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Author Topic: Should I start out with Mach4?  (Read 2718 times)

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Should I start out with Mach4?
« on: December 23, 2014, 01:41:09 AM »
Hi, I am a new to Mach software and just wrapping up the assembly of a Blurry Customs Iron Man router. I figured if Mach 4 is stable enough I should go ahead and start with it instead of Mach 3, since I don't know Mach 3.  I can write code if need be, but since I do that for a living I don't want to do to much of it just to get this thing going. WDYT?

Also I plan to use the printer port so any advice of a good parallel port board, perhaps one that someone is currently using with Mach 4.

Thanks!

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Should I start out with Mach4?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 04:00:11 AM »
For what it's worth, my advice would be to start out with Mach3 (no need to purchase the license at this stage) then get your machine up and running (using Gcode programs less than the 500 line limit for the demo).

Once you have sorted all the problems (if you encounter any) and have a good working knowledge of operating your new CNC machine then install Mach4 (you can have and use both Mach3 and Mach4 on the same PC) and use the experience gained to set-up and start using Mach4. Please bear in mind that some of the functions have not yet been fully finished within Mach4 at this moment in time so, although it is a fully functioning software it is not yet complete.

There are many threads here (go to the main page then use the search box at the top) relating to suitable Parallel Port cards - this one may help http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,11300.0.html

Tweakie.
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Re: Should I start out with Mach4?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2014, 03:21:55 PM »
Thanks for the advise and link. I'll start with 3, its really all I need anyway.
Re: Should I start out with Mach4?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 11:21:09 AM »
From the NFS site:

Summary - Mach3 versus Mach4 :
Mach4 Hobby is the closest comparable version to Mach3, yet it is still much more advanced.  The price point of these versions
is nearly
identical. Mach3 is very popular for hobby enthusiest and is used in highly modified form by some great OEM's.  In general, Mac
h4 is more
complex than Mach3 and follows cnc industry standards.  Mach3 has many customizations to make it easier for hobby users, but ca
n lead to
difficulties if users plan to apply their knowledge to more advanced systems.  Mach4 is built as a full featured cnc controller
 capable of high
speed machining for servo and stepper systems.  Mach3's feature set is complete, while Mach4's will continue to expand.  If you
 are new to cnc,
Artsoft highly recommends using and learning Mach4 even if it appears that Mach3's feature set will be adequate for your needs.

FWIW,
Russ  :)
Re: Should I start out with Mach4?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2018, 03:53:18 PM »
Hi,
I would go for Mach4. There is a parallel port plugin for Mach4, you have to pay an extra $25 and its not fully featured. If going for Mach4 you should get
yourself an external motion controller. About $120 for the cheapest and up to $1200 for a flash one, I use an ESS for about $180.

Mach4 is ready to go for a mill or router and the lathe mode works but with a few wobbles.

The real advantage of Mach4 is that you can program it to do just about anything, of course it means that you have to be prepared to learn to do it...only
you can know whether you've got the stomach for that.

There is no upgrade path, if you have Mach3 but later want  to go to Mach4 you will have to buy from new, ie $200

I'm a Mach4 supporter.....I am also extremely good looking, eye-wateringly intelligent .....you can believe as much or as little of that as you please!

Craig
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 05:11:13 PM by Chaoticone »
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Should I start out with Mach4?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 06:28:36 PM »
I would go with Mach4.  If you're new to the software, go with the newer and far better stuff.  There are so many good posts on this forum, and great people to help you out. 
Chad Byrd

Offline ger21

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Re: Should I start out with Mach4?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2018, 06:41:22 PM »
I think he made his decision 4 years ago, when he asked.....
Gerry

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Should I start out with Mach4?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 07:31:41 PM »
 :)

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: Should I start out with Mach4?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 08:30:22 PM »
Linked this topic to an offline inquiry for tweakies input, then added ArtSoft's comments.
Sorry to the OP, should have split it up .... I guess  ::)
Anyway, thank you all for your contribution.
Even after all these years, its still a very pertinent question.  :)
Thanks,
Russ
 :)