - EndX) /Tan((Taper * PI)/180) 
End if

and Line 71-74 must be:
Code: [Select]
  If IDOD =1 And PassDia <= EndX Or IDOD =-1 And PassDia >= EndX Then        'was < and > instead of <= >=, which causes to repeat the final cut
   PassDia = EndX           
   LoopExit = 1           
  End If

seems that nobody has used these two since creation (2009).


as a newbie I've just configured my lathe and successfully machined my first part. But I've still a problem with jogging with the arrow keys. If I go to manual mode, switch "Jog on", nothing happens when I press the arrow keys. With "Jog inc" the axis moves, but not in continuous mode. What do i wrong?

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