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USB port setting
« on: October 20, 2017, 12:49:37 PM »
Hello everyone

I'm new to this forum. Now retired I have time to learn new things.
I have always been interested in technology and electronics. before retiring I have in electronic security for 40 years.
I realize electronic assemblies and I need to use a CNC to crack printed circuit boards
I discover the CNC and the MACH3 software. So I have a lot of questions.

french ;D
Re: USB port setting
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 12:57:47 PM »
In mach3 tutorials it is well explained how to parameterize a CNC with parallel port. I do not find any tutorial that explains how to parameter mach3 with a CNC USB port. It was explained to me that it was necessary to replace the file mach3mill.xml provided by my seller with that installed in c: // mach3. The problem is that there is no file mach3mill.xml in my MACH3 installed on my computer.
Re: USB port setting
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 02:34:08 PM »
If you are asking questions about Mach3, you should ask them on the "General Mach Discussion" and not the "Mach4 General Discussion".

But to answer your question, you are looking for the XML, it will be in the Mach3 folder on your computer.  The xml stores all the setup information of your profile.
Chad Byrd
Re: USB port setting
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 02:40:57 PM »
Hi Daniel,
welcome to the forum.

This board is for issues relating to Mach4 and will be read by many fewer persons than if it were on the main Mach3 board. If you are just starting out then you
probably have yet to make the choice between Mach3 and Mach4. I have licences for both and have used both for making PCBs. You will eventually have to buy
a licence for one of them with Mach3 being slightly cheaper. All development has stopped on Mach3, Mach4 is still growing and expanding. Many current Mach3
users are so used to Mach3 and it many features/quirks/customisations that they actively dislike Mach4...which is a fair opinion....but they also miss out on the
flexibility that Mach4 and its new software environment. Your choice. You can download both and experiment with Demo versions until you decide.

As far as USB vs parallel port. If you have a USB controller then the software to set it up is provided by the manufacturer, they are all different.
Do you actually have a controller? Can you post a pic? What model is it and do you have documentation and/or software that goes with it?
If you don't have one...don't get one UNTIL you have done a little research, there are hundreds of Chinese units out there and the only thing to recommend
them is that they're cheap. A few hours reading on the forum and you'll find dozens of posts from people who struggle or fail to get them to work and even
then they don't do certain things. My advice is 'Don't go there'.

The <profile>.xml file is the info that Mach uses so that it knows your machine. When you first fire up Mach it will look for xml files and you can choose which one
you want to use for this session. Put the file provided, suitably named, like danielmach3.xml in your Mach3 folder and then start Mach.

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: USB port setting
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 08:00:40 PM »
Hi Daniel,
the first application for CNC I had is PCB routing.

If you haven't already take a look at Eagle PCB software, there is a free cut-down version but is reasonably priced even if you bought it:
Then you need a User Language Program called PcbToGcode. With that your PCB artwork gets transformed into Gcode files which you can run on your machine.

One of the real challenges in successfully routing PCBs is to get the blanks dead flat. Otherwise what happens is the tool cuts too deep, more than the copper
thickness at one part of the board but not deep enuf at other parts of the board. There is some free software available called Autoleveller:
There is a subscription version for 20GBP and so impressed I bought it. This software means that I can probe the board and have the software automatically
modify the Gcode to accommodate any out-of-level/warp/bow in the PCB blank. So good it has proven that I can now reliably make boards with TSSOP ICs
with 0.2mm between the pads at a nominal cut depth of 50um on 35um copper board and achieve perfect isolation across the entire board.
If you cut to deep the toollife is so dramatically shortened that any reasonable board make take several tool bits, not anymore! Brill.

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: USB port setting
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2017, 02:34:52 PM »
Hi Daniel,
I see that Eagle PCB software has changed hands. It was developed by Cadsoft, a German company I believe. For a period of time Cadsoft was owned
by Farnell who own Element14. Element 14 used to sell licences and pretty reasonably, I paid $700 for a single licence for the full blown program. When they
released the newest version (at that time) V7.1 they upped the price to something like $2300 NZD...bastards! Element 14 are still selling perpetual licences
but the prices are pretty steep for the complete program, I did see a Maker edition, cut down to be sure for $230 NZD.

More recently Autodesk have bought the software and have gone to a subscription model. Whether the community of users tolerate that remains to be seen.
I suspect that Eagle will become very much less popular. Autodesk have a policy...'Bend over with trousers down while we extract the money we want'.
Shame...used to be a good program....trust Autodesk to ruin it.

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!