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Messages - birdbrain

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General Mach Discussion / What is Mach4
« on: November 08, 2009, 12:54:27 AM »
In the forum, I find various references to "Mach4" my own Mach3 even pops-up "Mach4" error messages. Is there a version 4 available somewhere?

Just a word of warning :-

#2001 onward are used by Mach3 as data locations for tool offsets, you may get strange results if you use them.  #100 to #149 and #500 to #531 are user variables #1000 and over are system read only use. That said you can write to them to set system values.


In my g-code part cutting files, I typically use about 100 user variables. Even my simplest files have over 40 user variables From what you say, mach3 shouldn't use files written like this.
I make parts for musical instruments and there are many variations of each part to accommodate different tunings and other preferences. I have generic code files for each part and then change the values of certain user variables to suit the specific part being made. The code files contain various calculations, the results of which are stored as numbered parameters (user variables) for use in cutting the part .
This is the only way I could find so that I can make a small number of generic files that could easily be adapted to suit specific dimensions.
An alternative would be to write a (very long) file for every variation of each part.
Is there another way to do this?
The feed rates, of course, could be written directly into the appropriate blocks.
What I would be looking to do is reduce the number of variables that I am presently using to just the essential ones with part/stock dimensions. Then, perhaps use these variables externally (macro?) to make all the calculations and use the results of these calculations to cut the parts.
All my parts are made from tubes, but the cuts I make in them are not standard holes. I have to machine the sides of any hole cut through the tubes, with various profiles. Cuts that are across the width of the tube can be made with either "a" axis "y" axis or combination of both.
You might wonder why I write all of this code by hand. It's because I can't find an economically priced software program that can do it. Most commercially available software seems to assume that you are cutting solid blocks, sheets or if it's a pipe you are doing conventional pipe fitting.
My CNC mill is a custom K2CNC with a 4th "a" axis concentric to the "x" axis.
Any suggestions would be very welcome.

How do I read #2501 etc?
Maybe it's not necessary to check this. I have occasionally noticed problems with G54 and was not able to use G52 at all  :(

I haven't had any problems with the parameter numbers. I use a lot of parameters in my code files.
According to the Mach3 manual the following parameters are "system defined": 5161 - 5326 and 10281-10306 so I don't use parameters in the 5k or 10k ranges.
Is there a list of "system values" that differs from the "system defined" parameter numbers as given in the manual?
By the way, I don't think that #1000 and over are system read only as I always use #1020 to #1030 and #1040 to #1050 in my code files. I also always use #001 to #010 as temporary data storage during code execution.

Hi Graham,

Thanks a lot!  :) I'm going to give that a try later when I fire up my machine.

I knew there had to be an easy way.  ::)

I have a number of G-Code files that use my own standard lists of parameters. For example, I have a standard set of feed rates, I also have sets of standard parameters for various stock.
When I write a new code file, I include many of these standard parameters at the beginning of the file. This works OK but it's cumbersome. Also, when I change the stock for a job I have to re-write all the files for that job with the new stock parameters, this is tedious and is prone to errors.
How can I put these parameters in external files (macros?) so that I can then call the correct set of parameters from the G-Code file? Is there a way to include an external file within a code file (like the "include" statement in PHP) or must the parameters be set in macros?

Here is a small example of parameter settings that I use in many code files:

(max feed rate)                #2001=200
(feed rate inch 4)            #2101=[#2001*0.03]
(feed rate inch 3)            #2102=[#2001*0.06]
(feed rate inch 2)            #2103=[#2001*0.1]
(feed rate inch 1)            #2104=[#2001*0.2]
(feed rate slow 2)            #2105=[#2001*0.4]
(feed rate slow 1)            #2106=[#2001*0.7]
(feed rate normal)           #2107=[#2001]
(feed rate fast)                #2108=[#2001*1.5]
(feed rate fast 2)             #2109=[#2001*2]

Can anyone give me an example of how I can call the above code (stored in it's own file) from within any G-Code file?

Thanks Hood. That should be very easy.
Is it possible to go a bit further with the code so that when the button is pressed the first move is of the Z axis to a known safe height, say 50mm above the table, and then home the  Y, X, Z and A? It would be very useful to make sure that the tool isn't going to hit anything when homing.

General Mach Discussion / Change homing order - which file do I edit?
« on: June 29, 2009, 02:39:38 AM »
Due to the mechanical build of my micro mill, I would like to change the homing order so that the homing order is Y, X, Z, A.
My requirement is that the Z axis homes, downwards, after the X and Y have homed to their normal positions. It is important for the X and Y to home first as they go to the position where the tool length sensor is. The Z axis can then home down onto the tool length sensor.
I am sure that the code to do this is very simple but I can't find which file the code should be in! ::)
Can anyone tell me where I can find the file that should be edited?

Just tried the macro and it worked perfectly. Thanks a lot!

Thanks. I had thought about it but it's not necessary on this part. I simply need to cut the part (including multiple a axis turns) and when the part is finished, set the DRO (and hopefully the remembered position of the a axis to zero). It will be useful to do this without using the keyboard or mouse.

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