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Author Topic: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?  (Read 8759 times)

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Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2015, 12:16:35 PM »
That rings a bell Gerry.

At one time it was Lite, Pro and Expert versions planned.

http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,21703.msg150899.html#msg150899

Starting to notice some of the flocks gathering too.

Thanks,
Russ

Offline ger21

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Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2015, 12:37:56 PM »
I think it was 2 years ago, that Automation Technologies (Keling) was selling boards with Mach4 Lite as a pre-release, and it was supposed to be released around October 2013. After that, it seems to have vanished.
I can't see how Mach4 Lite could have been ready 2 years ago, with the current state of Mach4 hobby 2 years later.
Gerry

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Offline rdean

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Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2015, 02:29:15 PM »
This is a simple screen I made a few years back.  As you can see the operator didn't have much he could screw up.
No menus
No tabs
No other screens

Ray
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 02:30:59 PM by rdean »
Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2015, 07:42:52 PM »
Just to put in my 2 cents.  We recently bought a Servo 5000 mill vintage 1987.  The owner never used it because manual G-code programming was too hard for them.  So the machine sat until 2008 when they were offered a Windows 'upgrade' which they bought, thinking it would be easier.  They couldn't even get the Windows computer to talk to the drive boards so the machine sat again. So we picked it up a couple of months ago expecting that while it had maybe 100 hrs of spindle time it might need a new CNC. However when we plugged everything in it ran perfectly. It is 20x40x21.5 travels includes a 10" fourth axis with an 8" 6 jaw chuck and 21 Cat40 tool holders with 7 Jacobs Super Chucks, for $6500!

Of course programming it manually hasn't gotten any easier.  However its a Windows machine and for $150 we installed CamBam right on it. So all the BS you needed to do to program manually is mostly gone, and we make parts after a couple on minutes of programming.  So the reality is that the CNC itself can be really really dumb, while the CAM program with however much horsepower you need can now be very smart. So the need for canned cycles, and lots of other stuff moves off the CNC and onto the CAM computer. To me that means that the motion controller boards like smoothstepper become the CNC, and I am not really sure that Mach 3 or Mach 4 needs to be much more than the HMI for the iron, which is probably a better task for my cell phone or an Ipad.

Offline ART

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Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2015, 09:45:15 PM »
>> I am not really sure that Mach 3 or Mach 4 needs to be much more than the HMI for the iron

  I suspect you underestimate just how much M3 is doing and overestimate how much the smoothstepper is doing. The smoothstepper is a 6 channel organ, m3
is the orchestra, the meistro and the music interpreter. There is far more to it behind the scenes than most realize, even if you stripped out the macros
and many other things. Not that it might not get there someday, but controllers still perform a very important function in the process.... :)

Art

Offline RICH

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Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2015, 06:54:24 AM »
Hmm..........

The newbie CNC "Shark's" ask the simple question in consideration of  investing.....

So what's the product that you will be selling?
We are confused as we think the base product, still in development, lacks third party application for which you have no control over.
It must work with all the outside influences. I don't want to buy a car and wonder if the rims and tires I have will fit.
What's the  investment cost today? When will I be able to upgrade?
 
Commercial break...............

So what do you think the newbie's  said  after the break?

Just a different thought process to consider,

RICH


 

« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 07:00:30 AM by RICH »

Offline RICH

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Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2015, 07:07:59 AM »
Maybe I should have posted reply #35 here after reading the last comments in this thread,

http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,30530.msg212005.html#msg212005

But the reply still challenges / has implications to  the basis of this thread,

RICH


 
Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2015, 09:06:19 AM »

My ideal controller would be able to do all that Linuxcnc does with a built in screen designer and perhaps a more helpful way to setup the machine requirements
Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2015, 08:01:34 PM »
>> I am not really sure that Mach 3 or Mach 4 needs to be much more than the HMI for the iron

  I suspect you underestimate just how much M3 is doing and overestimate how much the smoothstepper is doing. The smoothstepper is a 6 channel organ, m3
is the orchestra, the meistro and the music interpreter. There is far more to it behind the scenes than most realize, even if you stripped out the macros
and many other things. Not that it might not get there someday, but controllers still perform a very important function in the process.... :)

Art,
You are probably correct, I really don't know how much is done by a smoothstepper or even what you feed it. It seems like when unload the realtime motion control to the smoothstepper that most of the work left would be user interface and I/O but as you say that may be a gross misinterpretation.

Art

Offline ART

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Re: IF you had a NEW controller whta would it do/not do ?
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2015, 09:28:15 PM »
Gary:

   I guess I forget that most of you dont really know whats under the bonnet. Smoothsteppers, printer ports, most controllers are fed motion in waypoints. The printer port was fed 200uS points, the rest are almost all 1ms waypoints. So the controller, m3, m4, linux..whatever, take in the Gcode, they hold the state engine which is the guts of cnc. They interpret the Gcode , control the various states, then plan the trajectory to 1ms waypoints.
  Motion engines are told whats up for the next 2 seconds or so, the controller makes sure this 2  seconds is extended as it depletes. The controller
takes care of acceleration, mixing speeds between axis, maximum and mixed velocities , offsetting, and toolpath displays. Scripting and configuration as well.
   Engines take the waypoint data, and are programmed to take a step count for each millisecond of motion, how many steps each axis takes in that ms
determines end velocity and such. So jerk constraints,acceleration curves and  constant velocity and so on are computed by the millisend and continuously sent to the device. Its all a complex dance of internal motion before the motion engine gets sent its data. How smooth the motion is, how complex the logic and scripting can be, thats all controller, the actual steps are made by the engine.

    Im not saying the controller is more important than the engine, there is a certain chicken and egg flavour there.. I just wanted to clear up
that the engine itself doesnt even come close as yet to replacing the controller. Its been tried many times to do so, to have usb sticks with the programs on them plugged into a board and away you go.. .. its always failed, for various reasons. That day IS coming, but it isnt here quite yet..

  Over the years Ive been told many times by people that hardware will replace the controller, the ncPod, the "Brain", and a few others had tried while I was still making Mach3. They all had truly planned to do so.. but its only when you try to actually write a controller you find just how vastly complicated
it truly is. Mach4 was supposed to be ready years ago, and I suspect theres a few humbled ego's from the experience of bringing it to where it is today.
    Mach3 is far from perfect, but replacing it has proven a hurculean task.. which when you consider its age..is a real testement to its abilities, and the large group of contributers to its growth.

  
Art
 

Art