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Topics - lasersafe

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General Mach Discussion / GCODE VAR MONITOR and BRAINS
« on: November 20, 2009, 12:17:28 PM »
Posted days ago in the Brains category but got no response.  Can anyone out there explain the GCODE VAR MONITOR that is on the Operator pulldown?  Can this watch for a certain newly created symbol in my Gcode and read the value?  Can a BRAIN then catch that value and act upon it to fire an output on and off?  Ultimately I'm looking for a symbol that can turn a laser on and off without the latency normally associated with VB scripts or even Z axis direction bit control.

Thanks - John

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Brains Development / gcode variable that can be seen by a 'brain'?
« on: November 15, 2009, 10:45:46 PM »
I am one of the poor fools stuck trying to find a decent way to control a laser with Mach3.  The laser plugin works 'sometimes', but it crashes unexpectedly and always gives me the 'previous SEQ not completed' statement.  Perhaps I was foolish to throw away the old Chinese driver that came with my laser.  Okay, enough history.

Is there a way for me to write a variable in Gcode that will not be a machine code that pauses the motion?  I was hoping that there was some variable that could be seen by a brain and have the brain turn my laser on and off.  I have spent days playing with Mcodes and slow VB scripts with little success.  I have also tried simply changing the spindle speed parameter and tying my laser to it with a brain, but I see that Mach3 also pauses when it receives the new speed setting (even though all internal delays are set to zero).  I have also done the trick of using the direction bit for the Z axis to fire the laser.  Even with Z depths of -0.001 and super high speed settings for the fake Z motor I am still getting the jerky machine pauses when rastering the X motion.

I would like to create my gcode as before using small Z motions for laser on-off, but then I would use the find and replace feature of a text editor to change Z0.0 and Z-.001 to this new variable that will not be interpreted by a slow VB script but will instead be seen and immediately acted upon by the brain.


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G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Sketchup 3D to STL to Gcode
« on: March 26, 2008, 01:51:36 PM »
I have many 3D drawing packages at my work.  AutoCad Mechanical Desktop,  Autodesk Inventor, etc., and yet the easiest package to quickly create a 3D object is the free Google Sketchup.  There is a ruby script written for sketchup that converts the file to a .STL file.  (Still free to this point)

There is a free program called freemill distributed by Mechsoft that converts the .STL to gcode that is ready for Mach3.

Indeed it all works.  I drew a quick 3D shape in Sketchup, exported as STL, converted to gcode and ran it in Mach3.

The question I have for this forum is whether there are any other free free converters of STL to gcode.  Better yet, is there anyone here on the forum that is good with ruby scripts and might be interested in writing a ruby to directly export gcode from sketchup.

-John


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