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Old Jan 23, 2013, 06:53 PM
dougmontgomery's Avatar
Glendale,Az.
Joined Oct 2004
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Mach 3 users

The guys who sold me the Router said to use windows 7- 32 bit,

Will windows XP work with Mach 3 on the router stand alone machine?

and will this give me issues from visual mill from my 64 bit laptop that uses windows 7?

Thanks in advance, Doug
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 07:30 PM
dougmontgomery's Avatar
Glendale,Az.
Joined Oct 2004
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ok, found this, should help- I hope I do not have issues with windows 7 , with 64 bit laptop, visualmill to stand alone tower with xp and Mach 3

doug


Mach3 Minimum Requirements:

32-bit Desktop (using the parallel port)

32-bit version of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 Operating System (64-bit will not work)
1Ghz CPU
512MB RAM
Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
Basic Computer Skills (ability to copy/rename files, browse directories, etc)
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 07:59 PM
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United States, WA, Seattle
Joined May 2011
530 Posts
Doug,

Mach3 will work great on WinXP, in fact most people recommend running it on XP since you eliminate a bunch of the overhead that's been introduced in later versions of Windows (and which are totally unnecessary for Mach).

VisualMill on Win7 will not introduce any issues. Your CAD/CAM product(s) will generate a G-code file that you load on your Mach3 controller PC (I use a thumb drive for this). It's just a text file, so you could actually generate it on any platform, or even code it by hand, without any issue. You do need to make sure to select the right post-processor in VisualMill, which in your case would be the one for Mach3.

Enjoy your new machine! Having seen your previous (non-CNC) output, I suspect you'll be making some great stuff soon.

-John
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:49 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
tom43004's Avatar
USA, OH, Worthington
Joined May 2002
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I use Mach3 on XP (make sure you download and follow the XP setup instructions) and have very recently switched to Win7 32 bit on my production machine. Works great. If you're unfamiliar with Mach3, spend the time and go through the CV (constant velocity) document and settings and set your look ahead buffers higher than you think they should be. You likely will also want to play with the CV override angles and such. I didn't like the default values. Some post processors like to stick in G61 for absolute stop which obviously won't be good. My first version of RhinoCAM (VisualMill) did this and I had to modify the post processor a bit to match up to my machine.

Do yourself a favor and disable the network / wireless capabilities on your CNC / Mach3 controller computer. Never, EVER connect it to the network or web. I even de-installed the browser, media player, and a whole bunch of other stuff from mine. Use it for Mach3 only.

I always generate G-code on my CAD machine that is religiously virus scanned and copy the .txt files to a thumb drive that only ever connects to that machine and the CNC controller. No virus and no browsing and no network = happy CNC controller. I also installed a small 64GB solid state drive on my CNC machine that has just the OS and Mach3 on it. My G-code is always loaded directly into Mach3 from the thumb drive. With a stripped OS and solid state drive, I can boot to a usable Mach3 screen in less than 10 seconds from power up.

I heard you got the "pool cue" format CNC in California. That's a great machine and a good format for what we do. You'll love it.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 12:45 PM
dougmontgomery's Avatar
Glendale,Az.
Joined Oct 2004
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Yea, i am happy with my purchase, the were super great and worked with me. Now the huge learning curve from 2d to 3d.

Thanks guys.
Doug
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 12:50 PM
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United States, CA, Modesto
Joined Jun 2004
156 Posts
I bought Mach3 this time last year. I use XP OS, PWM configuration in Mach3 and connect to machine via serial port. I use it on a CO2 lazer, I find the this set works well for me. I'm very pleased with Mach3..
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 09:34 PM
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Glendale,Az.
Joined Oct 2004
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Sorry for my ignorance, I just want a clear idea of the process.

Ok, so I got XP installed on my machine with 32 bit, will pick up tomorrow.

I purchased Vectric2d and it looks pretty easy, will see if I can get the 3D version so I can produce corian molds for an upgrade price, if everyone thinks it is a capable program with Solidworks.

still building my table for the machine.

Couple questions already, after all toolpaths have been chosen and profiles checked.

If I set my Rapid Z to say 1" to clear any clamps and such in vectric then save toolpath once previewed.

Take it to stand alone PC in jump drive with mach, import .txt file-

I will have to still set my machine in mach to X-0,0 Y-0,0 Z-0,0

Is this set on the lower left corner of the material as in vectric?

How do I set the Z height in relation to the Vectric toolpath file?

Off to youtube, any links would be appreciated.

doug
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:04 PM
dougmontgomery's Avatar
Glendale,Az.
Joined Oct 2004
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I will post the tutorials I have watched HERE; Should help but did not answer my questions yet-

MACH 3 CNC Router Training Tutorial after install setup (16 min 11 sec)


Then This, but seems like alot of Info- maybe all is needed for start up.

MACH 3 CNC CONTROL SOFTWARE TUTORIAL 2 THE INTERFACE (28 min 15 sec)
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 04:15 AM
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Denver, CO
Joined Dec 2005
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There are many way to do it. Depends on what you want to do.
For simple things. I jog the milling bit to where I want Zero to be, then click on the buttons next to the X, Y, and Z axis that says Zero. Then jog the cutter away from the work, for clearance. Then run the program.
When I want to duplicate the work fixtured on the table, I home the machine (needs to have home switches). Then I either use a work offset, with home as Zero. Or I record where I moved from Home zero'ed, to the start location. Can get complicated.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 07:34 AM
dougmontgomery's Avatar
Glendale,Az.
Joined Oct 2004
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Fixture With Work Offset- Height adjustment indicator bolt

Would this be a good way to do this for accuracy/systematic?



P.S I could even mount a 3" aluminum block under the Red indicator bolt that would give me the actual inside corner to set the machine Home and work offset.


3" height offset will give me enough clearance for most materials, and clamps.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:51 PM
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France, Auvergne, Lapalisse
Joined Dec 2005
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i use two 3mm pegs one for each tower then just jog to the of the pegs and 0 x y a b or x y z or my router
then g code your off set and save it as a fixture setting
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:38 PM
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Denver, CO
Joined Dec 2005
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The home location is not that important. What you need is the relationship between it, and your work location.
It is some work to touch off a fixed object, to locate a home position. I have seen some use electronic probes to make it quicker.
I use my home switches on my mill, they are very repeatable.
The 3 inch clearance is quite alot, and is usually set in the CAM software, not in Mach3. Depends on your CAM software features, but some tool paths might retract to the clearance plane after every cut. This can waste lots of time on some parts.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:42 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
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USA, OH, Worthington
Joined May 2002
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I have never configured a home position. I use a zero / touch sensor on the part for every cut and don't use "work offsets" when I machine.

As for the clearance plane, in RhinoCam and VisualMill, you can set "skim clearance" or retract to the "clearance plane" in the tool paths. I tend to do clearance plane on roughing passes and skim clearance on finishing passes.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 04:55 PM
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United States, CA, Modesto
Joined Jun 2004
156 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougmontgomery View Post
Sorry for my ignorance, I just want a clear idea of the process.

Ok, so I got XP installed on my machine with 32 bit, will pick up tomorrow.

I purchased Vectric2d and it looks pretty easy, will see if I can get the 3D version so I can produce corian molds for an upgrade price, if everyone thinks it is a capable program with Solidworks.

still building my table for the machine.

Couple questions already, after all toolpaths have been chosen and profiles checked.

If I set my Rapid Z to say 1" to clear any clamps and such in vectric then save toolpath once previewed.

Take it to stand alone PC in jump drive with mach, import .txt file-

I will have to still set my machine in mach to X-0,0 Y-0,0 Z-0,0

Is this set on the lower left corner of the material as in vectric?

How do I set the Z height in relation to the Vectric toolpath file?

Off to youtube, any links would be appreciated.

doug
Doug,
If I you understand correctly. The Vetric program will start where ever the 0/0/0 is set on your machine. If you want to change anything.
Reset 0/0/0 on your machine, or in the NC program. You edit the code for Z move changes. You will have to save it, or the old NC code will remain. Hope this helps..Donn
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Reno, Nevada
Joined Oct 2006
790 Posts
Doug,
You can set 0,0,0 anywhere you want to on your table, just make sure that the whole part fits on the table from where you do set 0,0,0.
I set my 0,0,0 on the left side towards me as I stand on the side of the machine, that being the long axis (y), the short axis is x and z is obviously height.
I set the tip of the bit on the top of the material where I want to start from and zero out my X,Y and Z axis, then I raise the Z axis by about 1/4 inch and fire up the router and hit start.
As far as clearance above you material I would only clear it by no more than 1/4 inch as this will save time when you run the part.
I hope this makes sense, if not I can add a picture and some arrows and verbage on it to make it clearer.
Good Luck
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