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  1. #1
    Setup - Manual Bridgeport mill converted to CNC with Mach3, CSMIP-IP/A controller, Servo's on all axes, ballscrews etc.

    Todays mess - 30 minute job takes over 3 hours.

    Simple job - two setups, total of 5 tool changes, 8mm thick motor mount/adaptor plate for my new drive motor, basically a 250mm circle with 110mm hole in the middle, plus some bolt holes, tabs etc. A nice fun part to play with?

    First tool/pass goes well, then the Z gets the command to go home for tool change - this triggers a (soft) limit switch, right on the tool change. Reset pressed, tool changed, Z ref is now wrong, reset, pass runs ok, tool-change time - (soft) limit triggers again, same routine.

    Offsets look odd but maybe correct, i haven't figured out the numbers yet - pictures below.

    The screen tells me max-z is something like 220mm? A bit tricky as i only have something like 130mm to play with? Surely my Z-Max has to be Zero?

    Then i start a run and as soon as it hits the first X/Y G1 line it throws an ePid fault, and again, reset, swear, go indoors and re-cam the part for a single tool in the file and it runs OK ?

    Its just winding me up something terrible as I am not 'fiddling' with stuff or editing macros etc, I just went out, booted up and tried to do some work. I have no idea what to fix or what to post up here so other can chime in but boy is it pissing me off.

    It also suffers the bug where you get the "Script compile error in M3.m1s" - this seems pretty common on the 'net but again a real PITA.

    I'm new to CNC relatively and having to double-check everything so i don't crash the machine is one thing but when it does not do what its told it makes things really uncomfortable ;)

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  2. #2
    John S's Avatar
    Lives in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 1,946. Received thanks 126 times, giving thanks to others 44 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    If you know you are not going to run off the table then switch the soft limits off. They are a pain in the arse as they have to be reset for every job if X0.0 and Y 0.0 changes
    If you have limit switches fitted then you don't need soft limits.

    They were only put into Mach to satisfy the people who couldn't or didn't want to fit limit switches but wanted piece of mind.
    Last edited by John S; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:54 AM.
    John S -

  3. #3
    Yeah but no but....

    I use them a lot, my stuff is all over the table and I'm often jogging around to get positions etc and run into them a lot. Hitting the limits on my build kills all power to the drives so would not want to do it too often plus it means re-homing etc.

    This is a commanded soft limit thats being triggered - seems to be a CS_Labs thing i think - if the code tells it to go somewhere it can't it simply throws an instant "limit switch triggered" error and puts Mach into reset.

    Trouble is - WHY is it doing it - it seems it was always the Z axis this time, Z Max, which on my machine should never be more than zero as home is at zero.

    I really would not want to run without soft limits IMHO.

  4. #4
    Dave You do realise that soft and hard limits are two different things when jogging around are you hitting the soft or hard limits?

  5. #5
    Soft, if i hit the hard limits all the power goes off on the drives etc - you can certainly tell when that happens :)

  6. #6
    What version of Mach3 are you running?
    3.042.020 or close to it is what seem to be the least buggy,

    - Nick
    If you will not be swayed by logic or experience simply pick the idea you
    like best, but ask yourself why you sought advice in the first place and,
    for a simple life, perhaps consider not doing so in future

  7. #7
    John S's Avatar
    Lives in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 1,946. Received thanks 126 times, giving thanks to others 44 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    That was the last version that Art Fenerty supported, after that it went downhill fast...................
    John S -

  8. #8
    This was the last one i installed...


  9. #9
    I think it is a must to install latest version, especially if you use third party plugins, which typically are made for latest version. Except if plugin maker expressly says what version of mach3 is made for. You should not use tool length offsets at all, especially with the plugins that do probing.

    Welcome to Mach3
    project 1 , 2, ...

  10. #10
    This is where we have problems -

    Most forum admins and long term supporters of Mach3 admit that many things are broken in new version of Mach3 and will never be fixed. I was strongly advised to use that version by a respected admin.

    CS-LAbs do not seem to have any preference at all, at least none is mentioned.

    Yes probing with a TLO in play is seriously bad news - i discovered that one by myself when i wrecked my Z-axis. I have blocked all probing from running unless tool zero is selected.

    Its more welcome to the bad side of Mach3 - I have used it for a couple of years now on my plasma cutter but that has parallel port connection - Mach was built for this.

    I have it on my Mini-Mill and it works ok - that is USB connection but does suffer occasionally from the "Script compile error in M3.m1s" bug which is widely known on the 'net.

    This is the first install with ethernet control and servo motors and seems to be being a bit naughty.
    Last edited by Davek0974; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:35 AM.

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