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Mach3 mill beginers problems
« on: August 03, 2010, 04:47:16 AM »
Hello ,

I have a zentools cnc machine and a mach3 mill software.
For start I don't have any experience with the CNC and with this kind of software. For start I spent 3 days hearing and viewing the guide from mach3 site. At first I throught that I understood almoust everything but when I put the software and the cnc together the things waren't the same. For starters I went to set the limits for the machine  in the settings /limits. I've put on the X axis 0 then 90, on the Y axis 0 then 90 and in the Z axis 2 and -2 . ANd here my dilema begins : on the Z axis where is the 0 point . Is the zero point(for the z axis) the base table where the marerial is put . Also I have some dxf files and I have converted them in g-code but the problem is that the drwaing in g -code is to small. For the conversion I used the import from mach3mill. Does this file need more informations ? Do I have to use an aditiona software ?
Also I loaded the g-code name roadrunner from the defaultinstalation but also the drawing is to small....Is there a setting so I can make the scala bigger ?

Where is the information related to the depht of the cut / engraving. I want to make a PCB.

I hope somebody understood what I wanted to know  :)

Thanks !

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 05:36:28 AM »
Z Max for softlimits should be Zero and Z Min is minus *** , ie *** being the travel of your Z axis.

When in normal machining you use a work offset, the default is G54 and that is what you see in the DROs when you dont have the machine coords showing. Normally Z0 is the surface of your material and all cutting Z moves are negative, having said that some router guys seem to use the table as zero and all cutting moves are a positive value.

Probably best to use LazyCAM but afraid I have no experience with it so hopefully someone else will chime in for that.

Hood

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 06:06:10 AM »
Hi Wichmann,

Re- size of work:-
Alongside each of the axis DRO's is the Scale DRO. Once a file has been loaded you can view the size of the part by opening the Toolpath screen and reading the dimensions from the limits DRO's. Then with a small calculation return to the Main window and chenge the Scale DRO's accordingly. You can regenerate the toolpath and return to the Toolpath window to check that the part dimensions are what you require, if not alter the Scale DRO's again etc.

For pcb's my preference is to use the surface of the work as zero. (I zero the Z axis when the tool is touching the surface of the work).

Hope this helps,

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !

Offline RICH

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Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 09:13:11 AM »
Quote
Probably best to use LazyCAM

LazyCam  ( LC ) provides for setting Z movements. Take a look at Tutorial #6 in the LazyCam Manual. Even if you don't use LC
the tutorial is worth reading.

RICH
Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2010, 01:11:38 AM »
Yeah you guys were wright ! . The best is to use LazyCam...but now I'm encountering another problem regarding the import from DXF to g-code. To create the DXF we use Orcad (because we make drawings for PCB's) and when we import the drawings in the Mach3 mill in the first screen of the import (where we have to make the 4 steps) the schematic looks fine but after the g-code is loaded in mach3mill I see that the drawing is really bad . We made a test with a simple schematic that has one integrated circuit and another 5 resistors . On the schematic the all this pieces are connected together but in the gcode we have only the pads and some of the pads are deformed. Then we tried to load the dxf in the LazyCam but it blocks ...we waited like 2-3 minutes . It locks at the part that cleans the layers....
Do you use another methods to import the file from Orcad to Mach3mill ?

Thanks !

Offline RICH

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Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 07:40:30 AM »
What version of Mach are you using?

I have attached a file which talks in general about DXF files and was created for a different program.

If you are using LazyCam, then read the manual and don't hack your way thru it.
There are programs out there that may be better suited for generating the GCode from a DXF file for boards.
 
Post a dxf file and i will have a look at it.

RICH

Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 01:54:03 PM »
I finaly managed to load somehow the file in the LazyCam but my opinion is that it has too many chains .

I've uploaded the .jpg for you to see the how it's ok ...also I've put the dxf and how it's looking in the mach3mill.

I think the problem is't from Orcad because your files from the Lazycam manual post look very fine....

Please tell me your opinion and if you have a clue how to solve this matter.

Thanks!

Offline RICH

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Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 06:02:36 PM »
I never saw the first pic you posted or the software program it came from.
That said, there will be 21 layers in the dxf and probably 21 layers in LC and each layer would be made up
of chains. I don't know how you control layers  in your software. The manual talks about use of layers and the logic behind them
 if you so deisre to follow what is suggested.

I notice it can generate the GCODE, so why even use LC?

Did you dry run the file in Mach, what was it cutting?  Looks like it will cut  what you actualy want to keep if it were a cladded board.
LC is an importer of a file and not a CAD program, thus you are telling LC what you want to do with the different layers. You are defining
how you want to machine something.

Does Orcad or whatever program have a post processor for Mach3?

RICH

Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 03:06:26 PM »
The first drawing is from the mach3 ...but I think that is an very old version ...1.8. The computer has this old version...I will ask to see if we find antoher computer with a newer version....anyway that is how the g-code should look like and not like in the second picture . The g-code is loaded from LC . First I load the dxf in LC and after that I load the g-code to mach3mill.
Yes I did turn on the machine and it is drawing what is on the screen of the mach3mill and what I realy want is like in the first picture.

I'm searching to see if the OrCad has a processor for Mach3.

Thanks !
Re: Mach3 mill beginers problems
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 03:33:37 PM »
In this picture the design is lookin very nice but between the lines is a free space and I don't want that ...i want the lines to be filled.
I've attached also the original design from OrCad to see the comparison .
« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 03:35:56 PM by Wichmann »