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Author Topic: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)  (Read 4138 times)

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Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« on: March 11, 2015, 04:18:18 PM »
I'm using Mach3 to run a small desktop CNC mini-mill.  I've successfully muddled through getting
some PC boards cut for trace isolation and am starting to look at how to get the holes drilled in the
board.  For some silly reason I thought this would be fairly straightforward but I'm having no luck.

I'm fighting with the Z-Axis control and having the spindle move to Safe-Z when I do a tool change.
I have "Use Safe-Z" enabled.
I've tried both positive and negative values for the Safe-Z distance. 
I have "Ignore Tool Changes" disabled.
I have Safe-Z defined as .75, alternating tests between +/- values.

When I run the code, the tool will stop at whatever X/Y coordinate it's at and raise the Z to .1
Problem is, I don't know where the .1 is defined and by what or where...

What am I missing?
Re: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 04:37:39 PM »
It's probably defined in the cad/cam program you are using for the gcode.

Offline BR549

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Re: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 04:44:38 PM »
DID you notice when you set up Safez That you had 3 options  to choose from.

Machine Coords
Work Coords
Incremental rise

(;-) TP
Re: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 05:00:12 PM »
It's probably defined in the cad/cam program you are using for the gcode.

BINGO!  Thanks for that heads-up!  Changed this:
G81 X0.95 Y0.25 Z-0.075 R0.1 F10
to this
G81 X0.95 Y0.25 Z-0.075 R0.11 F10
and voila', Z stops at .11 - that mystery is solved.

BR549 Sez:
DID you notice when you set up Safez That you had 3 options  to choose from.

Machine Coords
Work Coords
Incremental rise


No, I didn't notice.  I set the SafeZ from the Alt6 page.  All it says was something to the effect of the distance
being in the Current Coords... where might I find the options you mention?

BTW, given what was just discovered, it would appear now that any movement so "SafeZ" isn't being done?

I should have mentioned, I'm a total noob at machining AND Mach3 so thanks for using small monosyllabic words!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 05:02:48 PM by Merfman »

Offline BR549

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Re: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 12:03:45 AM »
K so you really did not setup SafeZ in mach3.

Ok from the main page go to the top menu bar select Config. From there go down to SafeZ setup. A window will pop up and from THERE you set up the safeZ function.

Select the option that suits your application best.

Now to your BINGO above you were setting the Retract level of the Canned cycle G81  R0.10 To R0.11. THAT level  will also CHANGE according to the G98/G99 mode that is set for the canned cycle. (;-)

(;-) TP
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 12:09:05 AM by BR549 »
Re: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 10:17:55 AM »
Excellent, thank you very much!  I'll go check this out now!

FWIW, I have read through the manual a couple of times but guess I just missed this.  There's
a lot of info to digest and the only real reference I found to SafeZ mentioned that it wasn't in a
family of buttons and one must "hunt for it" :)

Thanks so much for the help!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 10:20:28 AM by Merfman »
Re: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 12:11:04 PM »
Ok from the main page go to the top menu bar select Config. From there go down to SafeZ setup. A window will pop up and from THERE you set up the safeZ function.

Apologies in advance for my apparent denseness.. LOL.. I'm not finding the SafeZ setup as described.  Here's what I see...


I'm running version D1.90.038 - checking now for updates....
Re: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 12:15:45 PM »
Yikes, looks like my version is from sometime around 2006... perhaps an update is required?! LOL...
Re: Yet Another Z-Axis question (Safe-Z)
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 02:07:57 PM »
Yikes, looks like my version is from sometime around 2006... perhaps an update is required?! LOL...

I installed the newest version of Mach3.  I now see the menu option as mentioned.  I've set SafeZ to
be Machine Coords at -.5 - STILL doesn't seem to work....

Is there any way to make the screen bigger?  The new menu screen seems about 70% the size of the
old one and it's hard to read...