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Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« on: September 27, 2007, 08:37:38 AM »
I'm a noob and have had a recurring problem.  Small test models come out fine.  I change step over down to .05-.02 and my models often come out 1+mm too thick.  I've eliminated tool shift in the chuck, all Z axis issues (checked before and after models and its dead on), and Lex at Desk Proto has reviewed my G Code and its fine. 
So now I've come to find out how I can detect if Mach3 is giving me this problem.  I know nothing to suggest it is, except process of elimiantion.  Which has taken almost two months of head banging. 
The other day I ran three parts on one wax.  No tool change.  First two 2mm thick as desired.  Changed step over in DP, ran the third part (for four hours) and it was 1.2mm too thick.  Z checker varified Z was zeroed before and after the run. 
Any hints or tips would be grealy appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 10:43:58 AM »
Quote
Changed step over in DP

What does this mean? DP?

Brett
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My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007, 11:15:43 AM »
Ooops, sorry.
DeskProto. 

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2007, 12:36:27 PM »
Ok, if you are regenerating your Gcode and then reloading, could be lots of things. Is the home posotion to same for both files? I don't think this is a Mach problem. I think it is in the code or, the way you zero, set work coord., etc.  If you have a certain depth set and are using a v-bit, the step over may change your depth. The wider the step over, the deeper the bit will have to go to clean up .

I hope this makes sense.

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 01:20:57 PM »
Hi Brett,
Thank you for responding. 
I am not setting a particular depth other than cutting to the surface of my model.  I import an STL of my model in Desk Proto, and generate the tool paths there.  I'm using bits in the .015 to .003 range, with 0 "skin" on the model, one tool cutting the entire model. 
The developer of Desk Proto has checked the code and it looks good.  Zero for the part is zero for all axis' of the mill.  The part is centered (half above, half below) the intersection.
I'm zeroing with an electrical widgit and a special gauge for setting Z.  From those settings I can cut test models to within .0003". Which is fine for my jewelry pieces. 
I just recently started using the Z gauge.  I zeroed it, cut two models in a piece of wax.  Both were fine, except for the step over.  Changed the step over of the second part, ran it a third time.  It was 1.2mm too thick.  This had happened time and time again.  But not until I got the Z gauge did I have proof the tool was not moving.  Z position of the tool was identical after the third part, as it was when I set it prior to running the first part. All indications while I am in Desk Proto is that the model is set up properly.  Needless to say, I've checked this many times since having this problem, which is over two months when I started milling.
My wax is put in the rotary axis with tail stock holding the other end.  I am performing a two sided milling proceedure with an auto flip between sides.  This is set up in Desk Protos N-Sided Wizard.  I then load the G Code into my milling computer, open in Mach3 and run it.
Any ideas of what to check are appreciated. 
By the way does anybody else have Mach lock up with G Codes approaching 5 million lines?  Thats another problem I have had.

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007, 02:06:40 PM »
Quote
I zeroed it, cut two models in a piece of wax.  Both were fine, except for the step over.  Changed the step over of the second part, ran it a third time.  It was 1.2mm too thick.

Did you zero it again, as you did the first time, before you ran it the third time?

I have sent you a personal message.

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2007, 02:32:09 PM »
Hi Brett,
Thanks for the note.   I'll follow up.
I did not zero between part #2 and #3.
#1 and #2 were dead on re: thickness (Z height). 
So I ran #3 and got the surprise.  I checked Z after running #3 and it was .0003, high.  Which is well within my needs.
This extra thickness problem happens often.  Small parts (10mm and under) with step over more than ..5 to .1 seem fine.
When I go to .03 or .02 stepover, thats when I have the problem. 
I appreciate your help.

vmax549

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Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 08:05:50 AM »
What version of MACH are you running??? Are you using stop or rewind during your testing, if so watch the dro for XYZ as you press stop, rewind. Did they change any.  You may want to try the latest version (;-) 2.51.

(;-) TP
Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2007, 08:19:04 AM »
Hi Brett and TP,
I'll have to check which version I have.  It came with my Taig mill which I got in early June,  and was the most current version as of last May.
Last night I may have discovered two "operator errors" to account my my topsy turvy results.  I won't waste space explaining, but its akin to putting your hands on the wrong keys on a keyboard and typing away.  That one initial error creates endless errors afterward.
It seems Mach3 is in no way responsible for my results.
Although I do have a question about Mach locking up on my 4.9 million line code.  I even tried it on my dual core, 4 gig, 64 bit Win XP Pro system and Mach would not load the code.  Is there a known limit to the number of lines Mach can load? 
With a step over of .02 to .01 and very organic displacement surfaces ( like a cloud texture on a pendant), the G Code gets pretty lengthy.
Thanks again for your responses to my posting. 

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Re: Mach3 Problem? How do I check to know?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007, 09:19:33 PM »
Glad to hear you are making progress. I don't think there is a limit to the number of lines of code you can run, not certain though. Maybe someone else will pitch in and help on that one.

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!