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General Mach Discussion / Re: X-Axis rotation
« on: December 12, 2011, 09:26:30 AM »
Mechanically possible, but I don't know how you would CAM anything for it without a custom post processor.  Having a rotary A axis attached to the X is more common, or compounded to the Z. 

Just wondering if the Mach video window supports a video stream from a PCI express capture card with an analog camera attached.  The system I am working on has an analog camera with a seperate monitor and crosshair generator, but I want to get the Mach video window working as well.  I currently do not have a capture card so I'm hoping someone else can let me know if it works before I take the plunge and purchase one.  Any recommendations of cards are also welcome!

Thanks Hood!  I didn't even know that option existed!  Works perfect!

General Mach Discussion / interlock / feed hold for multiple heads
« on: July 26, 2011, 03:07:22 PM »
Hey gang, I'm configuring a pick and place system with onboard dot dispensing and need a little help.  I have a nozzle and 2 dispensers mounted on a single tooling plate.  Each has its own linear actuator moving it in and out of the work area.  At the top of the stroke of each actuator I have a single reed switch wired in series.  This reed switch triggers a digital input to mach which is meant to ensure that the axes will not move while a tool is down, preventing damage to the dispensers and nozzle. 
My problem is that I cannot find an easy way to configure the input to prevent motion.  Using the input as a feed hold works but requires the operator to hit the start button again after every stroke of an actuator.  So what I need is a way to configure a single input to stop all movement on a machine until Mach sees the input... Any suggestions are appreciated!

I think its definitely possible but I'm not sure if the switch from on to off will happen fast enough to prevent the loss of some steps.  If overheating prevention is your only reason for doing this, wouldn't it be easier to heat sink and actively cool the mosfets?  A little air moving across the chip makes a world of difference.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Benefit of 4th axis homing switch?
« on: May 11, 2011, 09:14:23 AM »
On my rotary table I have a machined fixture that holds 3 pie-slice shape wedges for making airfoils for a dome shaped wind turbine.  The reference is at the center of the table but I need to start from the same point (home) each time I run the program or the cuts will be in the wrong place.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Benefit of 4th axis homing switch?
« on: May 10, 2011, 03:57:47 PM »
The best setup I know of is using a slitted disk with an optical switch.  When the slit is oriented over the optical switch, the switch changes state and gives your home pulse.  The axis will (and should) only home in one direction.  I do believe a rotary home switch is important if you have static fixtures on your rotary table, and also helpful in cutting threads.  The same setup can be used for a index pulse as well. 

.1" seems like a fairly heavy cut to me!  I usually do .25 mm/10 thou passes and make up the time with higher feedrates and rpms.

What is your depth of cut?  Aluminum can be tough to machine, especially with 4 flutes or more on your mill.  The metal actually clogs the flutes and creates more resistance.

That did do it!  Also found that manually pressing the start button allowed it to continue.  This is much better though as I want this machine to run with as little operator input as possible.

Also I figured out a work around macro;

ActivateSignal(output1) 'triggers PLC to start PICK cycle
While IsActive(input1)

This works the same as the previous script as long as input1 is set to active low!

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