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Messages - pgh3

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Thanks for your reply, ger21.

Yes, I've read that the drawing capabilities of Cut2D are somewhat limited. I have TurboCAD, SmartDraw and CorelDraw registered on one of my other computers: I think would that allow me to produce DXF files suitable for Cut2D.

But I will check out the applications you've already mentioned.


G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / CAD/CAM for Hobby Level Bench Mill
« on: June 08, 2011, 05:04:45 PM »
Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere; the forum is becoming quite extensive!

I'm running a small gantry type bench mill (300mm x 400mm) and using Mach3 on a dedicated XP computer. My goal is to buy software that allows 2D vector machining of wood or plastic.
I have bought BMP2NC so I can raster cut from black and white drawings, and it works well, but the time taken to cut away lots of open space at small increments (0.02mm) is getting excessive; ie, up to 9 hours!

Can I ask this forum what is the opinion of those with experience as to the most appropriate software to buy without breaking the bank?

I was about to purchase a licence from Dolphin but changed my mind when I found out their software is far too conditional to be practical - I can't have my computer connected to the internet whilst machining just to satisfy their paranoia...

I'm looking at Vectric Cut2D as a possibility, but would like to read about others' experience first....

Thanks,  Peter

What is the price of SolidCam? I've downloaded the demo version and looked at their website but have no idea on how much it is....
It does seem very user un-friendly, but then so was SolidWorks until I bought a book on how to drive it.

Going from a black and white drawing of say, for example, a noughts and crosses game, what is the best or most suitable software to create G-code that does not produce a raster scan cut...?
Because that is what Bmp2Cnc does. So if SolidCam is affordable, it could be a better option?


FAQs / Re: Behavioural Changes in Mill
« on: April 26, 2011, 04:44:12 PM »
One of the crimps had actually caused the wire to be severed - it was mechanically held in position enough to make contact, but the slightest movement caused a break.

Replacing the entire cable allowed me to solder all connections and the machine is now up and running once again.

Very satisfying outcome.

FAQs / Re: Behavioural Changes in Mill
« on: April 25, 2011, 07:39:37 AM »
Yes! You're a wizard, Tweakie.
It is as you describe! I have found an open circuit in one of the wires in the X axis!

I am actually pleased to find it because I do not like having no confidence in the machine, and this is as good an explanation as I need.
Initial checks show the connections at each end are sound - one is crimped and the other soldered - both ends look fine and professional.
I'll now check the entire cable and look for a  pinch point or sharp bend.

But what a relief to have found the reason.

Many thanks for your help and solution, Tweakie, I'm indebted to you; and to this Forum.


FAQs / Re: Behavioural Changes in Mill
« on: April 25, 2011, 06:33:39 AM »
Thank you for responding, Tweakie,
I'm not very 'into' stepper motor operation, but if a wire were broken, would that explain why is sounds sweet and smooth on a G0 move and rough on a G1 move?

I ask this because I have a control box that takes the LPT1: output from the computer (EPP Parallel port) and with its built in power supply, delivers output to the 3 axes stepper motors and the spindle motor.
I reversed the cables going to the X and Y. The result was the problem was shifted to the Y axis and the X axis ran as though normal, both in G1 and G0 moves.

So maybe the cable to the X axis motor is no good?


FAQs / Behavioural Changes in Mill
« on: April 22, 2011, 05:09:34 AM »
The marriage between Mach3 and my small CNC mill has been blossoming nicely; my last run was a 4 hour raster cut of letters into a piece of Merbau (wood).

Now, any G01 movement in X results in excessive chatter, lots of noise, no movement or erratic; and sometimes in the wrong direction.

Unless I hold down the shift key - the direction may, or may not, be reversed, but the X motor runs nice and sweet. The other axes (Y and Z) all work as normal, both in G00 or G01.

I have swapped Nema23 motors - still the same. ie, X axis
I have swapped circuit boards in the controller - still the same; X axis
I have used an earlier copy of Mach3 - installed on another hard drive - still the same.
I have re-installed Mach3 and re-configured the settings - still the same.
I have connected another computer with Mach3 - still the same.
I have changed the parallel port cable to the driver box...

Mach3 has been set to a core frequency of 25kHz. The stepping motors are set at 400 pulses, Velocity down to 1000 and accelaration has been set down to 200 units/sec/sec.

Unless I hold down the shift key, X axis is all over the place...
I have run out of ideas what to do next...

Anyone have an experience with this?

General Mach Discussion / Re: Crop circles in Cut2d
« on: April 16, 2011, 11:28:36 AM »
Hi jrich124,
I think he means that the I and J parameters have to be in Incremental mode rather than Absolute mode. You put a G91 into your code just before the command that uses I and J.
Your parameters then move relative to the current spindle position; and not from the origin position (X0, Y0).
When the G2 or G3 or whatever other code uses I and J are finished, make sure you put in a G90 to tell Mach3 you want to be in Absolute mode.

For example, (this is for a mill)

G90        (set machine to Absolute mode)
G0 X10   (Rapid movement of the spindle to 10 units in X)
G91        (set machine to Increment mode)
X-2          (spindle will rapid to 8 - not back to to -2)
G90        (back to Absolute mode)

You will see that having the correct mode is extremely important for preventing a crash!
On your first picture, you can see that your machine has initialized to Absolute mode with the G90

These commands are to be written into your part code; they are not available as part of the configuration of the Mach3
When you are in the Mach3 screen, click on the G-Code button and look through the list - you will be able to read a description about each G code there.


General Mach Discussion / Re: One-way direction in Z
« on: January 31, 2011, 11:01:12 PM »
I think I know what caused the problem before:  I had selected ECP as a print mode in BIOS - it should have been EPP!
My computer has the option to select both and I have - the Z axis has been both directions ever since.
I thought I need to share this information here so that anyone else with a similar problem may get a clue...
Thanks to all for your help.

General Mach Discussion / Re: One-way direction in Z
« on: January 29, 2011, 08:04:48 PM »
Yes, my thinking also - I'm puzzled because the only thing different between not working and working was a setting for Z of 8 & 9 and then back to 6 & 7, as per Angel Tech's suggestion.
And I'm afraid this is always going to be a possibility in this open-ended control system - that's why servos are so much better and expensive.
Again, thanks for your input and time. And yours, Angel Tech.

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