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Knowledgebase : FAQ's
The link below will take you to our Licensesed Artsoft Resellers tab on our Partners webpage. It will give you a sortable list of authorized resellers/ distributors so that you know that your licence is legal and supported by us! Licensed Artsoft Resell...
We do not sell any hardware or packages. We are committed to creating software that can be used with any hardware manufacturer that wishes to work with us. Motion devices and other complex hardware require a 'plugin' (small program that links Mach and a...
If you load a Gcode file and it will not load and you see the error message "Radius to end of arc differs from radius to start". Open Mach3 and click on config>general config and change the IJ mode to absolute and reload the file and it will load and not ...
* Transforming an idea into an actual part is a 3-step process: CAD (see "What is CAD?") -> CAM (see "What is CAM?") -> Control. Mach3/Mach4 is the Control part of the process and requires G-code files produced by a CAM or Wizard program. * Wizard pro...
The steps per is a calculation that takes into consideration all the components that you use for the axis. The attached spreadsheet allows you to enter those variable and determine the steps per.
There are many ways to implement this feature. Most are done by simply wiring a plate with one nonconductive side and one conductive side. The nonconductive side is placed on the work surface and the conductive side will wire into the breakout board (or o...
If you load a gcode file and you have a bunch of blue circles that are not programmed into the gcode in your toolpath. Open Mach4 and click on the config>Mach tabs and in the Arc center mode. make sure that Absolute is selected and then relaod the file. T...
As the popularity of CNC machining has steadily increased the market has been supplied many desktop CNC machines from overseas. Many of these machines are being shipped with a pirated version of Mach3 on a writable CD. These pirated/cracked versions are n...
Mach3 has been a huge sucess though out the entire world. Unfortunately it has been cracked or pirated many times over! Those are not supported, they usually have malware, they are incomplete, and simply do not work. If you recieve a copy with a cnc parts...
The PC requirements for the Mill Wizard are as follows: LAPTOP OR DESKTOP * Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (Must be run as admin in order to work properly) * 2Ghz CPU * 1GB RAM * Video Card with 256MB RAM and OpenGL3.0 or high...
Mach4 Rotational Axis (non lathe) 1. Users will choose an Axis that wish to use for Rotational use. A, B, or C. 2. Lick on "configure", "general". The lower right field is "Rotary Axes". If the user would like the DRO (Digital readout) associated with t...
Mach3 is sold by us as a DIY (do it yourself) CNC control. Most of our OEM's and distributors provide a high level of service and support for their hardware and software bundle. Our software is used on thousands of machines, each requiring specific techni...
STEPS TO UPDATE MACH4. - Copy the existing version of Mach4 and rename it something else. - Go to our website and download the current version of Mach4 ( http://www.machsupport.com/software/downloads-updates/#tabs-2 ) - Install the current version o...
The default setting in Mach3 is to ignore tool changes. The endless possibilities of configurations make the ability to create a "one size fits all" solution impractical. If an auto tool changer is required, it will need to be designed and implemented. Th...
Mach3/Mach4 needs to be configured to match how your machine is physically wired and tuned appropriately for your hardware. Whoever built the machine will have this information, though much of it can likely be found in the documentation for the hardware o...
CNC controls require critical timing. When a computer has been chosen to be used as a machine controller, it should be dedicated to that task / not used for anything else. Adding additional software and processes to a machine controller can adversely affe...
This depends largely on the type of signal the axis drives will accept (step & direction vs. analog), the number of I/O points and their type (digital vs. analog), and the maximum desired signal frequency. Chapter 4 of the "Mach3Mill Install and Config Gu...
A breakout board is a piece of hardware used to interface between the PC (or external motion device) and the machine I/O. Many will offer other benefits as well, such as optical isolation.
A CNC machine is controlled by commanding movements to, and tracking the positions of the axes. These movements are defined in terms of a coordinate system. Mach3/Mach4 uses multiple sets of (Cartesian) coordinate systems for various tasks. The Machine Co...
"CNC Programming Handbook 3rd Edition" by Peter Smid.
A macro is a small program that has been written as an easy way to perform a function (or functions). Macros can range from very simple (e.g. turning an output on/off) to very complex (e.g. running a tool changer). In Mach3/Mach4, we create macros using a...
* A plugin (or plug-in) allows people to add custom functionality to Mach3/Mach4. Plugins are written as .dll files in programming language. They are primarily used to enable Mach3/Mach4 to work with hardware devices (e.g. external motion controllers), ...
A profile is a configuration file which is used to store the various settings for a machine. A Mach3/Mach4 profile has to be created and configured for each machine it controls. Mach3 uses XML files to store this data (see "What is an XML?") while Mach4 u...
A screen set is the file (and associated graphics) that makes up the GUI (graphical user interface). In other words, the set of files that comprise what is seen on the screen. A screen set can change not just the appearance of Mach3/Mach4 but also the fun...
Originally, Mach-series software only worked with the parallel port (via the parallel port driver), which was a standard port on every PC. Technologies have advanced over time, and not only is the parallel port becoming obsolete, but the Windows codebase ...
It is a Mach4 configuration file. Every Mach4 profile stores its settings in a Machine.ini file located in the Mach4 profiles directory (C:Mach4Profiles by default). If Mach4 is loaded using the "MyMill" profile, those settings would be stored in C:Mach4P...
It is a Mach3 configuration file. Every Mach3 profile stores its settings in an XML file located in the Mach3 installation directory (C:Mach3 by default). If Mach3 is loaded using the "MyMill" profile, those settings would be stored in MyMill.xml. The nam...
Computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided drafting (CAD), or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is the process of using a computer to design and draw the parts you would like to create. The CAD files then need to go through a CAM process to becom...
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is a subsequent process after CAD. The CAD files are loaded into the CAM program, the desired machining parameters (tools, cut depths, etc) are chosen, and toolpaths (in the form of a gcode file) are created which then c...
Used mainly in automation, G-code is the common name for the most widely used numerical control (NC) programming language, which has many implementations. G-code is sometimes called G programming language.
M-Codes are macros that can be executed within a G-code file. See "What is a macro?"
"Rich's Guide to Mach3 Threading" is an excellent manual that discusses the process of cutting threads in great detail. The two key elements, though, are the need for an Index pulse from the spindle to sync the axis movement and the need for a Mach3 licen...
* All coordinates on a CNC machine are based on its machine Home location, which is the origin of the Machine Coordinate (G53) system. Home switches are used to reference the machine and set this origin point. While not a necessity, they are very useful...
Running a Driver Test is only applicable when using Mach3 with the parallel port driver. A Driver Test is performed by running DriverTest.exe and it is used to evaluate the quality of the pulse stream being produced by the driver. The graph is a type of t...
IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT ANY ATTEMPT TO BUILD OR RETROFIT A MACHINE IN A DIY MANNER IS JUST THAT – YOU DO IT YOURSELF AND BY NO MEANS IS IT PLUG-N-PLAY. THE INSTANT THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE TO DO IT YOURSELF, THE BUILDER BECOMES THE DESIGNER. OTHER...
At a minimum, any license files and profile XMLs (as well as any custom macros, screen sets, or brains used by those profiles) should be backed up. In practice, it may be easier to keep a current backup of the entire Mach3 directory as this ensures everyt...
Mach3 will run on any Windows OS from Windows 2000 through Windows 8. The parallel port driver included with Mach3 will only work with 32-bit DESKTOP computers with versions of Windows 2000 through Windows 7, but will not work with any 64-bit version of W...
The Steps Per is a calculated value of how many step pulses are required to move the axis one Native Unit (inch or mm). Section 5.5.1 of the "Mach3Mill Install and Config Guide" discusses the necessary calculations in great detail.
In Mach3 there are specific set of standard hot keys to control the CNC machine from the keyboard. The link below takes you to a list of them, best regards. http://www.machsupport.com/Mach3Wiki/index.php?title=Standard_Hotkeys
The NFS Turn Wizard is available as a download in our support forum in the link below. The Addons license file will activate it as well as the suite of Wizards in the Mach3 installer. https://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,20001.msg138532.htm...
* Normally, the current version of our software located on the download page is the correct version that should be used. * You can find older versions of our products on our FTP server at ftp://ftp.machsupport.com/.
IN GENERAL, WE EXPECT THE USERS OF MACH3/MACH4 TO BE FAMILIAR WITH THE INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THE PRODUCT MANUALS. THIS IS TRUE IN ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS. THE WAY IN WHICH THE MACH3/MACH4 LICENSE WAS PURCHASED WILL DICTATE THE NEXT STEP SH...
PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE A LICENSE FOR THE SOFTWARE UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE IT SUCCESSFULLY RUNNING YOUR MACHINE AND HAVE VERIFIED THAT EVERYTHING FUNCTIONS CORRECTLY. * Licenses for Mach3 are available through various distributors around the world and di...
YES! FOR ANYBODY JUST BEGINNING WITH CNC, THE FOLLOWING STEPS ARE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. EVEN PROS WITH MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE MAY BE ABLE TO PICK UP A FEW POINTERS. ALL MACHINE CONTROLS ARE DIFFERENT, AND EVEN A PERSON WHO HAS RUN, WORKED ON, BUILT, OR ...
This is something that is beyond the scope of the software and not a question we can answer. Whoever built the machine will have this information, though much of it can likely be found in the documentation for the hardware or even reverse engineered if ne...
The NewFangled Solution turn wizard can be downloaded from the link below in our support forums. http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,20001.msg138532.html#msg138532 [http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,20001.msg138532.html#msg13...
This messages means that the Estop input is active, usually evidenced by the flashing of the Emergency LED on the Diagnostics screen. If a physical Estop button has been wired into the breakout board, verify that the port/pin assignment and Active Low set...
THE MOST LIKELY CAUSES ARE: * The Steps Per Unit value for the axis is incorrect. * The motor for the axis is improperly tuned (acceleration and/or velocity are too high) which causes motor stalling and lost steps. * There is an electrical proble...
This button is calling attention to the fact that something has changed from what has been set as its "normal" state. Clicking on it will list the conditions that are not "normal", which can be something as simple as not having the machine homed.
No, standard USB-to-parallel port adapters will not work. Controlling a machine with Mach3/Mach4 using any USB or Ethernet device will require that a plugin be developed for that device. See "What is an external motion device?" and "What is a plugin?"