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Topics - PatM

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A strange idea popped into my head as I was drifting off to sleep last night. I'd been thinking of making some dollhouse decorations for a 2 year old and wondering how I could turn miniature baluster without a lathe. A picture formed of my router holding a dowel in the 1/4" collet and a tool bolted to the table and the router was moving in two axis to cut the baluster - a vertical lathe where the work moves instead of the tool.

Has anyone ever tried this? I was trying to figure out how to set up my axis to accomplish this but nothing is sticking to my aged neurons. I can't imagine it would be all that difficult to accomplish. Of course, being supported only at one end means long workpieces are verboten but since I only have 5" travel on my Z that temptation is moot 8)

Any ideas?

General Mach Discussion / Delay at end of each drill op
« on: October 30, 2007, 09:13:42 PM »
I'm not sure where the delay is coming from in the following code (just a newb). This drilling sequence gets to the hole and does the drilling just fine but once its back to the clearance position it just sits for about 1 second before moving to the next position.


G17 G20 G40 G54 G64 G90
<other mops>
Z0.0829 F47.244094
(Standard Drill )
T3 M6
X1.8925 Y2.5750 Z0.0200 F47.244094
G81 X1.8925 Y2.5750 Z-0.0745 R0.05 F30.0
G01 Z0.0500 F30.0
G81 X1.9925 Y2.5750 Z-0.0745 R0.05 F30.0
G01 Z0.0500 F30.0
G81 X2.0925 Y2.5750 Z-0.0745 R0.05 F30.0
G01 Z0.0500 F30.0
G81 X2.1925 Y2.5750 Z-0.0745 R0.05 F30.0


I know the G01 is simply the move to the new position, G81 is the canned drill cycle and G80 cancels the drill cycle, but thats about as far as my knowledge takes me. What is causing the delay and how can I get rid of it?

Lol! Actually, I just noticed the feedrate.. Dunno how/why it went to so many decimal places. Have to check the visual mill settings.

I have some UTube videos up of making a muffin company sign and I just filmed the making of a PCB. This is for a DIP board but I'll be adding video for surface mount tomorrow. Sometime in the next week or two I'll edit the many bits into a primer for routing PCBs. For now there's just two parts (about 4 minutes total) of raw footage - one checking runout (can you say ZERO!) and the other the start of the etching MOP.

I made the traces 0.014" and most of the pads 0.060" but I can do quite a bit smaller (with Mach's help of course!).

Mach ain't just for "heavy metal".



The muffin sign video is in the Artsoft group already but for those not really up on youtube (like me until I actually put videos up)

Part 1 - introducing the software - ~5 minutes

part 2 - V-Carving ~8 minutes

General Mach Discussion / Tool change but no height change
« on: March 07, 2007, 02:22:03 PM »
I'm a newb so I don't really know where this problem originates. I was using the Vcarve demo before and had all the tool heights in the mach3 tooltable. When a tool change was called for it automatically adjusted the Z DRO to match the new tool.

Well, of course I uninstalled vcarve (good, just can't afford it yet) and I'm using VM5 now. I also updated mach3 to 2.0.053 at the same time. Now when I get a tool change it waits for me to swap out and hit cycle start etc, but it doesn't actually do anything to the Z DRO. So when I change from my 2 inch long 1/2" bit to the .375 inch long 1/8" bit the .375 ends up cutting air far above the work. I did find that if I hit pause right after the tool change then click the tool number and hit enter, the DRO is changed and everything works as expected. So it seems mach knows what tool number to use, but doesn't pay any attention to the height offset.

Now, I know its more than likely that its something about the VM5 post instead of Mach but I'm clueless as to what to look for.

Here's the start of a file with the tool change

G00 G49 G40.1 G17 G80 G50 G90
T3 M6
M03 S10000
G00 Z0.0625

Anything important missing there?

I' just setting up my first CNC machine, so I'm fairly close to completely lost ;)

Anyway, I got everything set up and running perfectly (as far as I can tell) without GCode loaded. All the axis travel in the proper directions and exactly the right distances. I set a dial micrometer up and tested by jogging around and making sure the DRO and the dial micrometer agree. The soft limits work perfectly etc.

Then, I loaded the scorpion demo as per the instructions and suddenly the DROs report FAR more movement than is really happening. I move about 1" and the soft limits kick in, as if I'd move over 25". If I manually jog, the same thing happens.

I've been perusing the Mach 2 manual and I just can't seem to find anything that tells me what to do about this. There is a paragraph on scaling, but it doesn't really say anything useful.

Any hints?

P.S. This is a licenced version. I have Mach 3 as well, but I can't seem to get that to move the machine at all. I figure I'll use mach 2 until I understand a fair bit of it, then see what I can do to get mach 3 working.

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