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Topics - FrankTT

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Mach4 General Discussion / 3+2 or 5 axis support
« on: September 20, 2015, 01:25:29 PM »

We have a 30 year old but perfectly running Swiss made precision 3+2 axis cnc mill which needs a new CNC control (the old one just broke). For clarification, the machine can adjust the two angular axes and then start cutting with the three linear axes, so only 3 axes move simultanously. Browsing and searching the forum I begin to doubt that Mach3 or Mach4 can handle this. We used HSMWorks to program the mill, and I realize there is at least a 4-axis post for Mach3 available. However, IMHO the Mach post is not able to do the axis transformation and tool offset compensation as we were used to because it does not have the actuall tool length and diameter information (which means it relies on the data of the CAM system, which we could get used to enter there instead of the CNC). However, I haven't found a 5-axis post for HSMWorks jet which would compensate for the lack of matrix transformation in Mach. From Mach4 docu you can rotate the coordinate system in the XY-plane only, is this correct?

Not having used any of the Mach products, maybe I'm totally wrong and Mach3 or 4 can handle 5 axis and programming in arbitrary planes easily (which I hoped, considering it was implemented in our CNC 30 years ago in about 100 lines of a G-code-like macro). Could someone shed some light on the current status of this functionality and perhaps the road map for the upcoming Mach4 software releases in this regard?

Thanks much,


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