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Messages - crossfire

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Mach4 General Discussion / Plasma Cutting pause and restart
« on: September 13, 2017, 12:30:44 PM »
I am new to Mach 4 and this may be easy to do . I would like a plasma pause button that  when pressed continues to the end of the current segment stops the feed or travel and then issues the m5 to turn off the plasma cutter. Then a plasma restart button that would issue the m3 command or plasma on and then restart the feed or travel of the net segment.

Try inkscape with gcodetools added. both free.


General Mach Discussion / Re: hot environment
« on: June 10, 2013, 10:06:11 PM »

I live in North Texas and also have a non air conditioned  shop which has been as hot as 140 degrees. I bought an old Dell omniplex  off of Ebay for $54 with free shipping and it has never balked at the temp.


Turning the display off cured the problem. After reading your post I remember reading that you need an independent graphics card and not one on the motherboard. So I guess I will need to  find a low profile graphics card for a dell omniplex. Thanks for your help. I also need to get some limit switches or at least figure out how to set the soft limits. I hit the z-axis instead of the x  and it ran up so fast and hard it hit the stop at the top and sheared a motor gear tooth off rather than stall the motor. I also lowered the velocity down do not need it that fast.



I have just completed building my 5' X 10' Router - Plasma table. While tuning the motors I noticed that in the tuning screen using  the arrow keys I can run 600 inch per minute on my long axis X & Y with out stalling or missing a step. The same is true using the jog mode. However when I use gcode from MDI input or a gcode file my motors start stalling just over 350 inches per minute. Is this normal? Could possible using and smooth stepper are such cure this? I have a dell with a 3.3 ghz dual core processor 2 gig ram and only run Mach 3 on this machine. I am running win xp pro. I would appreciate  any ones advice or suggestions.  :-\



Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Re: My Ultimate CNC Machine
« on: June 07, 2013, 08:38:46 PM »
I went in to edit but after I added and edited it said I could not edit.

What I was trying to add was that my (2) y-axis where built like the X-axis only 10' long and that I have a 4 th. rotary axis at end of the table  for lathe.


Crossfire Ranch

Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / My Ultimate CNC Machine
« on: June 07, 2013, 08:11:43 PM »
Hello to anyone interested;

In my quest to perfection my objective was to be able to do wood routing, plasma cutting, lathe work, milling and later add a sawmill bandsaw to mill trees into lumber. I original was going with a 5' X5' table but traded into and old shopbot (I think it was a PR95 5X10) so it became 5'X10'. From my past experience I learned that plasma cutters and  extruded  aluminum do not play well together. Also that a router table that the gantry just sets on top the Y axis will not stay there past the first Z axis plunge. So make design requirements became this:

      1. All steel construction.
      2. All rack gear axis.
      3. V-wheel bearing sliders.
      4. Stepper motors.
      5. As close to all open source software as possible.

The only tools I had on hand where a chop saw, drill, torch, hand grinder, cracker box stick welder and some wrenches.

With this in mind and the above mentioned shopbot in hand I started by dismantling the old shopbot (someday I my write about all the crazy things they did.) I was able to salvage the lower table and 3 motors the rest was junk. I then decided to try a cheap TB6550 4 axis motor controller. Within 3 minutes one of the IC chips was actual on fire. Not just smoking hot but burning. I ordered a Gekco G540 that day from Ebay. That was the best thing I had done so far. I had bought a Mach license about 10 years ago and played around with it with no hardware hooked up. So i dusted it off and fired up the computer, software, motor controller and motors.

It was now time to build the all steel gantry. I had been making some receiver hitch for trailers so I had a large supply of 2"X2"X1/4" square tubing so this became my base for a 6' gantry. I welded a 1/4" rack gear to one side of the square tubing. I then used 2 1/2"X3/16" flat steel on two sides for the slide rails for the v-bearings. (all v-bearings are not created equal) I then used some 3/16"X6"X71/2" flat steel to make motor plates and back plates. I drilled out the holes for the V-bearings and bolts to hold the motor plate and the back plate together. I used 11 1800lbs.V-wheels per slide. This gave me 3 on the bottom and 3 on the top of the back plate and 3 on the bottom and 2 on the top of the motor plate with the rack gear in the top center potion instead of a v-wheel.  OK for a router and a plasma cutter I could have gotten away with just a motor plate. But the force to do mill and lathe I used the extra plate and wheels. I added motor and wiring and this gave me my X-axis gantry. I repeated the build but only used 32" instead of 6' for my Z-axis. This gave me 17 1/2" of travel on the Z-axis. I am using a 3 1/2 hp cable porter router that I got in the trade for the shopbot to power my z-axis. Instead of placing the router down by the work piece I built an arbor shaft and mounted the router up even with the x-axis gantry. This has several advantages. One is that the arbor shaft bearings catch all the side was pressure from the cutting tool saving the router bearings. The only force on the router is the motor turning the cutting tool. Another is that the router is up out of the dust. The other  reason to add the arbor shaft was so when I mill or do lathe work I can add in a 10 to 1 reduction gear which reduces the router speeds from 21000 to 2100 rpm. and increase power to the cutting tool.

Now you ask what kind of speeds can this monster produce. In router or plasma mode 500 to 600 inches per minute all axis.
In milling or lathe mode 150 inches per minute on the z-axis and 350 inches per minute on the x and y axis. The difference is the weight of the reduction gear plus for these operations I do not see the need for speed.

Now with all that said I have ran into some quirks in Mach3 maybe someone can enlighten me about. when in the jog mode I can run the motors a lot faster without stalling than when I use a gcode command. Is this normal? I am using a parrelle port. Would maybe a smooth stepper fix this?

Anyway thanks for your time to read this I plan to add some pictures when I find m camera. Would use cell phone but they do not work down in my valley.



Hello; My name is Larry I have a small ranch just west of Angus, TX. I first bought a CNC Router - Plasma 5'x10' back in 2001. I went partners with a guy who said he was an ace at selling products. So we bought the cnc machine I set it up and after working directly with the controller company final got it running great. (wincnc those guys where great to work with) The maker of the machine was worthless. The table was made with quality parts just very bad design. Anyway I got to making parts and had several local welders I was making parts for. Mean while after 8 months my partner had not sold a thing so we shut down. Anyway I had always wanted to build the ultimate cnc machine. One to do wood routing, plasma, lathe, and milling. I have just completed it and I chose to use Mach 3 (which I bought nearly 10 years ago and just let it sit idle) as my control software. After several designs and redsigns i have the ultimate cnc machine. It is 5'X10' table with lathe and milling attached to the end of the table. I have  a 17" Z axis which I can extend if needed. I power the Z axis with a 3 1/2 HP porter cable router which I drive a 10/1 gear box for lathe and drilling. I plan to share with the group here if there is any intrest.  Thanks Crossfire Ranch  Larry

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