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Messages - adprinter

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Average size is about 8x10 on Army, 8x13 on Family name plaques. Most average about 0.75" to 1" thick. (Thickness varies depending on shape carved in MeshCAM).  As far as parquet flooring, it might be fine for an engraving project. But for 3D scuplting, you need something more than an inch thick to start out with. If you want something carved, send me your artwork and I will see what I can do with it - as far as creating a tool path.
Just send as an attachment to adprinters@bellsouth.net BE SURE TO INCLUDE IN SUBJECT LINE: WOOD CARVING, otherwise your email may end up in my trash folder unread. (I get a LOT of junk emails everyday!). Happy New Year to all my Mach friends!

Corel Draw for the art, and MeshCAM Art to generate the tool paths. I am also working on an article for Digital Machinist about the process I use, calling the article Digital Sculpting. I have been trying to let folks know, that I can do these carvings from their artwork (or YOURS!). Haven't quite gotten good enough to do portrait type photos, but simple line art stuff I can handle.

I've been busy lately, mostly doing these as Christmas gifts for family (and a few customers). These are done from laminated Oak (recycled tractor-trailer flooring).
Basic shape is carved on the home built CNC router, then hand detailed with a Dremel tool.

Feature Requests / Re: Time estimation until next Tool Change
« on: November 15, 2011, 09:09:42 PM »
Tip: If you will make it a HABIT after loading your gcode file into Mach3, to navigate to the Toolpath Screen, and click on Simulate Program Run you can get a fairly accurate estimate of time until the various tool changes (IF your CAM software has added comments in the gcode such as Roughing, Finishing, etc. at the location of the M3's) by watching the elapsed time in the Simulation text box. You have to watch the Status field at the bottom of the screen closely, and when you see the message change from Roughing Cut, to Finishing Cut IMMEDIATELY glance up at the Simulator text box to read the elapsed (estimated) time. It's not an exact method, but it will get you in the ballpark of estimating when the toolchanges will occurr. Just be sure to read the elapsed time IMMEDIATELY after the message changes in the Status field, because it continues to run the Simulation (and the elapsed time is still flying by). As I said, it's not exact. But it will get you within a couple of minutes of WHEN you need to be there. I still like the idea of a DRO box which gives you a count down to next tool change - Additionally, it would be nice if Mach3 also included a box which lists line numbers of all tool changes. In case of inacurate Re-Zero of the Z axis happens during a tool change (for quick reference of where to set next line to Run From Here, after subsequently correcting the Z Zero). For those of us not yet equipped with digital probes for setting the Z Zero......

FAQs / Re: Axis Limits in Toolpath screen
« on: November 09, 2011, 08:43:13 AM »
I am in McDonough, Ga. USA - However, I haver since found a supplier for the brushes www.toolsandmore.us I ordered them last Friday, they should arrive sometime today. Thanks

FAQs / Re: Axis Limits in Toolpath screen
« on: November 06, 2011, 07:59:09 AM »
FINALLY figured out the problem. (It was ME!). I used the Fit to Geometry option in Stock Definition of MeshCAM. And set the program zero to Top of Stock, SW corner. And just IGNORED the negative numbers this yielded on the screen. It was these negative numbers that was the issue that threw me before. It defies logic, because setting the Z axis Zero to top of part is my standard practice. So when the negative numbers appeared in the various fields of MeshCAM, I manually edited them to 0.000" (This turned out to be the problem). NOW, when loading the g code into Mach3 and Regenerating the toolpath, all is as it should be in the Program Limits fields of the Toolpath screen. I still don't know what changed between MeshCAM and Mach3, because manually setting the values in MeshCAM to zero always worked before. And dry runs in Mach3 to test, always returned the correct values in the Program Limits fields of the Toolpath screen before.
   However, during a program cut, the brushes on my Porter Cable Router bit the dust. Does anyone know of a local supplier for the 869659 Porter Cable motor brushes? As I understand it, that part number is a generic part number which replaced the original Porter Cable part no31652. Any suggestions?

FAQs / Re: Axis Limits in Toolpath screen
« on: November 01, 2011, 09:13:01 PM »
I will try, but it is a rather large file. This one is the logo for the Airforce. I really don't understand what has changed, because I have always loaded the gcode generated by Meshcam into Mach3, and navigated to the Toolpath screen in Mach, clicked on Regenerate toolpath, to verify that the program limits match what was done in Meshcam, before taking the file to the shop for cutting output. Before clicking the Regenerate toolpath button in Mach, it displays the correct range of -Z, and +Z. AFTER clicking the Regenrate toolpath button, it alters the program limits on the Z, such that the +Z limit is now a negative number, instead of the usual +0.1" range!
 This has been a devil hunt for the past 2 days (and I don't have much hair left to work with!!!).  I have tried setting the Program Zero in Meshcam to Top of Stock, Manually entering a zero into the field, Clicking on Set to Geometry Zero, ALL possible scenarios in an effort to run down the problem. I even uninstalled both MeshCAM, and Mach3, and reinstalled (and reconfigured Mach to the original settings) ALL to no avail! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

FAQs / Axis Limits in Toolpath screen
« on: November 01, 2011, 02:10:34 PM »
I am using MeshCAM Art to create 3D toolpaths for wood carvings on my Router table. I have encountered a problem, that I have been unable to dechipher.
Upon loading the G Code file created by MeshCAM Art, and then navigating to the Toolpath screen in Mach and clicking Regenerate Toolpath button (something I have made it a habit of always doing, to check that the program limits in Mach 3 match what was created in MeshCAM).
  Mach reads through the entire file, and updates the program limits for each axis. However, (and this is the core of the problem) the Z axis positive limit DRO now reads a NEGATIVE number. NOT GOOD, since depending on the program file loaded, indicates that the tool will start out by being plunged as deep as .25" into the work piece when it is supposed to be in a retracted position of 0.100" above the stock!
  After multiple attempts of starting over from scratch (I.E. -recreating the G code file in MeshCAM Art, and loading into Mach3), the problem persists. The tool retract in MeshCAM Art is set to 0.100" above the stock, and in the past has always generated G code which reflects this in the Mach3 program limits on the Toolpath screen. SOMETHING has changed in Mach3 for this to be happening, and I just can't seem to find exactly WHAT is causing this!!!?????
It is important to note here, that when the file is initially loaded into Mach, the program limits for all axis read correctly EXCEPT the positive Z limit, which reads 0.000" subsequent Regenerate Toolpath clicks yield the Negative value in the positive Z limit DRO. Does Anyone have any suggestions on where to look?

Feature Requests / List tool change line numbers
« on: October 25, 2011, 11:52:20 AM »
I know that Mach examines the entire g code file upon opening into Mach3 to generate the toolpath. It would be great, if a field were added on the main program window which lists all tool change line numbers. This would be a great convenience, in the event of a broken bit (so that after changing the bit, and re-zero of the Z one could return to the tool change and set line number for Run From Here).
Seems like every time this has happened, I FAILED to record the line number during tool changes to know where to Set Next Line at within the program.
Even if this info could be recorded into the History file, at least this would provide a method of determining tool change line number locations OTHER than manually editing the file, and doing a search in order to find them. Since Mach has no way of sensing when a cutter bit breaks, by "going back" in the g code to the last tool change which occurred, I have found this method to yield the best results in saving the work piece (without having to completely start over a multi-hour cut).

Feature Requests / Re: Add -Z limit calibration
« on: October 11, 2011, 12:24:51 PM »
When it does this quirk does mach3 say it where it is suppose to be and the machine is JUST in the wrong place??
To answer this question, -the program execution has usually completed by the time the discovery is made. I usually hit the Goto Zero in Mach (with my finger on the Stop button) just to see if the tool is where Mach thinks it it. (Provided that it is a scenario that has not yet broken the bit!!). In the instances which HAVE broken the bit, it is not there to measure the actual distance for comparison to the DRO in Mach. It is important to note here, that the only axis which has apparently lost steps is the Z (XandY are without exception exactly where Mach says they are).

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