Author Topic: Laser Cutting.  (Read 1687 times)

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Laser Cutting.
« on: June 18, 2014, 10:05:09 AM »
I have said it before but I just can’t say it enough – my congratulations go out to the Mach4 team and of course, Art for the excellent Darwin driver.

Just couldn't resist making a short video of Mach4 (build.1767) with Darwin laser cutting.  http://www.graytel.talktalk.net/Mach4.wmv

Tweakie.

Addition;

This is the video of the latest test engraving and cutting  http://www.graytel.talktalk.net/Darwin 2.wmv
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 08:27:54 AM by Tweakie.CNC »
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Laser Cutting.
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2014, 12:57:58 PM »
Very nice Tweakie!
;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 Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Laser Cutting.
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 04:36:12 AM »
Thanks Brett.

A few of the challenges I encountered with Mach4 v.1767 which may be of interest to others…
 
Initially my machine PC graphics card was not up to the task and had to be replaced with one that makes a better job of handling OpenGL. It’s a 10 year old PC and getting hold of a suitable AGP card was not that easy but where there is a will…

I work in metric so selected Metric Units in Mach4. As it turned out the Counts per Unit / Acceleration and Velocity for the X,Y & Z axes all had to be entered in Imperial units in motor tuning in order to get correct operation and axis movement distance. The A axis behaves differently and settings for this were entered in metric units.

Overall, setting up Mach4 is very easy to do but getting the M3 / M5 commands to talk to my VFD control was, to say the least, a real challenge. I got it working fine in about 5 minutes but did not record the settings, changed something else, it stopped working and then took me a few hours to get it working again (I have now written down my settings for future reference).

I forgot (read about it often enough on the forum but still forgot) to delete the M6 macro and the tool change ‘dance of honour’ tested my reactions – God bless E-Stop. :)

My old PC does not appear to have the computing power to handle the M30 command (stalling all motors during the GCode rewind operation) so M30 had to be deleted from my GCode programs to get them to run correctly towards the end. This needs further investigation on my part.

The Imperial / Metric bug, mentioned above, may have already been rectified in v.1817 but overall Mach4 v.1767 is just brilliant to use and it operated faultlessly during the couple of test runs I have been able to do so far.

Art’s ‘Darwin’, parallel port driver, performed beautifully during the tests with no faults or bugs to report. It is very easy to set-up and the motion produced is just so smooth it is difficult to describe the difference from Mach3.

As yet we do not have a dedicated control method for laser switching (the old M11P1/M10P1 commands have gone) but Art is working on it and I am sure he will think up something good once he starts using his Synrad.  ;)

As soon as I get more ‘play time’ I will delve a bit deeper and see what I can and can’t do with the new toy.  ;D

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.