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Topics - Drools

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General Mach Discussion / What did I do wrong
« on: March 07, 2010, 07:57:42 PM »
I'm making  some PCBs on my machine, I made a few yesterday and I want to use the whole PCB. However Mach3 on the PC controlling the router is not reading the file correctly and I do not know why?
I have Mach3 installed on my main PC to test the gcode and the same file looks good.
Here is what it is supposed to look like. The blue lines are supposed to be squares.

Here is what the PC controlling the mill is producing.

LazyCam (Beta) / Need help
« on: December 29, 2009, 02:02:59 PM »
My router has been working great, I have made several PCBs using Eagle and pcb-gcode. I have done some simple engraving in wood nothing fancy just some letters at a constant depth.
What I need help with is making something a little more complicated.
I can get all the DXF files for a simple touch probe here http://www.cognitiveinnovations.com/download.php?view.1
But I have never done anything like this, I know I have to use LazyCAM to get the dxf files into Mach3 but what settings do I use in LazyCAM to produce the item. I have purchased Mach3 but not LazyCAM, will the demo version of LazyCAM do what I need?
I started with the bottom.dxf, I notice the dxf does not have any layers so I'm thinking I will have to create some and move objects into the new layers. Using the bottom.dxf I have made 4 layers, BB, HOLE, PLUG and OUTLINE. I think I'm doing this correctly but I'm not sure. Once I import the new file into LC I can set the layer depth and assign a tool. This is where I'm a little fuzzy, I think I should use my 1/8 end mills, I do have some PCB engraving bits but I do not think they will be effective here. I have some bits I got from Princess Auto that range from 1mm to 3mm that might work.
I would be grateful for any help.

General Mach Discussion / another parallel port question
« on: November 29, 2009, 10:04:06 PM »
Probably been asked before but searching does let me put my question to rest.
My DIY router is working fine but the PC running it is an old AMD 1600+ so I purchase a "new to me" IBM SFF (small form factor) PC to replace it, P4 3.2Ghz and 2gigs of ram. The os is windows XP stripped down to bare bones.  There is a good listing of what services can be modified here.

Anyway my new PC has only 1 PCI slot and I kinda wanted to use it to install a wireless network card. However my router is using 2 LPT ports, one is an add-in PCI card. I want to change my setup to run my mill from 1 parallel port and in order to do this I would need to use pins 1, 14,16 or 17 as outputs. Specifically enable lines on my drivers . My drivers use Step, Direction, Enable and Common therefore requiring 9 outputs and I was under the impression that only pins 2 through 9 could be used as outputs. Can I setup Mach3 to use the Control lines as outputs?

Thanks for the help.

General Mach Discussion / Metric and Imperial Auto Tool Zero Plate
« on: September 11, 2009, 09:39:28 AM »
I created 2 profiles one for metric and one imperial. Both work fine except for the custom auto-tool-zero script. It is obvious that the code is for either metric or imperial and cannot switch. I can do the coding if I know the name of the global variable that tells Mach3 what units it is using.
Can anyone help me out, or maybe someone has already modified the code to account for switching between metric and imperial.

LazyCam (Beta) / I cannot figure out what LCam is doing?
« on: August 07, 2009, 12:35:48 PM »
I'm getting weary trying to get Lcam to export some gcode that I do not have to manually edit.
Here is the first little bit of gcode..
Could someone please explain the following lines and where did they come from. At no time do I see what I set in the layers in the gcode.
N20, N35, N40, N50, N60 and lastly N65 at this point the bit should be set to the 4.6500 cutting depth I had set in the layers tab.
Line 35 and 60 looks like the value set in the “Plunge Clearance” but what is it and why do I need it?

N5 (File Name = harbourPointe on Friday, August 07, 2009)
N10 (Default Mill Post)
N15  G91.1
N20 G0  Z1.0000
N25 M3 S15000
N30  X9.0000  Y0.0000
N35  Z0.1000
N40 G1  Z0.0000  F5.00
N45  Y1.0000   F25.00
N50 G0  Z1.0000
N55  X9.2154  Y1.5887
N60  Z0.1000
N65 G1  Z0.0000  F5.00
N70  X9.2202  Y1.6096   F25.00
N75  X9.5369  Y1.5369   
N80  X9.4629  Y1.8074   
N85  X9.2792  Y1.8496   
N90  X9.2840  Y1.8705   
N95  X9.4568  Y1.8309   
N100  X9.4544  Y1.8397   
N105  X9.4784  Y1.8341   
N110  X9.4808  Y1.8253   
N115  X9.8431  Y1.7421   
N120  X9.8383  Y1.7212   
N125  X9.4870  Y1.8019   
N130  X9.5605  Y1.5315   
N135  X9.7903  Y1.4787   
N140  X9.7855  Y1.4578   
N145  X9.2154  Y1.5887   
N150 G0  Z1.0000
N155  X9.3726  Y2.1641
N160  Z0.1000
N165 G1  Z0.0000  F5.00
N170  X9.3782  Y2.1792   F25.00
N175  X9.6484  Y2.1645   
N180  X9.6486  Y2.1650   
N185  X9.6488  Y2.1655   
N190  X9.6490  Y2.1660   
N195  X9.6492  Y2.1665   
N200  X9.6495  Y2.1675   
N205  X9.6497  Y2.1680   
N210  X9.6499  Y2.1685   
N215  X9.6501  Y2.1691   
N220  X9.6680  Y2.1693   
N225  X9.6669  Y2.1634   
N230  X9.9902  Y2.1467   
N235  X9.9824  Y2.1255   
N240  X9.6694  Y2.1424   
N245  X9.6934  Y1.9483   
N250  X9.6702  Y1.9569   
N255  X9.6656  Y2.0028   
N260  X9.6613  Y2.0422   
N265  X9.6575  Y2.0751   
N270  X9.6542  Y2.1016   
N275  X9.6515  Y2.1221   
N280  X9.6495  Y2.1366   
N285  X9.6482  Y2.1440   
N290  X9.6471  Y2.1455   
N295  X9.4172  Y2.1561   
N300  X9.8622  Y1.7920   
N305  X9.8541  Y1.7704   
N310  X9.3726  Y2.1641   
N315 G0  Z1.0000

BTW: if you want to crash Lcam high-light all the text in the “Plunge Clearance” and press the back-space key, it works every time. I’m no programmer but why is it that the name of the textbox is in the textbox? This crashing method works on other textboxes as well, I did not do this on purpose it was purely accidental. If this is the same version NewFangled wants 75.00$ for then I will have to say no, until it is more polished like Mach3 is. Search and replace is my best friend with Lcam :)

General Mach Discussion / Best way to make & route text.
« on: July 29, 2009, 12:30:29 PM »
I just finished my router build and I would like to test it out with some easy text, a couple of 9x12 signs for work. Nothing too stressful on the machine.
What I can say is this process has been stressful for me! I have AutoCAD 2008 and I have done the text there and saved it as a dxf. Then I tried to open it with lazyCAM, well the resulting gcode was nothing more than 2 squares on the screen.
I downloaded inkscape and did the same thing however LazyCAM did not display anything and I received a OpenGL error from LazyCAM.
I tried several other apps some worked but only to produce the word "DEMOVERSION" and other software just did not produce gcode Mach3 liked.
Is there an easy way to do this?


General Mach Discussion / Limit switches on modbus/TCPIP
« on: July 16, 2009, 11:33:37 AM »
I had an Adam-6061 sitting unused so I decided to try and get Mach3 to find it and read the some of the inputs.
The ADAM-6051 provides 12 digital inputs, 2 digital outputs, and 2 counters with 2000VRMS isolation protection.
This mixed-function module built-in Ethernet port and web page.
I have been able to get Mach3 to see and read the Digital inputs through the testing screen under modbus config but I'm lost at how to tell Mach3 that the home and limit switches are on modbus. I'm also looking at a way to use the 2 counters on my router, there must be something a counter will be useful for :)
I hope to use one of the Digital Outputs to control my spindle on/off function.


General Mach Discussion / Steps per in Motor tuning
« on: July 05, 2009, 09:03:20 PM »
I'm sorry if this has been covered before, I did do a search but what I found still made me question my setup.
I have 1/2-10 single start Lead Screws, STMD Drivers set to 1/10 micro-stepping and finally Tormach 280oz steppers 1.8.
If I figure this correctly my "steps per" should be:
tpi * 200 * micro-stepping = steps per
10 * 200 * 10 = 20000
Is 20,000 a little high?

thanks for the help.

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