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Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« on: August 31, 2012, 08:06:44 AM »
I have been working on the wizards for Mach4. This is a total re-write, using C++ At the present it is a standalone program, but it will become a plug-in to Mach4.

It is great to have the full power of a real programming language to work with and has allowed me to make some interesting improvements. Among the changes:

  • you now have the choice to select a filename for the code
  • the material data has a form to edit for your preferred values
  • There is an integrated Help system
  • All of the old operations are included
  • There is a text engrave option, with font choices


Below is a screen capture of the main screen.

I will be looking for a limited number of testers son, but I would like some input on a question about depth of cut strategies. I have created a poll in the poll section of this forum. Please look at it and give me your view.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 07:53:54 AM by Ron Ginger »
Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 07:34:47 PM »
I have another question I would like to have some input on.

I have added support for either Z strategy- I can equalize the cuts or follow the input exactly.

The current wizard set allows you to string together several basic operations into one gcode program. There is a button that allows you to delete the last operation entered.

Would it be useful to allow a more general edit of the operations? In the simplest case to delete any op, but maybe also to go back and re-enter the values for one of the ops.

Do people use the multiple ops ability? Has anyone used more than 2 or 3 ops in one program?

I now have all the basic ops that the V3 set has, plus the text engrave. What other base ops would be useful? Im thinking about one to cut an ellipse and one for a general polygon.  What else is useful?

Brian expects to have the license code done in the next few days so I can release the first demo version.

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Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 02:25:46 PM »
Ron, I was just reading about chaining operations together. Are you telling me that right now in Mach3 with your addon (which I have 2.86) I could say do a pocket in the X/y axis using the wizard generate the code and then generate a code for a hole drilling operation and then copy them together without extensive understanding of G Code? I have always used each operation individually but would enjoy doing a multi op job. Would this allow for tool changes too?
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not like the passengers in the car! :-)
Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 06:09:52 PM »
Yes, that is exactly how the current NFS wizards work. Aftre each operaton is completed you are returned to the main menu screen where you may select another operation. There is no limit to how many operations can be strung together.

My standard demo is to do a bolt cirlce, followed by a pocket in the center of it, then a circle cutout around it to create a pipe flange, which is a common model part. That can all be saved as one file and reused as needed.

In the V4 wizards there is similar functionality, but even more it allows editing of operations, deleting one, re-arranging them, etc.

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Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 07:09:18 PM »
Wow, I had no idea. That is amazingly useful. I can't wait to go out in the garage and try it.
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not like the passengers in the car! :-)
Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 09:06:37 PM »
I have been wanting to put up more on the V4 wizards, but I have been working on them a lot and have not had time to make screen shots to post.

We have moved them to a strong Job orientation. A job will have certain properties- like Units (mm or in), material, and a couple choices of things like the Z strategy. A NewJob operation always brings up a Tool Select operation, which stays in effect until you select a new tool.

The main screen has a list box showing the job elements, and a right click on the list will let you edit the element, delete it, or move it up or down in the list. This is much greater job control than the Mach3 version.

The main screen also has a large toolpath display, with full interaction to rotate, pan, zoom, etc.

You will be able to save a Job Template and re-open it, make an edit to one or more ops, then re-post the code.

It is really a lot more capable than the V3 product, and it will be offered for Linux, and Mac as well as PC. I am pretty excited about it, and every time I think I can make a release copy Brian comes up with some neat new idea that sends me back to the keyboard.

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Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 09:00:16 AM »
Ron,

   You are talking way over my head. Look how long it took me to realize that I could do multiple operations at 1 time? I was having a good time single op'ing it when I was too lazy to use CAD.

   I do know this, I enjoy the benefits of working with products that achieve the goals I desire and do it well. Your product is 1 of those. Hats off to you and your efforts. In my experiences with the businessmen and women of Mach and CncZone, I have been nothing but impressed.

   In fact I would go further and say, if everyone turned off their divisive TV's and came to sites like these, their confidence in humans would only go up.

                         John
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not like the passengers in the car! :-)
Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 08:06:17 PM »
Hello Ron:

I have a need to use CopyCat to capture the outline of a tiny object, using a Video camera with the crosshairs to trace the outline and save a series of X-Y coordinates.

During a search for "capturing coordinates", I read a post by Greolt, topic 10437.20 HTML, back in 3/11/2009, in which he modified the "CopyCat" screen with the Video screen superimposed to do this very task.
 
Is your current/or future v.4 Wizards program using such a "CopyCat" video type screen?

There are occasions this ability is very useful. My particular application is to get an outline shape of a tiny bronze casting, in order to make a fixture to clamp the object for thread milling.

I am not yet a NF licensee, so have not investigated the latest version.

Thanks,

John
 
Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 09:01:02 PM »
The V4 wizards do not have a copy cat feature at this time and are not likely to have one with a video screen in the foreseeable future.

sorry,
Re: Newfangled wizards for Mach4
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2012, 09:14:00 PM »
The ability to delete ANY operation ( instead of "delete last operation") in a string of operations is something that I have been asking for. This would be MOST useful when one is developing a complete program for a part which is still in a design stage without the use of a dedicated CAD/CAM software. Also (perhaps this is not the place to ask), does anyone have any problems cutting a female metric thread in an Imperial machine using the thread mill wizard? I have tried two different methods. Using the machine in inch mode (G20) and inputting converted metric size and pitch to equivalent imperial measurements and setting the machine to metric mode (G21) and letting the wizard do the work. Both methods seem to generate a pitch that is not quite right. I have used the thread mill wizard to generate imperial threads with no issues.