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mistermikev
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4 hours ago, mistermikev said:

if you don't... a follow up question: I'm assuming that as long as I don't turn off mach3 session... when I turn the power back on is there any chance of the machine losing its place in terms of proximity to xy zero?

Should be OK provided you don't accidentally move the axes by hand whilst changing the bit.

Does Mach 3 have a function to do a soft power off? Might also be called 'driver enable/disable'? That'd be less obtrusive than powering the whole machine off.

Your E-stop button is there for emergency purposes, and if configured correctly should do an uncontrolled/urgent shutdown of the machine. This is different to a manual stop where the motion controller will pay attention to any deceleration parameters of the motors and spindle when the stop command is given. In that circumstance the software still knows exactly where the machine is because everything has been brought to a halt under its own control. On the other hand E-stop grinds things to halt as quick as possible and to hell with positioning (it's an emergency, right?). In more complete E-stop installations it'd also cut power to the machine. I'd fully expect to have to do a complete rehoming and zeroing of the CNC if I slapped the E-stop while it was in motion, but I'd have confidence I could restart the job and get trace the exact same path if I did a manual stop midway through.

 

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1 hour ago, curtisa said:

Should be OK provided you don't accidentally move the axes by hand whilst changing the bit.

Does Mach 3 have a function to do a soft power off? Might also be called 'driver enable/disable'? That'd be less obtrusive than powering the whole machine off.

Your E-stop button is there for emergency purposes, and if configured correctly should do an uncontrolled/urgent shutdown of the machine. This is different to a manual stop where the motion controller will pay attention to any deceleration parameters of the motors and spindle when the stop command is given. In that circumstance the software still knows exactly where the machine is because everything has been brought to a halt under its own control. On the other hand E-stop grinds things to halt as quick as possible and to hell with positioning (it's an emergency, right?). In more complete E-stop installations it'd also cut power to the machine. I'd fully expect to have to do a complete rehoming and zeroing of the CNC if I slapped the E-stop while it was in motion, but I'd have confidence I could restart the job and get trace the exact same path if I did a manual stop midway through.

 

thank you very much for the detailed response.  as it were... I was just out in the garage running my first project - a spoil board.  I had to change bits a few times and in my ignorance just figured... well I'll try the red stop button.  Then had my hand on it as I started the next series but it went off without a hitch. 

learned some things... like that I was over my actual boundary by a fraction (not good, I know).  that said... aside from drilling the first two holes then realizing I marked center wrong... once I fixed that the whole thing ran w/o issue. 

didn't have the proper bit for etching numbers so just used a inlay bit.  altho it was a hair big to preserve details like the center of the number 8... I didn't break the bit so that's a win!!

note to self - find the motion stop button!  that'd be a handy one to know.  that said... I think I'm going to be overly cautious and use the red button for tool changes.  Right now I'm pretty much going to be sending 1 file per tool so it will work out ok anyway.  Still good to know another option of a 'soft stop'.  Thank you for that!

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Mike, in mach on your screen you will see cycle start, Feed hold, stop, and Reset.

Stop is similar to EStop. it stops except it stops the motion without shutting things down It if used by itself will lose steps. RESET is ESTOP. Feed hold will run a snort distance as it already has lines in the buffer, then it stops motion with out losing steps. at that time then you can press stop if needed to fix a problem.

When you run a tool path it finishes up and parks at X0, Y0, Z + whatever above that is set. It then stops the program and the machine, all while keeping the steppers in a hold mode. It is then, if you have a router that you would turn the router off and change the end mill. The same would apply if your spindle is not MACH controlled.  You will turn off the spindle and change the end mill. Then you load the new tool path, reset Z zero for the new end mill  by jogging over to the place you use for Z zero setting for that job and rezero Z only, since X and Y should not have changed , raise endmill from work in Jog mode, then Turn on the router spindle and then press cycle start. When done again, wash and repeat.

Mike

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1 hour ago, MiKro said:

Mike, in mach on your screen you will see cycle start, Feed hold, stop, and Reset.

Stop is similar to EStop. it stops except it stops the motion without shutting things down It if used by itself will lose steps. RESET is ESTOP. Feed hold will run a snort distance as it already has lines in the buffer, then it stops motion with out losing steps. at that time then you can press stop if needed to fix a problem.

When you run a tool path it finishes up and parks at X0, Y0, Z + whatever above that is set. It then stops the program and the machine, all while keeping the steppers in a hold mode. It is then, if you have a router that you would turn the router off and change the end mill. The same would apply if your spindle is not MACH controlled.  You will turn off the spindle and change the end mill. Then you load the new tool path, reset Z zero for the new end mill  by jogging over to the place you use for Z zero setting for that job and rezero Z only, since X and Y should not have changed , raise endmill from work in Jog mode, then Turn on the router spindle and then press cycle start. When done again, wash and repeat.

Mike

some definite good tips there afa all the functions - thank you very much for that.  still kind of figuring things out and I very much appreciate the input.

if I may... what is the button you hit to have it return to your z0 x0 y0 should you have manually jogged away? 

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2 hours ago, mistermikev said:

some definite good tips there afa all the functions - thank you very much for that.  still kind of figuring things out and I very much appreciate the input.

if I may... what is the button you hit to have it return to your z0 x0 y0 should you have manually jogged away? 

See attached , if once you have zeroed your z just raise it some. No need to do any thing else. once you hit the start cycle it will go to the X Y zero at the Z safe level first then it will begin the toolpath. Otherwise you will drag the endmill across your work as the Go To Zero button makes them all go to zero.

 

zero1.jpg

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@mistermikev My suggestion for you is this.

Unplug the spindle, remove any endmill.

Now set your Z Zero about half between top and bottom of the travel. Now PLay with the buttons on MACH to see how they react.

Maybe put in a small square cutting routine as a toolpath and cut air. no Spindle or endmill. Watch the process. Try the buttons during it running and see what it does and understand the function of what happens while it is running a toolpath. This will help you understand each function and the problem it may pose after.

You will learn what things do this way and most likely will not damage anything. Also go into the MDI tab of MACh and learn to use it as it can be a valuable tool knowing how to move things by typing in very specific Gcode commands for basic movements.

MK

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Just now, MiKro said:

@mistermikev My suggestion for you is this.

Unplug the spindle, remove any endmill.

Now set your Z Zero about half between top and bottom of the travel. Now PLay with the buttons on MACH to see how they react.

Maybe put in a small square cutting routine as a toolpath and cut air. no Spindle or endmill. Watch the process. Try the buttons during it running and see what it does and understand the function of what happens while it is running a toolpath. This will help you understand each function and the problem it may pose after.

You will learn what things do this way and most likely will not damage anything. Also go into the MDI tab of MACh and learn to use it as it can be a valuable tool knowing how to move things by typing in very specific Gcode commands for basic movements.

MK

right on.  I have actually been doing this quite a bit... the reason I asked about zero is in fact THAT - that it brings z to zero... so if I need to move my tool while working on something... I should lift the z to safe area, zero it out there, then hit go to zero, then lower the bit to the piece and zero out again - thank you - this is exactly what I wanted to know.  I've been goofing off trying to get familiar with the tool and creating some silly coasters.  I've broken a few inlay bits and am thinking I need to get some more that are as thin as the one I have but better cutters (these are just harbor freight) but am also thinking I need to learn more before I go breaking good bits!  have been messing with feed and plunge speeds a bit.  trying to do really fine detail is pretty tuff!  anywho, thank you again for the info!!

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4 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

right on.  I have actually been doing this quite a bit... the reason I asked about zero is in fact THAT - that it brings z to zero... so if I need to move my tool while working on something... I should lift the z to safe area, zero it out there, then hit go to zero, then lower the bit to the piece and zero out again - thank you - this is exactly what I wanted to know.  I've been goofing off trying to get familiar with the tool and creating some silly coasters.  I've broken a few inlay bits and am thinking I need to get some more that are as thin as the one I have but better cutters (these are just harbor freight) but am also thinking I need to learn more before I go breaking good bits!  have been messing with feed and plunge speeds a bit.  trying to do really fine detail is pretty tuff!  anywho, thank you again for the info!!

Yep. TRy using the MDI tab and yo can command it to move Z up exactly where you want. then if need be yo can then move it back to the lower spec if needed.

 

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Just now, MiKro said:

Yep. TRy using the MDI tab and yo can command it to move Z up exactly where you want. then if need be yo can then move it back to the lower spec if needed.

 

I believe that is the menu you get when you hit tab?  if so... been using it a LOT.  also getting close to the piece and then setting the jog speed to 1 and moving down slowly to zero... but at least once I hit the down button when I meant up and broke a hair thin bit!  reminds me of working with pickup wires - man those things are so fragile but the cut like butta!

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9 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I believe that is the menu you get when you hit tab?  if so... been using it a LOT.  also getting close to the piece and then setting the jog speed to 1 and moving down slowly to zero... but at least once I hit the down button when I meant up and broke a hair thin bit!  reminds me of working with pickup wires - man those things are so fragile but the cut like butta!

See the next post I still have something out of order but it should make some sense. LOL!!

 

 

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Not using Mach so not familiar with it. Just noticed in the screen shots how much of a mess the GUI looks. Text that doesn't line up, different sized fonts inside buttons, graphical components that don't line up properly.... I know Mach is considered the go-to for motion control on the Windows platform, but the look of it leaves a lot to be desired.

More than anything I was checking there wasn't some personal work involved in the way it looked on your part before I started heaping shite on it ;););)

 

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17 minutes ago, curtisa said:

Not using Mach so not familiar with it. Just noticed in the screen shots how much of a mess the GUI looks. Text that doesn't line up, different sized fonts inside buttons, graphical components that don't line up properly.... I know Mach is considered the go-to for motion control on the Windows platform, but the look of it leaves a lot to be desired.

More than anything I was checking there wasn't some personal work involved in the way it looked on your part before I started heaping shite on it ;););)

 

well I spose it's a lot like the code for air traffice control.  probably written in c back in 1992 and no one willing to take a chance on updating it!!  that interface is straight windows 95 for sure.  I've seen a black version of the interface but I think it was just someone with a skin (I don't think this thing would have themes... but I haven't tried to figure that out yet). 

My first thoughts on playing with it were "really, everyone across the industry who runs a cnc machine is using THIS interface?"  Have to admit tho... it is pretty rock solid functionally. 

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2 hours ago, curtisa said:

On a side note, is that a custom GUI for Mach 3?

what you see is only a partial of one tab Andrew. that is not the main screen. It is a subset screen. 

There are many aftermarket variations of all screens based on what others find as the most important parts the consider is needed.

MK

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19 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

just wood screws into the substrate?  I used to do that with my planer board... and after a while the surface looked like swiss cheese.  I spose on a cnc it's easy 'nuff to replace. ;)

 

No big deal as the holes are not a problem only when they raise up the surface and things don't sit flat. A quick scrape with a blade and that is gone. Resurface every few weeks as the mdf will swell some over time due to humidity. The screws that hold the MDF down are counter sunk so I have about 0.550" of surface I can remove.. Removing approx 0.010"-0.015" every few weeks to keep flat.

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39 minutes ago, MiKro said:

No big deal as the holes are not a problem only when they raise up the surface and things don't sit flat. A quick scrape with a blade and that is gone. Resurface every few weeks as the mdf will swell some over time due to humidity. The screws that hold the MDF down are counter sunk so I have about 0.550" of surface I can remove.. Removing approx 0.010"-0.015" every few weeks to keep flat.

right on.  I appreciate the insight!

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