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Messages - MadDogSTrack

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Mach4 General Discussion / Re: How to generate gcode to do pearling
« on: February 10, 2019, 05:14:51 PM »
Didn't see this thread - musta been sleeping for a while.

This is also called "Engine Turning".  There is (was??) an add-on package to MACH3 that can be used "standalone" called "D2NC. It has routines for doing this for rectangular areas.  It does not include "keep-out" areas for areas where you might not want the work done.  Say if there was a recess or hole in the part, or an edge that might catch the tooling.  It uses G82 cycle - Drilling with dwell.

I have done this many times.  I use rubber material (in US from McMaster).  For the grit, I use powered 200 grit polishing/ finishing compound and put it 50-50 by volume in dish soap.  Yes, dish soap, it cleans up easily, is thick so it doesn't splatter all over.  Also, the rubber should extend from the collet not much more than about 25%-35% of the rubber's width, otherwise it might catch on edges and tear, ruin the finish.  As a guide, about 1000 RPM for a 3/4 rubber "eraser", and drill depth is about 0.03" into surface, dwell time is 3 seconds.

One thing to keep in mind:  Don't get too fancy with the code to cover a large area as the rubber gets worn away a bit and the Z Axis has to be jogged down a bet every 50 to 100 imprints.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Configuring a light curtain for a CNC router
« on: November 30, 2018, 05:22:05 PM »

This is really not something that should be done without understanding the consequences.    I suggest you design what you think is appropriate then use the services of a commercial organization that is expert in this area to validate the design and performance before it is built.

I did do some light digging tho:

Assuming by the link you sent you are in the UK...

See Page 5: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/wis22.pdf  This probably requires a two-hand control to still ensure the operator cannot be in contact with or impacted by anything that moves.  There is a good list of references at the end of the article.
Some of these likely have the authority of law in the UK: Safeguarding

 A, B, and C level standards

Yeah, it gets overwhelming pretty quick.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4, Modbus and HuanYang VFDs
« on: November 30, 2018, 11:15:12 AM »

That is exactly were I landed - swap out the VFD: I felt I would always be trying to make the HuanYang VFD work whenever software changed, so I decided to just update the VFD if/ when I upgrade to M4.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Configuring a light curtain for a CNC router
« on: November 30, 2018, 10:24:30 AM »

Assuming this is or will be a commercial machine(??)

Three thoughts;

1) Making it "safe" is different than making it comply with a standard.  Which is most important to you depends on how/ who/ and where the equipment will be used.

2) Here in the USA there is a consortium of control experts that work together to interpret the standards.  Their interpretation changes over time while the standards remains fairly unchanged. These are the experts whose control schemes you will wish to follow - as opposed to you interpreting the standard.  Their guidance is usually considered "best available control technology" or some such language and will stand up should anyone ever do something that gets someone hurt.

3) Here in the USA, companies are doing more over time to simply keep humans out of the machine's envelope.
Think fence as opposed to light curtains.
Think E-Stop as opposed to Control Stop...

If the control scheme you propose was to be used this side of the pond, you would have to develop a FMEA (Failure Modes Effect Analysis), or similar study to show that the machine still met intent of the standard should someone be in the controlled space while slow-jogging a powered machine.

You are heading in the correct direction by asking the good questions.


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4, Modbus and HuanYang VFDs
« on: November 24, 2018, 06:04:03 AM »

I believe many are using HY VFD's with MACH4, but just not using MODBUS.  The are using other speed/ direction control methods supported by HY's. 

I would like to use MODBUS to get feedback from the VFD.
I don't have the manual with me but they are solutions such as/ similar to:

- zero to ten volt analog
- continuous digital pulse (similar to step/ direction)

There are many posts to show how these methods are accomplished.

Typing this on a phone so apologies for typos.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4, Modbus and HuanYang VFDs
« on: November 23, 2018, 09:19:53 PM »

Agreed when it comes to Mach3.  Mach4 is a different story last I checked.  Somewhere on my computer (at home) is a 30% completed M4 routine for the HY VFD drive.  If/ when I go to M4 I assumed it would be easiest to just pluck down the money for a Hitachi drive or another drive that correctly supports the MODBUS standard.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4, Modbus and HuanYang VFDs
« on: November 22, 2018, 08:22:01 PM »
Certainly not trying to be snarky, but if you were able/ are able to use HY VFD on Mach 3, then you have a version of the VFD with MODBUS capabilities. 

This is the easiest and most complete test I know of...

Good luck.

General Mach Discussion / Re: How to add a 3d printer to cnc machine?
« on: March 16, 2018, 12:20:34 PM »
Mason Dixon;
It has been a long time since I hooked up a Mach3 system parallel port, but I believe you can use some of the PP's control signal lines as IO...

From page 16 of the manual in your first post: "Output1 and Output2 are connected to Pin 17, 1 of the DB25 connector respectively,".  These pins are "/SELECT" and "/STROBE" signals, and are really control outputs for the DB25 parallel port.

You can check this with a volt meter...

For those outputs, all the MX unit supplies is opto-isolation and a 1k Ohm resistor per Figures 16 on page 17.  So you will have to supply "+V" and a Stepper Driver per the "Expanding the 5th axis" notes on Figure 21 bottom left corner box.

You will likely still need an external temperature controller for the hot end...

Again, I didn't read the whole MX document...

Good luck.

You will also need an output to tell the temp controller when to start controlling the temp, and likely an input to tell M3 the hotend is up to temp...

A few links you are likely aware of...


General Mach Discussion / Re: How to add a 3d printer to cnc machine?
« on: March 15, 2018, 05:43:46 PM »
Mason Dixon;

I just GLANCED at the Leadshine manual you linked.  It looks like you would hook up the extruder stepper to "A STEP" and "A DIRECTION" (the 4th axis).  This is Figure 13 on Page 14.  These are connected to pins 8 (Step) and 9 (Direction) on the DB25 connector.  Of course make sure the other axes (X, Y, Z) are working first, that should help troubleshooting.

If you need assistance, Google "mach3 for 3d printing" there are some good articles/ etc. out there.

You will also need to control hotend heater and possibly a bed heater, too.

Good luck & let us know how it goes.  4x8 is one BIG 3D Printer!!


As you can see, this can get complicated, and language can get in the way...

All are trying to help here. 

Not to throw a spanner in the works, but is there more than 1 tool involved in cutting each corner?  Looks a little like there is some tool deflection.  Could be just the dust/ camera angle.  Tried to attach pic, but not not sure it made the trip. I'll try again if needed.

My summary of what I read:
1) How fast can the hardware physicaly accelerate/ decelerate (Craig's & Roger's posts)
2) How fast are you commanding the hardware to accelerate/ decelerate (Roger's & Davek's posts)
3) How is the code generating software set up to make a corners (Line segment turn 90 degrees, next line segment, or line segment, arc, line segment) (Gerry's post)
4) How is MACH set up to cut corners? (CV) (Davek's & Gerry's posts)

... and then my question, 5)Is there tool deflection as it cuts the corner?

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