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Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« on: December 20, 2015, 04:15:58 AM »
Hello,

a friend of mine is planning to upgrade his china cnc to mach. The gantry style cnc mill is going to be used also comercially and has at least tool length compensation probe and automatic tool changer (ATC).

The question is: Use Mach 3 or Mach 4?

At the moment I found much support material and also sample scripts for ATC and tool length probe for mach3. I was not able to find anything for Mach4 yet. Just some small stubs in the forum, where I see much work to do - whereas the Scripts for mach3 seemed to be more or less complete.

I like the GUI of Mach4 looking a bit more "clean" and I think that VB is dead in 2015, this is what would convince me to go with mach4.
But I fear that I'd take MUCH longer to get everything (espcially ATC, probing, vfd programming, handwheel) running due to the lack of sample scripts and so on. Last but not least Mach4 seems to cost 2,5 times as much as mach3 for professional use..? At least at the german shop I looked at.

The planned controller is cs-labs  CSMIO/IP-S - 6 if this is of any concern.
I look forward to your thoughts. I dont expect anything like "go with 3 / 4 in every case" but I'm looking for your comments/thoughts.

Thank you so much in advance
Dirk_H

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2015, 04:33:48 AM »
Hi Dirk,

Taking the decision between Mach3 and Mach4 (at this moment in time) would, I think, be tough.

(If it's any help, I have licensed versions of both - I use Mach3 for the actual work and Mach4 for playtime. For me, the day will come when Mach4 will be ready to fully take over from Mach3 but it could be a while).

Tweakie.
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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2015, 05:57:48 AM »
Like Tweakie I'd suggest that if time is money, Mach3 is the way to go at present as the information resource about is vast for most run of the mill tasks.

Mach4 will be the future, just I guess Mach3 was made too versatile, and the development time of M4 has been a slow one [probably not helped by requiring a motion controller from 3rd party vendors (yup I'm aware of the PP plugin for M4, although this does not do some of the internal stuff that the M3 PP did [thc + m10/m11, etc]), some of which have been slow to uptake on issuing new drivers / plugins having to it would seem reinvent the wheel from m3 to m4]?

Unless there is a show stopper reason that M3 will fail to work any more, I guess there seems to be little motivation (except by the few) to change from M3 to M4 [say for instance.... W10 did not work with M3.... then there would be a gradual phase out of M3 as W10 becomes the norm for available PC's and hardware drivers and compatibility (looks like no sign of that happening though).  A partial reason came when the PP began being phased out and M3 not compatible with the PP with 64 bit versions of windows.... although M3 motion controllers like the UC100 (and others) plugged that gap and M3 continues to survive without a show stopper reason that it won't seem to work in the future.

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Rob

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2015, 06:16:21 AM »
Quote
(yup I'm aware of the PP plugin for M4, although this does not do some of the internal stuff that the M3 PP did [thc + m10/m11, etc])

Hi Rob,

Just a heads-up...
The Darwin plugin for Mach4 handles the M62/M63 commands (replacement for the M11/M10) just fine, last time I looked.

Tweakie.
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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 06:36:04 AM »
Thanks Tweakie.

 I'm trying to learn a bit of Lua and have a go at setting up my machines for M4 with the ESS as the long awaited driver update is suppose to offer all of the same stuff the M3 ESS driver did... fingers crossed its been long awaited and may be christmas present (or maybe easter ... some of us have given up asking for an update in a hope the extra time may help get the plugin finished!)

Rob

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 07:00:35 AM »
Hi Rob,

I am following along behind you on the Warp9 forum and awaiting the updated driver also. "Easter" made me smile but thinking about it you may be right.  ;D

Tweakie.


My apologies for going a bit off topic Dirk.

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Offline ger21

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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 08:39:47 AM »
The most important thing is to verify the current state of CS Labs mach4 plugin, and what functions it supports.
Gerry

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Offline BR549

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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 01:49:59 PM »
Who said VB was dead ?? News to me. Besides we use CB and that has been dead for about 10 years now BUT it still works (;-) AND XP is suppose to be dead BUT I still buy new licenses  AND still get updates and it still works just as well as it has always worked.  I can still buy lpt cards and they still work.



(;-) TP
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 01:52:39 PM by BR549 »

Offline dude1

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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2015, 03:29:24 PM »
That's the funny thing XP is meant to be dead and not supported any more but it still is

Offline BR549

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Re: Mach 3 vs Mach 4
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2015, 05:44:41 PM »
The real funny thing is most still fall for the old you MUST upgrade cause XP is no longer supported (;-) SO what if it is . It stilll works fine. What exactly did you need fixed in XP that makes it stop working for mach3. (;-)

When Mach4 reaches the point where the OEM controllers work for all normal CNC functions AND  "I" do not have to do ANY scripting to have it do all the basic things that a normal CNC machine does or at least what Mach3 does NOW. THEN I will consider using it. THAT may be several years down the road at the rate it is going.

(;-) TP