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Messages - BluePinnacle

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G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: Tapered Pocket
« on: May 31, 2010, 06:31:30 AM »
All a question of economics. If you're doing more than a few tapered pockets it would be worth having a tool made. Just a short angled section would do to get a perfectly smooth side very quickly. A ball cutter will take ages and still not make a really smooth side.

Or, you could use a regular slot drill to get a stepped side hole and hand ream the angle if you can get a reamer the right size, or design the pocket to suit the reamer (if suitable for this).

it depends on your needs in terms of volume and accuracy really. Hope this helps :)

Cheers Stirling - I was trying to do this yesterday but it was time for dinner and i had to go :)

Yes, this works for me, and very well, I will save it with my useful snippets of code. thanks.

My thoughts on this are that as bugs go, it's too useful to disregard. I may file a bug report on this and suggest that it be improved to allow an inch or more. thoughts on this? Obviously it could only be used in centre (I J) mode. Any idea what the proposal is for this "feature" in mach4 - remove it to improve compatibility with traditional controls like Fanuc, etc, or reinforce it as a feature, or just keep quiet?

happily I've never hurt myself on a mill, but I've tried clearing steel lathe swarf by hand and ended up turning the coolant pink :(

and this one time* I was using a MIG welder with a sticky wire feed. the arc went up and down, my reactive helmet went on and off, and the flashing light and dark went on for severa hours as I tried to hack the wire feed into life. I felt really wierd when i left, and spent the next two days in bed with the fiercest migrane I've ever had. Well worth avoiding :P

*no it wasn't at band camp

very pimp, nice work :D

Hmm. If it's just a happy accident will it remain in mach4 when it finally arrives?

More to the point, is there a "proper" way of cutting a flat helix?

Not hard to program in any case. Here's an example for an M20 hole using an imaginary 10mm cutter. it's metric too so sub stitute your own values. Usual discalimers apply.


g0 x0 y0 (go to the axial centre of the hole at x0 y0)

#1=3.0 (create a variable called #1, value 3)
g0 x0 y10 z#1

g41 (set leftwards compensation for the tool of your choice)
(the first call of the subroutine is an introductory move over the work)

m98 p1 L15 (repeat the subroutine o1 ffiteen times)

g40 (cancel tool diameter offset)

g0 x0 y0 (retract to axial centre of hole)

g0 z20 (pull out to safe Z value)
m30 (finished!)

O1 (start of subroutine o1)
#1=[#1-2.5] (subtract thread pitch value from #1)
g03 x0 y10 z[#1] i0 j0 (mill a vertical helix descending by 1.25mm per turn)

m99 (end of subroutine)

I need to get some thread milling cutters actually, they'd save a lot of time. the program here would work with only one tooth but if you had a multi toothed cutter you could drop the cutter most of the way into the hole, then do two subroutine passes (one as an introductory move) to cut the thread.

As i said ... usual discalimers apply ... this should work, but try it on foam first. i would, so you should too ;)

G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: G-Code Commenter
« on: May 30, 2010, 12:10:25 PM »
That's very nice, like you say it could be a very useful beginner's tool, or for debugging as it would show up silly typos where they exist. Very nice find :)

General Mach Discussion / Re: help with settings
« on: May 30, 2010, 11:41:46 AM »
if it's a configuration error, the autodetect function in the "ports and pins" menu will be a lifesaver (or at least a timesaver)

if someone has fiddled with your settings remember to beat him very well.

update on this - a lot of the hangups seem to have been caused by Gcode edit windows staying open and not being saved and closed. Poor housekeeping :( the other bug I've found is that if I displace the Y variable (#1) by more than 12 mm per revolution, it gives me an error of "Radius to end of arc differs to start". It just seems very odd to me that 12mm offset is tolerated, but 13mm is not.

Still puzzled. Any help appreciated on this, as i would like to drive a coarser spiral than I currently can.

Edit: the allowed displacement seems to be independent of the initial or eventual arc diameter. I increased the starting radius to 200mm and it still allows 12mm increase but not 13.


Hi. Having a quick kickaround at maiking a snail, and I've run into some problems.

This is the code i was using five minutes ago, it worked then but not now.

G0 X0 Y[#1]
G0 Z1.00
M3 M8
G01 Z-1.0 F200

M98 P1 L10

G0 Z10 M5 M9

G03 X0 Y[#1] I0 J0 F600


this isn't for making anything, just a tester for cutting a jig for trimming a ring shaped part on, hence the locating island in the middle.

The increasing Y value in the subroutine should force the tool round in an outwardly increasing helix, and annoyingly, five minutes ago it did ... but not any more .. And i can't think why. Any clues?

G02 or G03 commands repeated with a decreasing Z are quite ok, I use these all the time for milling dead-fit holes for dowels etc. Never a problem there. Just flat helixes, or helices or whatever they are when they're at home. Any clues?  ???

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