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Author Topic: Can Mach4 Do This? (Mach3 Can't)  (Read 317 times)

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Can Mach4 Do This? (Mach3 Can't)
« on: March 06, 2021, 01:10:59 PM »

I have a problem that Mach3 cannot address.  I am wondering if Mach4 can provide a solution.

My gantry is driven by two motors, one for the Y axis (left) and one the A axis (right).  A is slaved to Y, and thus, shares Y motor tuning settings in Mach3.

The two motors (or other hardware) apparently drive the gantry at slightly different speeds.  If both Y and A are perfectly square to start, they will drift by about 0.03" over a 40" travel as measured by glass scales on each side of the gantry.

I read that Mach4 will allow using two motors for a single axis and will also allow independent steps per inch for each motor.  I believe this will solve this particular problem by eliminating the A axis and separately tuning both motors now assigned to Y.

However, will this also prevent me from independently homing the left and right sides of the gantry (since both motors are now a single axis)?  Is there any way to home each motor separately if they are assigned to the same axis?

Alternately, if I slave A to Y in Mach4, is there any way to adjust the steps per inch on the slaved A axis independently from the master Y?

Basically, I'm looking for a way to effectively synchronize one side of the gantry to the other (ether as a slave or treating both as a single axis), but still be able to set independent steps per inch and independently home each side.

Thanks in advance for any advice,


Offline smurph

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Re: Can Mach4 Do This? (Mach3 Can't)
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2021, 10:02:11 PM »
In Mach3, an axis was analogous to a motor.  Meaning a Mach3 axis could only drive one set of motor output.  A 1:1 Axis to Motor relationship. 

With Mach 4, and axis is a plane of motion and it can be driven by several motors.  A 1:n Axis to Motors relationship.  So yes, Mach 4 can handle your hardware issue.  :) 

H9oming is a function of the motion plugin.  Most handle gantry axes quite well.  Check with your motion controller manufacturer first.  As far as Mach 4 is concerned, we just set both motors off moving toward the home switches.  We do require home switches on all of the motors though.