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Messages - birdbrain

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Thanks guys, that's a big help.  :)

The VB codes work just fine. All I need to do is put a SwapAxis macro at the start of the g-code file and a ResetAxisSwap macro at the end of the same file. This is really great as it saves me a lot of time.
If I wanted to add some scaling factor to the rotary axis (after the "SwapAxis(1,3)" line in the macro) what would I add to the macro?

Oh yeah... I have a copy of CNCwrapper but it doesn't like my G-code files. They are generated by CamBam and have lots of G2/G3 movements. CNCwrapper can't handle G2/G3. I also had an issue with CNCwrapper where I couldn't get it to run on my WinXP French PC and needed to run it in a Windows XP English emulator  ???.

I have made a new mach3 mill profile (called Mill_XAZ) as a clone of my original profile (caled Mill_XYZ). The new profile is so that I can mill easily on tube surfaces. The profiles are both for the same mill and nothing is changed on the mill.
The main difference betwen the 2 profiles is that in Mill_XAZ, I have swaped the motor outputs betwen Y and A axis. There will also be scaling of A axis when I have calculated it.
With the new profile, I can now run g-code written for XYZ with the machine using the rotary axis in place of the Y axis.
How can I get both profiles to share the same offset and tool tables? This is important because if I change a work offset or a tool, I need the change to be exactly the same in both profiles.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 21, 2009, 11:55:32 AM »
Fair comment Gerry but its hardly hours is it? modifying your Y axis steps per and step and dir pin numbers should take about a minute at a push. You then save as a separate profile. One for linear Y one for rotary Y - job done and down the bar with your $20....

Thanks, Stirling. That's what I want to do.
How do I get Mach3 to save and load different profiles??

General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 21, 2009, 10:32:35 AM »
If replacing Y with A in the code doesn't work because Mach doesn't like doing G2/G3 in the "XA" plane then just swap the settings in ports n pins so that the rotary axis is Y. As far as aspect ratio is concerned - that's what I meant above by get the steps per right.



Would it be possible to change the port configuration automatically from within a g-code file, perhaps by running a macro or a vb script?

General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 20, 2009, 02:17:36 PM »
Would this work?
Take an existing g-code file and change it from cutting on the XY axis to cutting on the XA axis by replacing references to the "Y" axis with "A".
The A axis is rotational. It wraps around the X axis in place of linear Y axis.

before replacing "Y" with "A",
G0 X10 Y10
G2 G91 X2 Y2 R3 F100

afer replacing "Y" with "A",
G0 X10 A10
G2 G91 X2 A2 R3 F100

Of course, I know that there will be scaling needed on the A axis. The point that I would like to know about is whether G2/G3 code can be used on XA axis as it can be on XY axis.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 20, 2009, 12:13:12 PM »
why is "special" software needed for wrapping engraving gcode round a cylinder? just swap the Y code to the A code and as long as the steps per are set right - job done. Isn't it?
I have been considering doing this by running a search/replace on the g-code changing all instances of "Y" to "A". The only thing stopping me trying it is that the g-code certainly has G2 and G3 moves. I seem to remember reading in the Mach3 manual that G2/G3 are limited to the XY plane. Would it be OK to have G2/G3 in the XA "plane"?

General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 19, 2009, 04:47:38 AM »
Creating g-code from an image file is very inefficient. You might want to convert the image to a vector file first, then convert the vectors to g-code. Could cut your machine time be a factor of 10 or more.
This is a very important point.
I have now bought a really good vector drawing program (serif DrawPlus)http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/software/drawplus/index.asp, it only cost 9.99 GBP for the full version!. Drawplus can save files in the DXF format and they are easily converted to G-code by Lazycam.
I also have D2NC installed and it is really good for making quick wizards. D2NC can also convert Drawplus DXF files to tube wrapped G-code.
So, thanks to all for your advice. I have been able to check out some software that I didn't even know existed.
By the way, CamBam looks like a very useful piece of software. I'm definitely going to install it. Only thing is that it'll take some time to learn how to use it.  ::)

General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 17, 2009, 03:14:35 PM »
Cnc Wrapper will be handy when I have managed to make a G-code file from an image.
Does anyone know of a cheap software that can convert an image file (i.e. a logo) into G-code?
I have lazycam but it seams unable to convert any of my images. The images are Fireworks PNG files (they can also be saved as GIF, TIFF or JPG).

General Mach Discussion / Re: Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 17, 2009, 01:28:14 PM »
Check out CNCWrapper http://www.cncwrapper.com


Hey Thanks Daniel!
That's just what I've been looking for.

General Mach Discussion / Engraving around outside of a tube
« on: December 17, 2009, 10:43:53 AM »
I have a job to do which involves engraving text and logo around the outside of small (20mm) tubes. The engraving would be at a single fixed depth of, say, 0.1mm.
My mill is a K2 clone with a 4th axis (rotational). The rotation is parallel to the Y axis. So, the cutting movements will be on X and A axis( with the plunge on Z axis as usual).
I also have the full version of Lazycam installed. 8)
The logos etc. are graphics files. They can be easily converted between graphics file formats.
How can I do this engraving job without buying additional, expensive software?

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