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StraightUp_OG

Home built CNC Mill - Gonna make a 1911

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Welcome to CNC hobbies, where simple things take hours and sometimes days.

Check to see if you are losing steps on basic move commands without trying to cut. Is this your CNC bridgeport? Give us a picture of the machine and setup.

Yeah, it's the bridgeport.

Turns out the issue was in the backlash compensation. Turned that off, everything was fine again. Re-did the facing operation and even though you can tell a little bit of difference visually in the toolmarks, you can't feel a difference with your fingers.

I'll get some pictures a little later. It's a pretty nifty rig.

Not sure if I'll have time to play with it today ... I'm trying to figure out the dynamics of some air cylinders to get all the operations I need out of an automatic packaging system I'm designing for work.

Edited by PeterSteele

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Well I have reached my tether with LinuxCNC. I have tweaked and caressed, cursed and begged and it just won't do ANYTHING easy. SO...

I am ripping and replacing the hardware and control software. Have a new computer on the way and I am going Mach3.

My question is, I see that Mach4 is out but on a slow roll for supporting all the post-processors and plugins, anyone using it yet?

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Wow. That's pretty frustrated. Hope Mach is better for you.

If you don't mind me asking what was the last straw? I've been pretty happy with linux, just looking for a heads up on potential issues.

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Well I have reached my tether with LinuxCNC. I have tweaked and caressed, cursed and begged and it just won't do ANYTHING easy. SO...

I am ripping and replacing the hardware and control software. Have a new computer on the way and I am going Mach3.

My question is, I see that Mach4 is out but on a slow roll for supporting all the post-processors and plugins, anyone using it yet?

hossmachine has a couple of Mach4 vids on youtube. I like Mach3. The default screen is pretty good, but I've been using the aqua screen set that is available on their website as it displays info more useful for when I'm using the xBox 360 controller.

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Wow. That's pretty frustrated. Hope Mach is better for you.

If you don't mind me asking what was the last straw? I've been pretty happy with linux, just looking for a heads up on potential issues.

It has been great to learn on and has served me well and it's not one thing but a bunch of small things that have added up. It's just that I am at the point where I don't want to search out a hack (like for the pendant) or find the right forum post for an answer. Plus I am losing steps right and left on the simple things like that tool tray I have been working on. I believe that to be the computer I have been using (small POS no expansion capability) so I may solve most of my performance issues with the computer upgrade but I might be just wishing and I will have the same issues with M3 but I guess what I am really looking for is support.

So I am going for it. The worst that will happen is that I blow $175 and go back to LinuxCNC but I am really hoping to get my mill to cut what I want it to cut. I am still a NooB and maybe just grasping at straws but I won't know until I try. With the after market support of M3 and the built in functions I am hoping for more chips and less hacking in the software.

But I may be just pissing up a rope...

Edited by StraightUp_OG

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I hope you're not, for both our sakes. I've been riding your coat tails since you started this thread? I'd never heard of linux before this.

I'm definitely in the noob category as well, really still finishing my build. I haven't asked much of my machine yet.

I have been pretty happy with the Mesa cards and the pncconf though. Pretty straightforward.

Looking forward to your experience with Mach. Always appreciate the writeups and info sharing in this whole thread.

Reminds me I've been meaning to post a list of the hardware I used. It was really hard to find a set up that was known to work. I'll get on that.

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You can add me to the list of fusion 360 users too. Downloaded last night, thanks straightupog for the heads up on the free year!

I have a part to make for my wife this weekend that needs a tapered pocket cut into one end and a tapered male stub in the other. Meshcam was telling me some pretty big numbers for machine time. Interested to see what 360 does once I figure it out that is.

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Wow. That's pretty frustrated. Hope Mach is better for you.

If you don't mind me asking what was the last straw? I've been pretty happy with linux, just looking for a heads up on potential issues.

It has been great to learn on and has served me well and it's not one thing but a bunch of small things that have added up. It's just that I am at the point where I don't want to search out a hack (like for the pendant) or find the right forum post for an answer. Plus I am losing steps right and left on the simple things like that tool tray I have been working on. I believe that to be the computer I have been using (small POS no expansion capability) so I may solve most of my performance issues with the computer upgrade but I might be just wishing and I will have the same issues with M3 but I guess what I am really looking for is support.

So I am going for it. The worst that will happen is that I blow $175 and go back to LinuxCNC but I am really hoping to get my mill to cut what I want it to cut. I am still a NooB and maybe just grasping at straws but I won't know until I try. With the after market support of M3 and the built in functions I am hoping for more chips and less hacking in the software.

But I may be just pissing up a rope...

You can get a Mach3 license from http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.com/products-page/cnc-cam-softwarefor $149.

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Wow. That's pretty frustrated. Hope Mach is better for you.

If you don't mind me asking what was the last straw? I've been pretty happy with linux, just looking for a heads up on potential issues.

It has been great to learn on and has served me well and it's not one thing but a bunch of small things that have added up. It's just that I am at the point where I don't want to search out a hack (like for the pendant) or find the right forum post for an answer. Plus I am losing steps right and left on the simple things like that tool tray I have been working on. I believe that to be the computer I have been using (small POS no expansion capability) so I may solve most of my performance issues with the computer upgrade but I might be just wishing and I will have the same issues with M3 but I guess what I am really looking for is support.

So I am going for it. The worst that will happen is that I blow $175 and go back to LinuxCNC but I am really hoping to get my mill to cut what I want it to cut. I am still a NooB and maybe just grasping at straws but I won't know until I try. With the after market support of M3 and the built in functions I am hoping for more chips and less hacking in the software.

But I may be just pissing up a rope...

You can get a Mach3 license from http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.com/products-page/cnc-cam-softwarefor $149.

Sweet! $25 is another end mill!

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Mach 3 has its own huge list of things that suck. But you should be able to try both and see.

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Spent a couple days looking at the worlds most amazing 5 axis machines, Hermle.

Not hobby stuff.

20150122_171013.jpg

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Big kid money, they start above $500k. These are for work, not me.

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Been playing with Fusion360, so far much more efficient than MeshCam. Like a few hours more efficient lol.

Still figuring it out but it looks great for CAM. Haven't looked at the CAD side of it at all.

Just a note it DOES NOT like .stl files, at least not from my cad. Switched to .igs and everything worked great. Got me a little worried there for a minute.

ETA it doesn't do a 4th axis though. And I just got one so still happy I've got MeshCAM.

Edited by kevinj308

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Been playing with Fusion360, so far much more efficient than MeshCam. Like a few hours more efficient lol.

Still figuring it out but it looks great for CAM. Haven't looked at the CAD side of it at all.

Just a note it DOES NOT like .stl files, at least not from my cad. Switched to .igs and everything worked great. Got me a little worried there for a minute.

ETA it doesn't do a 4th axis though. And I just got one so still happy I've got MeshCAM.

I havent tested it, but i was told it does 3+2 axis stuff. Not quite full 4th but good for the price. Edited by amish_rabbi

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Been playing with Fusion360, so far much more efficient than MeshCam. Like a few hours more efficient lol.

Still figuring it out but it looks great for CAM. Haven't looked at the CAD side of it at all.

Just a note it DOES NOT like .stl files, at least not from my cad. Switched to .igs and everything worked great. Got me a little worried there for a minute.

ETA it doesn't do a 4th axis though. And I just got one so still happy I've got MeshCAM.

I havent tested it, but i was told it does 3+2 axis stuff. Not quite full 4th but good for the price.

I saw that in there. It appears you can orient the tool to any angle you like. I didn't see a way to coordinate the movement, maybe there is I dunno.

It is OUTSTANDING for the price. I'm a total amateur so my only other cam experience was meshcam, which is $250 as a standalone product. I'm on the free for a year startup deal with 360 and I already don't see how I can't subscribe when it's time. At $100 a monthg that's saying a lot for some one who only turns their mill on once a month or so. I'm pretty happy with my cad, Alibre, and it's already paid for too but maybe I'll like this cad. In that case the price is even better.

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The new computer and stuff got here and it looks like Mach3 can't see the parallel port in Windows 8.1 so I need a motion controller. I ordered the UC100 and it seems there are other benefits http://cncdrive.com/MC/UC100%20datasheet/UC100%20users%20guide.pdf

Either way I needed the new computer and fingers crossed this will do the trick.

I have upgraded almost everything but the mill, controller and steppers next stop will just have to be a Tormach. Now, to start begging the wife...

Edited by StraightUp_OG

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Been playing with Fusion360, so far much more efficient than MeshCam. Like a few hours more efficient lol.

Still figuring it out but it looks great for CAM. Haven't looked at the CAD side of it at all.

Just a note it DOES NOT like .stl files, at least not from my cad. Switched to .igs and everything worked great. Got me a little worried there for a minute.

ETA it doesn't do a 4th axis though. And I just got one so still happy I've got MeshCAM.

Fusion 360 does 3+2, as was noted elsewhere. If you want true 4 or 5 axis machining, you need to look at Inventor HSM Pro (~10k), or Solidworks + HSM Pro (~10k + Solidworks license).

Okay, now let's talk file formats.

Fusion 360 - and Solidworks, Inventor, most engineering software - works with solid models. They have mass, volume, etc. They are defined by mathematical equations - a shape and an extrusion vector, for instance. This means that a rounded object is truly round, in a mathematically perfect sense, and it's very easy to calculate.

STL files are more like the sort of thing created by 3D animation software. They are made up of individual polygons, each made up by connecting a set of points. This means that a rounded object is only round from a distance, and the more you zoom in, the less round it is. If you create an STL file with lots of details, there will be lots and lots and lots of individual polygons. A solid modeling software package will HATE this.

Solid modeling software likes solid models - they are watertight, so to speak, and it's easy to regenerate them just by changing the math used to create them. An STL, being comprised of individual polygons - which, by the way, also have to worry about which direction they're facing - is very rarely going to be watertight. Most STL files are only solid from the front, and are open on the back. These are generally more art related. Even if an STL file is actually watertight, if the normal vector for even one face is missing or incorrect, then -boom- no longer watertight. STL is just a flat-out pain in the ass, and I would seriously like to see the person responsible for STL covered in honey and buried in an anthill.

If you want the best results working with F360 or any other solid modeling program, stick with either native file formats or neutral things. F360 really likes Inventor files, and does quite well with STP / IGS, and I think it can do okay with x_t as well as a few other formats. (Incidentally, IGS is probably a good one to stay away from - STP is more modern and still currently being developed for. IGS was more or less abandoned almost 20 years ago, if I remember correctly.)

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The new computer and stuff got here and it looks like Mach3 can't see the parallel port in Windows 8.1 so I need a motion controller. I ordered the UC100 and it seems there are other benefits http://cncdrive.com/MC/UC100%20datasheet/UC100%20users%20guide.pdf

Either way I needed the new computer and fingers crossed this will do the trick.

I have upgraded almost everything but the mill, controller and steppers next stop will just have to be a Tormach. Now, to start begging the wife...

Another one to look at is the SmoothStepper from Warp9. The USB version more or less emulates 2 parallel ports, giving you double the I/O, and the Ethernet version gives you a third one.

I'm going to be upgrading my garage computer in the semi-near future, and going probably with the ethernet version. The circa 2003 Gateway Pentium 4 is starting to misbehave, but I didn't realize just how bad it truly was until I had the brand new Pentium Dual Core in the mill at work.

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Okay, now let's talk file formats.

Fusion 360 - and Solidworks, Inventor, most engineering software - works with solid models. They have mass, volume, etc. They are defined by mathematical equations - a shape and an extrusion vector, for instance. This means that a rounded object is truly round, in a mathematically perfect sense, and it's very easy to calculate.

STL files are more like the sort of thing created by 3D animation software. They are made up of individual polygons, each made up by connecting a set of points. This means that a rounded object is only round from a distance, and the more you zoom in, the less round it is. If you create an STL file with lots of details, there will be lots and lots and lots of individual polygons. A solid modeling software package will HATE this.

Solid modeling software likes solid models - they are watertight, so to speak, and it's easy to regenerate them just by changing the math used to create them. An STL, being comprised of individual polygons - which, by the way, also have to worry about which direction they're facing - is very rarely going to be watertight. Most STL files are only solid from the front, and are open on the back. These are generally more art related. Even if an STL file is actually watertight, if the normal vector for even one face is missing or incorrect, then -boom- no longer watertight. STL is just a flat-out pain in the ass, and I would seriously like to see the person responsible for STL covered in honey and buried in an anthill.

This explains why, when I import a stl file into my slicer program, it almost always says the model had to be repaired.

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