Author Topic: Mach3 CNC 3 Axis Control Panel  (Read 5365 times)

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Offline Lotus Pack

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Mach3 CNC 3 Axis Control Panel
« on: January 07, 2014, 06:42:03 AM »
With all the limitations of a decent control panel interfaced with Mach3 I got really fed up with the selotape and string game controller conversions and found this little control panel from Command & Control systems.  I don't know about you but I like my workshop to look like an engineering tool room and a Nintendo game controller running my prize three axis CNC machine just don't cut the mustard for me. This panel works on the USB port and gains as much function as possible using that simple plug and play connection.  I simply plugged it in and started using it, it is set up as default to work with the standard Mach3 setting but you can change all sorts of things like : axis direction, rapid and slow move, spindle control, DRO offset settings and if you shift the screen to one that does not have a stop button while running a job the control panel still responds to the stop command by switching to a screen that does have a stop button apply the stop command and jump back to the screen you were on.  It does a lot more as it is fully configurable, just trying to get my head round the configuration manual. To set Z axis tool offset is really easy I put my 50mm dial tool set on top of my jog and jog over it then jog down using the non-rapid button and hold the +offset button while setting the DRO setting button on the control panel and the panel throws the 50mm offset into the DRO on Mach3 and I am ready to go.  The only limitation with the panel is clearly stated in the manual when a job finishes the panel has to be manually controlled to move to jog mode.  The manual says this is a convenient safety measure as you have to deliberately move to rapid jog mode before the machine is allowed to move, an accidental push on the joystick could damage your work. Oh yes, a cool feature is the joystick double up as a feed and speed override so you can adjust your speeds and feeds while machining. I hear they are designing  new panel for the Lathe. I went for the sloping stand alone option which cons me another £60 on top of the £200 but you can get a flat panel type to go in your own box.  They supply to order so it may take a while to get one.