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work coordinates and Machine coodinates
« on: December 16, 2016, 05:49:41 AM »
 Hello everyone,

               I have a question about work coordinates and machine coordinates.

  With the work coordinates button activated and the spindle moved to x,y,z 0,0,0, I ref all home and this sets up machine coordinates correct?

  Ok now the question.... If I deactivate the machine coordinates  button and move  the spindle to the work x,y,z 0,0,0  will mach still be aware of machine coordinates ?

  I hope this question makes sense.
Charlie M.

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Re: work coordinates and Machine coodinates
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2016, 07:07:55 AM »

I have a question about work coordinates and machine coordinates.

Link to something to a members write up on Coordinates:


I think you will learn much if you use the diagnostics screen.

A way to see how the controller keeps track of location /reacts to different button use is to go to the Dianostics Screen and try different button's and watch the DRO's on the screen. Also change values in the DRO's and see the affect.
- Ref All Home
- Zero All, Ref axis button
- De Ref All Axes ( the button is on the MDI Screen )
- jog a defined step say 0.1"
KISS....only do a small move and one axis only

Here are some basics:

The CNC Controller is a software Program called Mach 3 and provides for controlling all the movements and associated commands. The CNC controller (Mach) does not know a "practical" Machine Reference Point to work from, thus, the controllers “0,0,0” is somewhat meaningless and has unlimited movement capability.  When the controller is turned on it monitors axis movement starting from Mach's  “0,0,0” value for each axis and displays the absolute movement using Machine Coordinates.

Machine Zero is a fixed point within the physical machine travel limits and does not normally change. It is typically called Machine Reference point, machine zero, or simply Home Position.  Machine zero can be located / defined anywhere by the user.

Now you mention "Work coordinates".
In the diagnostics you will see Current Position.
Now not to confuse, but, Work Offsets are commonly called Work Coardinates and looking in the diagnostics you see that Current Position
includes Work Offset. So the DRO's are showing you Current Position which includes offsets if there are any and you are not in Machine Coordinate display.