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Topics - MikeSibley

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Mach4 General Discussion / Question on upgrade
« on: September 17, 2022, 03:23:05 PM »
I purchased Mach4 with my AvidCNC machine about a year and a half ago.  I've noticed that there is now a version 2 of Mach 4.  Should I upgrade to that version?  If I do, does my existing license cover the cost or do I have to purchase a new license?  I have been having some issues with 3-D models, so I'm just thinking that it might be worthwhile to upgrade.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.


Mach4 General Discussion / Z Axis losing reference point
« on: September 17, 2022, 10:03:14 AM »
Hey folks, I first apologize if this has been discussed before, but I have a significant problem that is just beyond my skill level.  Second, I apologize for the length of this post as without the proper description, it won't make true sense.  I would appreciate any comments toward finding a solution.

Basic parameters.  I'm running an AvidCNC 48x96 with an independent Lenovo PC.  I work with Vectic Aspire v11 and use a separate computer for design and place the g-code file (with the proper post processor) to a thumb drive and load that onto the Lenovo with the Mach 4 to drive the CNC.

I downloaded one of the project files, the Vectric Buffalo Nickel Bank, made no modifications to the file (other than inserting the correct bit feeds and speeds) and cut it with the following toolpaths, 1) 3D roughing .25 endmill, then 1/8 inch tapered ball nose, then a 1/16 tapered ball nose for rest machining (handled by Aspire). Both heads and tails of the nickel are cut from one board in the same toolpath on a board that I have planed to the proper thickness, so I know that there are no discrepancies in material thickness.

The first cut of the tapered ball nose, using an offset toolpath.  into the toolpath, for whatever reason, the Z-height changed leaving a pronounced difference.  Even though I knew it was incorrect, I used the touch-plate to zero the next smaller ball nose and it cut the depth properly but it looks horrible since the z height was off.

So, I thought that maybe this was associated with the offset toolpath and switched to a raster toolpath.  Well, same issue occurred.  I don't think that this is an issue with the actual model as hundreds of those have been cut and I don't know of any complaints about the model on that forum.  I tried to post photos but it won't let me.  Any suggestion or advice would be appreciated.

Would you folks think that this is a Mach4 issue or an Aspire issue? 

Mach4 General Discussion / Need your help please
« on: February 05, 2021, 12:44:50 PM »
I have something strange going on and want to reach out to see if any of you have any ideas.

I'm using Mach 4 on an Avid Pro 4848 and generating G-Code with Vectric Aspire.  On a 3-D model, something is outputting a phantom box as if it were added to the model on all of the 3-D carvings.  I went back and looked at the Aspire software preview and there is nothing on there showing any additional z-height at all, so the box that is being carved into the model is non-existent (as far as I can tell) from the CAD/CAM software.

Could there be a setting or something that I am doing with Mach 4 that could be causing this?  It is not just on one model, but on everything I carve in 3D. 

My Mach 4 is standard but with the settings provided by the machine manufacturer.

If you have any ideas, I would certainly appreciate them.


Mach4 General Discussion / Operational Question on Mach 4
« on: January 30, 2021, 09:35:44 AM »
I'm running Mach 4 on an Avid pro series. When using a roughing toolpath, I set the origin with the touchplate and all is well. When it finishes the roughing, I simply change out the bit to the finishing bit, touch the Z axis (because the X and Y should be the same) and go on. It has worked fine, but I had to stop Mach 4 by hitting the stop button on the screen in Mach 4 (not the emergency kill switch). I made the correction (forgot to put the dust shoe on, and restarted the toolpath.

It started 1/2 to 3/4 off on the x axis ruining the piece. Should I recenter the x and y each and every time I change bits? It's hard to recenter the x and y using the touch plate with a tapered ball nose.

Mach4 Videos / New to Mach 4 and have question
« on: January 19, 2021, 11:02:04 AM »
I know this is probably covered somewhere but I cannot seem to find the answer.  Once I set the software with the touch off for x, y and z, can I change bits and just zero the z-axis and not have to re-zero the x and y axis even though the bit size is different?  I am assuming that the axis are set for bit center rather than outside so I'm thinking that the actual bit size (assuming that the tools are similar to each other versus an endmill and v-bit). 

I'm re-zeroing the work every time I change a bit.  Can I eliminate the x and y and just zero the z-axis?

Mach4 General Discussion / Hello all
« on: September 09, 2020, 06:38:33 PM »
I have a new Avid CNC machine on order and am preparing for its arrival.  I will have a Mach 4 license with the machine, so I am getting prepared to set it up with my CNC.  I have a HP Windows machine with an i5 processor and 16GB of ram that I can dedicate to it with nothing but Mach 4 on it. It is a small tower machine and I know it will run the software, but I was thinking about purchasing one of the mini-PC's something like a Beelink on Amazon that is so small I could attach it to the back of the monitor and have nothing in the way.

Does anyone use this type of mini computer and do you think it would operate the system?

I'm a newbie and this is my first post.  Thanks for the help.

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