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What machines run Mach?
« on: February 09, 2010, 08:55:49 PM »
Hey guys:

I was looking around at some job postings in my area that are CNC related, and none of the jobs I look at require a working knowledge of Mach3.  I'm curious to know how prevalent this software is out there among other types of machines.  I own 3 ez-routers myself.

Bill
Re: What machines run Mach?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 09:27:00 PM »
No one answered your post?

Most industrial machines run they're own software, Mach is mostly used for hobbyist, home shop machines , mills,lathes, routers, etc.
But , it can be setup to run larger machines with the right drivers.

But ,  all cnc controls are fairly similar, wheather its conversational or g code only. It just takes some getting familiar with the control.

Hope I was of some help.

Ed
Ed VanEss

Offline ger21

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Re: What machines run Mach?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 11:10:02 PM »
If you're talking routers, most if not all of the high end ones ($80K and up) run their own control software. While Mach does run a large number of lower priced large routers, imo, those types of machines are usually used in very small shops.

As Ed said, if you know Mach3 pretty well, you should be able to learn other controls pretty quickly.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: What machines run Mach?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2010, 03:11:33 PM »
I do all my toolpathing in Vectric VCarve, even my 2d stuff (we do mostly vcarving anyway).  Is this relegated to pretty small shops as well?
Re: What machines run Mach?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2010, 05:54:00 PM »
I believe Vectric vcarve  was designed for the router , signmakers , and engravers. You could also use Lazycam.
The bigger shops use Featurecam, Mastercam, Gibbscam , and others , but your talking big dollars. Anywhere between 4k - 10k.
Too much for the hobbiest. Most cam programs all work on the same principle, creating toolpaths , weather 2d or 3d .

learning different cam programs is similer to learning different machine controls.

Ed
Ed VanEss

Offline ger21

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Re: What machines run Mach?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2010, 07:33:33 AM »
 
I do all my toolpathing in Vectric VCarve, even my 2d stuff (we do mostly vcarving anyway).  Is this relegated to pretty small shops as well?
If you're talking woodworking shops, I don't think you'll see FeatureCAM or GibsCAM. There is MasterCAM Router and AlphaCAM for woodworking. Most shops with high end machines will be running a $10K to $20K cabinet software package. These will fully automate the production process, allowing you to go from design to optimised or nested panels, ready to run on your machines, with a few mouse clicks. I've used cabinet software that, once you had entered all your cabinets, could output a job of 500 cabinets, with no two alike, in under 5 minutes. This would give you a .dxf file of every part, each .dxf would be automatically converted to g-code with no user involvment, barcoded labels for each part, printed reports and BOM's. Gcode could be nested for routing from full sheets, or panel optimized for saw cutting.

V-Carve Pro is a great, and very capable package. But, there are a lot of much more expensive packages that can convert .dxf files automatically. This can save hundreds of hours of labor per year, which more than pays for itself.

How long would it take you to open 300 cabinet part .dxf files in V-Carve Pro, nest them, and create g-code? With the software I've used, I can do it in less than a minute.

What it really comes down to, is the type of machines the shops use, and the type of work they do. I started a new job a month ago in a cabinet/millwork shop. I consider it a small shop, with about 6 guys in the cabinet portion of the shop. We have AlphaCAM, for programming and nesting, but it wasn't being utilized properly.Within another month or two, I'll be saving them hundreds of hours of programming time a year. software is a tool, and it's all about using the right tools for the job.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: What machines run Mach?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2010, 07:52:22 AM »
I agree!  It is about using the right tool for the job.  99% of our machine time is v-carving signs.  We do very little cutout stuff for people, and we do absolutely no cabinet work.  I really wish I had some background in this, just for the sake of learning a useful skill.  I guess I'd be curious to know if companies hire based solely on experience, or if they would hire based on the capability to learn quickly....

Offline ger21

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Re: What machines run Mach?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2010, 08:37:57 AM »
I doubt you'll find anyone willing to pay you to learn the job. Most of these high end software packages like you to pay them to learn to use there software. Typically 3-5 day sessions, at their facility. Not cheap, and depending on your abilities, you may not get a lot out of the training. Two guys in our shop got a week of training, and I learned to do things they didn't know on my first day, due to my experience in the industry.

You best chance to learn the high end packages would be to work for a company just getting into the high end CNC woodworking machinery, and being the guy responsible for the machine and software.

In today's economy, however, having the skills is no guarantee of finding employment. Most companies have one or two people that do the job that I do, so you'll only find an opening if someone leaves a position. I was fortunate enough to find a shop that need my skills, and didn't really have someone currently doing it.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html