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Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« on: May 25, 2017, 08:52:54 AM »
Hi all,

How easy is the process to migrate from Mach3 to Mach4?

Not sure of my release number (as I'm currently on holiday) but I think it's a recent one!

I'm very happy with the current version but as I'm running Win XP, I thought I'd upgrade the PC and O/S, as well as a new install of Mach4.

I also have my own (touch-screen) screenset which I've spent many hours creating.  Will I be able to easy replicate this with Mach4?
Re: Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 11:49:42 AM »
None of the VB Script macros or button scripts in M3 will work in M4.  There are really no parallels between the two.  The ease of transition depends on how proficient you are with the Lua programming language.  All scripting in M4 is done in Lua.  You can take your VB Script code and re-write it in Lua.

On a positive note, the screenset building tools are much better in M4.

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 12:08:27 PM »
If you know your hardware (machine) then Mach4 or Mach3 will be easy to configure. If you don't know much about the machine except how to push the start button then either would be a struggle. We all come from different places so its hard to say how easy or difficult anyone else will find it but i suggest downloading the demo and going through the configuration while following the manual. If it all makes sense to you then you will be fine. If it all reads like Egyptian hieroglyphics I would do a lot of studying up before taking the machine down for the upgrade.

Mach4s screens are customizable and the editor is built right into Mach. The screens are highly customizable but they have a different tool set than Mach3. Also, the scripting language for Mach3 was Cypress Enable and for Mach4 it is lua so there will be a learning curve to customize in 4 even if you could customize 3 without effort. Again, I would download the demo and try recreating your screen in it. That is the only way you will know how well you get on with it.
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Offline Stuart

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Re: Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 01:16:20 PM »

you will need a compatible motion controller to run mach4

this could be USB or ethernet. and you may need a BOB not all motion controllers need a BOB

as you have Mach3 running it would seem that you will have a BOB

as Chaoticone. posted you will need to read the manual then reread it , also the motion controller manual needs the same reading they are all different

the one that I use but others are just as good is the smoothsteper ESS and a C25 BOB , the SS will need its own dedicated 5 VDC supply at approx 2 amp

just some points to ponder

and yes I have done the very same migration due to a duff Far East motion controller , but I am a electrical engineer to Phd so the lecky bits were ok , I am very pleased with Mach4 the mill runs much smoother ( may be down to better motion controllers )
one final point download the Mach4 manuals and the ones for a range of motion controllers before you spend any cash
good luck
Re: Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 02:46:38 PM »
I did the migration about 6 months ago, surely you heard me, I live in New Zealand but I was swearing REALLY LOUDLY!!!, lol.

Mach4 is pretty much ready to go for milling/routing. If that's what you do then you'll be cutting chips in no time. If you need custom
features to run your programs and Mach3 had a lot of 'fruity bits' built in after so many years development then you'll need to code those.
The real power of Mach4 becomes evident when you go to customise things, what you can achieve is limited by your imagination only.
LUA coding is a large part of that. I thought at first Artsoft had made a mistake in that choice....but now that I've learnt the rudiments of
LUA coding and the power it brings...its brilliant, light years ahead of Cypress Enable.

As Stuart I use an ESS. To make the most of Mach4 an external controller is the way to go. I did buy the Darwin PP licence but never got round
to using it, the Ethernet driven external controller runs so sweetly.

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Re: Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2017, 04:33:42 AM »
Thanks for the replies!

Even though there are only a few quick replies to my question....I think I'll stay with Mach3.

I've managed to gain enough knowledge of Mach3 over the last few years and just recently, with help from forums like these, managed to get everything working pretty much the way I'd hoped to...albeit it took a while!  I guess I should should just upgrade the PC and leave everything else as it has been. 

I think it might be a case of "If it ain't broken, don't fix it".

Offline Stuart

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Re: Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2017, 07:58:39 AM »
Well you did ask

As you say leave it as is , I had to swap,out the motion controller so it was a no brainier do to having to reconfigure it any way

Re: Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2017, 08:31:31 AM »
Indeed Stuart.

I wasn't aware that I needed a new controller as well as learning the Lua coding too.
Re: Mach3 upgrade to Mach4
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 04:43:30 PM »
to try Mach4 requires neither a controller or LUA coding.

Mach4 has 'Sim' motion controller which simulates movement. LUA coding is only required you need to modify Mach4
and in the vast array of cases you don't need to. The one area where coding is required is M6 toolchange macro. If you
manually change tools you can get away without it.

To try machining something you will require an active motion controller, either a separately purchased board or the
Darwin Parallel Port Plugin for $25. Without a licence ie demo mode, Mach4 runs for about 6 minutes.

I don't believe Artsoft have set the bar too high.

My wife left with my best friend...
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