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Question about possible mach 3 project machine?
« on: December 01, 2011, 11:26:11 AM »
Hi guys, just so you guys know I'm not a builder of machines but I do run numerous cnc machines for a living in a fab shop. So we can pretty much build anything we want but the tech side is completely oblivious to me as far as motors and stuff goes. I recently bought a small cnc router that uses Mach 3. So far, I've been quite impressed with what it can do.

My question is I'm considering my first build but I'd like to build a waterjet machine. My question is will the mach 3 interface be able to handle a 2 axis machine, the Z axis I do not need programmable. I could have a random drive motor I would think. But I would need home and limit switches as well as a way to turn on my mini hopper for abrasive and the waterjet head using mac valves as they run off air. Since I've been using mach 3 for a while now i have a pretty good understanding of how it works. I guess my question is, can this be done and where should I start as learning about what motors and stuff I would need. I know there is a ton of research to be done but this would be like a year long project for me.

I guess my main question is can mach 3 handle all those switches and motors.

I found the thread for newbies building machines gonna start there.
Anyone on here use Mach 3 for a waterjet machine?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 11:32:38 AM by suade907 »

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Question about possible mach 3 project machine?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 07:48:13 AM »
Hi Suade907,

Not quite sure why you haven't had other reply's to your post but, in my opinion, yes Mach can handle a 2 axis machine and as many switches and motors as you need. There are limits to the number of inputs and outputs from one LPT port but a second port (depending on your PC) can usually always be added. There are also a number of external motion controller cards with extended input / output capability it is just a matter of determining your projected needs.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Question about possible mach 3 project machine?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 04:31:41 PM »
Ok thanks. my biggest concern is having a way to fire the head if I have to stop mid program which happens a lot. i would also have to figure a way to manually fire the head if need be. I've read you can add macro's into mach 3 as a button to do this.

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Question about possible mach 3 project machine?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 06:57:02 PM »
Thanks Tweakie, I missed this one too. 

Yes sir, Mach can handle it.  There are tons of ways to go about getting what you want.  To add to what Tweakie has allready mentioned, you use tons of devices to get additional IO includeing a PLC.  You dream it up and Mach can make it dance.  :)

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!

Offline BR549

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Re: Question about possible mach 3 project machine?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 07:43:41 PM »
YOu will probably want to use a MPG to jog with to get into position for a REFIRE  the Shuttle mode is great for that. The rest should be easy enough.

Just a thought, (;-) TP
Re: Question about possible mach 3 project machine?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 10:16:59 AM »
Ok thanks guys, now that I know it's possible the research begins.