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Topics - rickw

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General Mach Discussion / Tool change
« on: March 03, 2011, 01:05:18 PM »
I have a question relating to changing tools (cutting bits). So far, I have been using the same cutter for all of my jobs so there was no need to worry about a tool change. Now I want to add some different textures to projects and I do not have a tool changer. How does one ensure Mach is aware to pause and change locations for a manual tool change and then move back to the next cut?

General Mach Discussion / CAM recommendation, other than CamBam
« on: February 19, 2011, 07:24:48 AM »

I am using AutoCad to design and saving files in DXF format. I have been using it for years and am really proficient with it. I have also been using CamBam to convert the DXF files into code for Mach. This is not working out so well because in many instances, CamBam does not transfer the correct code, or something to that effect. For example, I have designed a piece of material which has slots at various angles. They are correct in AutoCad but when imported into CamBam, they will not allow toolpaths. Then when imported into Mach, they do not fully cut as designed or even cut at all. Can someone suggest an easier way to convert my ACad DXF files to code? I have been evaluating VCarve Pro but it's a bit pricey and all I need, at this point, is some simple conversion tool. Any suggestions?


General Mach Discussion / Re-starting on a partially cut piece of material
« on: February 19, 2011, 07:09:13 AM »
Please forgive me for sounding so ignorant but it's because I am still figuring out the CNC process. I have been cutting with minor problems but learning as I go. I have been designing using AutoCad and importing into Mach via CamBam. So far, I am not a fan of CamBam but maybe I need to use it more but I am only using it to transfer my AutoCad DXF files to code. If anyone knows an easier way, please let me know but my question is not with CamBam. But I do have a question on why this happened in the fist place because the slots were fine in AutoCad but did not show as one entity when in the CamBam program. 

I imported a DXF file into CamBam in order to develop code and when importing into Mach, something didn't transfer correctly. I wanted to cut a a few slots in the wood but only one cut. I have a large piece of material mounted on the table with the piece partially cut. I will need to fix the file somehow (haven't figured out why it did this) but I want to finish cutting the fixed material since it is a large piece and I don't want to waste it. Finally, my question. How can one align the cutter to cut on the same path as a previously cut piece? I have saved the fixture 0,0 coordinates from yesterday to try and get it aligned today. I have previously clamped the piece in the correct spot and started with plenty of material to spare and have been successful but now I need to be more precise. I knew this time would come but now I'm stumped. If I import the same code (file) with the slot problem corrected, how can I get the cutter on the original cut path? The only thing I will have to correct is the slots and all of the other lines/cuts are in the same exact locations. I don't have one of those fancy centering jigs yet but I want to make one for this reason. But I still need some assistance finding the proper procedure for aligning.


General Mach Discussion / Importing G code
« on: February 06, 2011, 07:27:06 PM »
I have a question, which I have tried to figure out on my own but I can't. After importing code into Mach, the image is way out of soft limits set on my table. How can I move the image closer to my set limits within working distance to zero and begin cutting? I have tried everything. What I had to do, which worked, was move the Cam file image closer to a 0,0 coordinate and re-entered it into Mach, and it was within the soft limits but what a pain. Is there a way to move the code image around in Mach? I would have to think there is a way..........

Any advice would be appreciated.

General Mach Discussion / Driver test file not working
« on: January 29, 2011, 11:11:33 AM »
I have just built a new machine and I am trying to get it to move. I am starting at the beginning with the video tutorials and hit a snag already. The drivertest file will not run to indicate other issues. I have tried installing the latest version of Mach3 but it still will not run. I am running Windows 7 (32bit) on a desktop. I think the driver might be the culprit because the motors are energized but will not move. Any advice would be welcomed as I have been trying to get the motors to turn for two days.

Thank you in advance!


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