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Messages - BluePinnacle

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General Mach Discussion / Re: "Threading" Gaining Confidence
« on: January 28, 2009, 03:37:04 PM »
Good lad! Keep going. I'm doing my final 30 Waveguide 5Q flanges this week before I ship my machine out to the new place. 8500 square feet, wooooooooooo :D Trouble is, according to the floorplan there's nothing left.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Offsets for spherical tools
« on: January 28, 2009, 06:22:56 AM »
Cheers. I had a re-think about this and I'm working on a different approach to cutting parabolas. The algebra is rather involved though, and I haven't had a lot of time to sit and think seriously about it. I'm taking over a factory and setting up some seriously hefty gear in there next week ... I'll get back to this when I can.

@   <--- mothball to keep it fresh

General Mach Discussion / Re: Offsets for spherical tools
« on: January 25, 2009, 06:55:48 AM »
Thanks guys, very much appreciated. I'm going to have to learn about VB, it's just that the learning curve at this point is quite steep and a bit greasy.

I'll try some of the suggestions tonight - there seems to be a number of ways to do the same thing. The DRO I'm trying to read is the one on the "program run" screen, the regular X,Y and Z DROs that Mach will be using for the program as it runs, I think the OEM codes are 800, 801 and 802.

Jim - sound advice. I'm only doing proof-of-concept stuff for now, on a laptop with no mill attached. I'm keeping this muck well away from my real rig until I can say with confidence that I know what will happen ;)

Thanks again, I'll try to get this set up this evening and see how we go.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Offsets for spherical tools
« on: January 24, 2009, 08:58:00 PM »
I'm having no joy here. I can't get the macro to operate.

The macro is named M9991 and is stored in \macros.

the code I was using as a test should show red G0 moves +500 X, then +500Y, then +500 Z. The Z move defined by a parameter that the macro should create by calling it from the Y DRO.

Gcode here:

G0 X500
G0 Y500
G0 Z#11

Macro here:


I'll be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing. If i could see something work, I'd be a great deal happier. As it is it's like repairing a radio with a knife and fork. What i want to do is this:

 - get an axis DRO value
 - assign it to a conventional # parameter and use it in a regular parametric subroutine.

Sorry to bugger round in little circles over what should be a very simple affair but I've never written a macro before and I'm definitely missing a point somewhere... I've tried the suggested methods, with permutations and alterations galore, and I get errors, or it just doesn't work.

Is it not working on the simulations because the DRO doesn't actually move?

Is Mach looking for the macros somewhere else? A subfolder?

My head hurts and i'm going to bed.


General Mach Discussion / Re: Offsets for spherical tools
« on: January 23, 2009, 08:03:57 PM »
Hmm. Last time I used VB it was pretty gruelling. I'll try these and see what i can do. Cheers...

I thought of another way I could cut a parabola, sending the cutter round in an extremely long helix. I'll have a play with that too.

Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Re: My Balding Beaver
« on: January 23, 2009, 03:19:20 PM »
like chicken in a basket, but harder on the teeth. Good looking mill! big and heavy, should turn out some good work.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Offsets for spherical tools
« on: January 23, 2009, 02:25:56 PM »
Cheers. Happier now. One thing I can't seem to find in the manual is how to apply an axis value off the DRO to a parameter; ie make the value of #3 equal to whatever X is reading at the time. Some clues here?  ???

You could use a bit of aluminium TIG rod or piano wire , insulate it with a bit of biro ink-tube, pop it in a regular drill chuck and then link the piano wire through your probe to your Mach system.

instant disposable probe for testing :)

General Mach Discussion / Re: Introduction
« on: January 22, 2009, 04:08:04 PM »
Hello and welcome :D it's a very useful site. Possibly the best product support I've ever seen. Pop up some pictures of your machines, it's nice to see what everyone's using.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Offsets for spherical tools
« on: January 22, 2009, 03:47:28 PM »
well, that wasn't too hard. Reading the manual, I came up with this.

It's only a demo file to check toolpaths on my laptop, so no units, spindle or anything fancy like that.

(vague parabola generator)

G0 Y0
G0 Z0
G0 X-30
G0 Y100
M98 P33 L300

G0 Z[0.002*#1*#1]
g2 y-100 i0 j0
G0 Z180
G0 Y100
G0 X#1
#1 = [#1+1]

So it should be a relatively simple matter to integrate some small X and Z offsets by calculating the tangential angle of a line against the profile of the parabola and altering the position of the tool before it does its G2 scan. I think ;)

What strikes me about this is the incredible economy and flexibility of handwritten G-code. The things I've seen spewed out by CAM programs is nobody's business, great reams of g01 here and g01 there, it's a nonsense.

Of course my code above might, in proper CNC terms, be a murderous bag of hacks, do say if so. I can learn. :D

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