Hello Guest it is August 03, 2020, 04:57:55 AM

Author Topic: Mach3 and Mach4 together and compatibility  (Read 1049 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Mach3 and Mach4 together and compatibility
« on: April 15, 2019, 04:52:40 PM »
Hello,
Right now I am in the middle of making choice - which version of Mach should I get for CNC router which was received some days ago. I have used Mach3 in my past already and know more about it, but ArtSoft says that Mach4 is much better.
I have 2 questions:
1) I was going to buy Mach4 but the supplier of my Router CNC 6040Z says that it supports only Mach3, is it true that Mach4 may be incompatible with a CNC router?
2) Is it ok if on one PC, there would be installed Mach3 and Mach4 both at a time? I mean will one bother the work of another?
Re: Mach3 and Mach4 together and compatibility
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 04:58:50 PM »
Hello,

1.) If your 6040 comes with a motion controller, it is possible that that motion controller does not have a Mach4 plugin available. If the control box has a parallel port connection, that opens up a number of external motion controller possibilities--many of which have Mach3 AND Mach4 plugins.
2.) On to the second point, you can have Mach3 and Mach4 installed on the same computer. I have both on several test PCs and often have both running together (though not when controlling a machine). Both Mach3 and Mach4 are available to download for free at machsupport.com as well and can be tested in demo mode.

I would recommend doing some research on external motion controller (I'm sure others can chime in with recommendations) that have plugins for Mach3 and Mach4. That will allow you to test both and decide for yourself which is the best choice for you.

Best wishes,
Bryanna
Newfangled Solutions Helpdesk: http://support.machsupport.com
YouTube Support Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/MachSupportOfficial

Offline reuelt

*
  •  440 440
    • View Profile
Re: Mach3 and Mach4 together and compatibility
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 05:36:10 PM »

1) I was going to buy Mach4 but the supplier of my Router CNC 6040Z says that it supports only Mach3, is it true that Mach4 may be incompatible with a CNC router?


https://www.china-cncrouter.com/news/ChinaCNCzone-Latest-Mach4-CNC-6040-with-Mach4-USB-CNC-Controller.html
ChinaCNCZONE can supply MACH4 compatible 6040.
Their Website says:-
"And if you are familiar with mach4 hobby software and interested in the mach4 hobby cnc machine, Please kindly contact our sales."

Just specify BEFORE you buy. They can put in MACH4 compatible motion controller...

"the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"
Re: Mach3 and Mach4 together and compatibility
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 05:44:02 PM »
Hi,
I use an external motion controller, an Ethernet SmoothStepper (approx. $180USD) by Warp9TD. It has both a Mach3
and a Mach4 plugin.

There is to my knowledge no Chinese manufacturer that produces a Mach4 capable controller (that works anyway....
whatever they claim) and therefore suspect that your machine is likely to be able to run Mach3 only.

I use Mach4 and personally believe that its light years ahead of Mach3.

The funny thing is that Mach3 and Mach4 do almost exactly the same thing. Until just recently there was nothing
Mach4 could do that Mach3 could not and vice versa. Mach4 does certain things much better and very much more robustly.
The real strength of Mach4 is its ability to be customized. For example:
https://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php?topic=40008.0
This is a thread where a guy wanted something just a little different than Mach4 as standard. It too me a couple of hours
to make two new DRO's, a new toggle button and some code to populate tool length compensated Max and Min Extents
DRO's in work coordinates instead of the more usual machine coordinates. This is possible with Mach3 but very much
harder.

If you have a simple machine and don't require anything special then Mach3 will be fine, and you are familiar with it and
is $25 cheaper.

If you want to customize your machine or want to use some of the new functionality that Mach4 offers
then go that way, it will cost an extra $25 for the software and somewhere in the region of $120 to $250 for an economical
external motion controller, or $600 plus for a real top quality unit. As Byranna pointed out there is a parallel port option
for Mach4, called Darwin for which a $25 license fee applies. Darwin is not fully featured with things like lathe threading,
THC and backlash comp but otherwise works pretty well. It still requires a 32 bit OS, Windows7 or earlier just like Mach3's
parallel port. Darwin allows a cheap way to try out Mach4 although Mach4 was intended to be paired with an external
motion controller.

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

Offline reuelt

*
  •  440 440
    • View Profile
Re: Mach3 and Mach4 together and compatibility
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 07:14:00 PM »
Just specify BEFORE you buy. They can put in MACH4 compatible motion controller...
(and NOT necessary only those made in China).
Or
Ask for the traditional "Parallel port version"
So you can connect WARP9 ESS or other Ethernet Motion Controller to the 25 pin port easily.

If you buy a machine with a "MACH3 USB controller" built-in you have to replace the motion controller card yourself and so VOID the warranty immediately.

LOOK before you leap.
Specify before you buy.
"the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"
Re: Mach3 and Mach4 together and compatibility
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 12:22:56 PM »
Thank you for your replies probably it is better to stop on Mach3 for me at the moment, I have to tidy up it in my head.
The 6040Z connects to PC with USB so probably it has a motion controller. And it has an interface and a macros file for Mach3. At least it will work for sure.

Thank you bryannab for a supportive technical answer,
reuelt for a good link and about motion controller I think I understand now that I have to change the hardware inside to make it compatible, but I am not ready for such intrusions,
joeaverage for analytical thinking.