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  1. #11
    Ger21's Avatar
    Lives in Detroit, United States. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 500. Received thanks 66 times, giving thanks to others 0 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    There is no perfect control for everyone. If there was, then there wouldn't be so many different ones available.

    I just don't see the Acorn as the holy grail of cnc as so many other do.
    There are other controls that offer more, for less money.
    The Acorn has some advantages in some areas, and others have advantages in other areas.

    If the Acorn is what you're looking for, than by all means go out and buy it.
    I decided to go with UCCNC, which is a better fit for me.

    My UCCNC setup (UC300ETH + UB1 breakout board) is roughly the same price as the Acorn with the $99 pro level software.
    The Acorn gives you 4 motors, UCCNC gives you 6.
    The Acorn has 8 outputs, the UB1 has 14.
    The Acorn has 8 inputs, the UB1 has 23 + 2 analog inputs.

    The Acorn does have software advantages.
    UCCNC does not have rotary axis support at this time. It will eventually, but it might be a year or two.
    UCCNC does not have screw mapping.
    UCCNC does not have cutter comp, but it will soon, as it's been under development for a few months now.
    I believe that the Acorn is much better at digitizing, but it's limited unless you buy the $499 software upgrade.

    It all comes down to what you need from your control.
    Gerry
    ______________________________________________
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ger21 View Post
    There is no perfect control for everyone. If there was, then there wouldn't be so many different ones available.

    I just don't see the Acorn as the holy grail of cnc as so many other do.
    There are other controls that offer more, for less money.
    The Acorn has some advantages in some areas, and others have advantages in other areas.

    If the Acorn is what you're looking for, than by all means go out and buy it.
    I decided to go with UCCNC, which is a better fit for me.

    My UCCNC setup (UC300ETH + UB1 breakout board) is roughly the same price as the Acorn with the $99 pro level software.
    The Acorn gives you 4 motors, UCCNC gives you 6.
    The Acorn has 8 outputs, the UB1 has 14.
    The Acorn has 8 inputs, the UB1 has 23 + 2 analog inputs.

    The Acorn does have software advantages.
    UCCNC does not have rotary axis support at this time. It will eventually, but it might be a year or two.
    UCCNC does not have screw mapping.
    UCCNC does not have cutter comp, but it will soon, as it's been under development for a few months now.
    I believe that the Acorn is much better at digitizing, but it's limited unless you buy the $499 software upgrade.

    It all comes down to what you need from your control.
    Interesting. I'm new to DIY CNC, and I'm curious to know what one would do with all those inputs and outputs on the UC300eth? Are those actually similar to the 8 outputs on the Acorn? After reading the documentation on the Acorn, they call them "PLC outputs" which seems identical to what commercial CNC has always called spare M-codes, whereby you can control external things via M-code, and the acorn ones are even programmable as latching or non-latching, under full ladder control. This is exactly what commercial CNC controls have had forever - are you saying UCCNC has this too?

    I have downloaded the UCCNC software and played with it, fell in love with it and swore this was the direction I was going to go until I realized it didn't have cutter comp, fanuc macro B and some other things. Those were deal killers for me. I've grown up my entire professional life around Fanuc, Mori Seiki and Okuma, and the Centroid hardware+software was the first control system I came across where I said "ah, here it is." Then after some homework, it made sense in that they've been a commercial CNC house for a long time just now crossing over to the DIY world, whereas these other solutions I've been looking at started out in the DIY world, pushing more and more to match the commercial feature set.

    By the way, I've enjoyed seeing your website for a while now.

  3. #13
    Ger21's Avatar
    Lives in Detroit, United States. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 500. Received thanks 66 times, giving thanks to others 0 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    I'm new to DIY CNC, and I'm curious to know what one would do with all those inputs and outputs on the UC300eth?
    Whatever you want. Inputs can be used with sensors, switches, pushbuttons, signals from servo drives, encoders, probes, MPG's,....
    Outputs can activate relays, contactors, solenoids, LED's, .....

    You can create your own M-Codes in UCCNC, which are written in C#. It doesn't have ladder, but you can write what they call macroloops, which are macros that run continuously in the background.

    If you need full Fanuc macro B, I think your only option is Mach4 Industrial. But you can do more basic parametric programming in UCCNC and most others.
    I have no use for parametric programming, doing everything I need in CAM.


    You're not going to get a $10,000 control for $300. No hobby controls are perfect. UCCNC is relatively new to the market, and I expect it will be maturing for a few years still. But for me, it's headed in the direction that works best for me.
    Gerry
    ______________________________________________
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Ger21 View Post
    Whatever you want. Inputs can be used with sensors, switches, pushbuttons, signals from servo drives, encoders, probes, MPG's,....
    Outputs can activate relays, contactors, solenoids, LED's, .....

    You can create your own M-Codes in UCCNC, which are written in C#. It doesn't have ladder, but you can write what they call macroloops, which are macros that run continuously in the background.

    If you need full Fanuc macro B, I think your only option is Mach4 Industrial. But you can do more basic parametric programming in UCCNC and most others.
    I have no use for parametric programming, doing everything I need in CAM.


    You're not going to get a $10,000 control for $300. No hobby controls are perfect. UCCNC is relatively new to the market, and I expect it will be maturing for a few years still. But for me, it's headed in the direction that works best for me.
    I could have swore I just read on the Centroid site that the CNC12 software with the acorn (and the higher DIY boards) have macro b. Their retrofit controls do. Funny you say you're not going to get a $10K control for $300. Today's $300 control easily outspec the way more expensive controls from the 90s, in most respects. I just read on the Centroid spec sheet that it does 2,000 block look ahead. In the late 1990s I used to work on Mori Seikis where a "data server with RISC processor" was a $10,000 *option* and that gave you... wait for it... 480 block look ahead! And we thought that was that cat's meow, LOL.

    What's frustrating is seeing something like UCCNC - which I'm very attracted to - has all these features, clearly way ahead in many respects of what we had in the 1990s, yet it doesn't do cutter comp, which we had in the 80's'. I haven't paid attention to the DIY CNC world until fairly recently, but what I have been studying suggests it really took off with mach2/3 about 10-15 years ago. Its very impressive in many ways, but with these frequent and frustrating blind spots.
    Last edited by Bravin Neff; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:51 AM.

  5. #15
    Ger21's Avatar
    Lives in Detroit, United States. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 500. Received thanks 66 times, giving thanks to others 0 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    99% of DIY CNC users don't use Cutter Comp, because they have their CAM software do it. That's why UCCNC didn't have it.
    But, as I said, it's being developed, and should be available soon. (I've seen some screenshots of a comped toolpath).

    I didn't say you can't have the features of a 25 year old control for $300, I meant a current $10K control.
    Yes, hobby controls can do a great many things that high end commercial controls can do, for a fraction of the price.

    As for the Lookagead. There's a lot more to it than just how many lines it looks ahead. Different controls have different methods to determine how they follow the commanded path, and how much they are allowed to deviate from the path. The trajectory planner can make or break a control.
    If I had to guess, I would expect the Centroid planner to perhaps be a bit better than UCCNC's, because it's been around a LOT longer, and it's been known as a higher end control. But I also know that UCCNC's planner is much better than Mach3's.
    Gerry
    ______________________________________________
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ger21 View Post
    99% of DIY CNC users don't use Cutter Comp, because they have their CAM software do it. That's why UCCNC didn't have it.
    It makes sense. Its probably a function of how one uses a machine, what one cuts and one's expectation. If you run into material you haven't cut before, or a geometry that forces you into to a setup that isn't ideal, and the tool deflection creates an outcome out of tolerance, you can either lie about the cutter diameter in cam, re post and rerun it. Or make a quick radius comp and rerun just that section. I think the latter is baked into most machinist's habits. The former has become perfectly reasonable beccause cam has become nearly ubiquitous at all levels, even in the home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ger21 View Post
    As for the Lookagead. There's a lot more to it than just how many lines it looks ahead. Different controls have different methods to determine how they follow the commanded path, and how much they are allowed to deviate from the path. The trajectory planner can make or break a control. If I had to guess, I would expect the Centroid planner to perhaps be a bit better than UCCNC's, because it's been around a LOT longer, and it's been known as a higher end control. But I also know that UCCNC's planner is much better than Mach3's.
    Interesting. I played around with both mach3 and UCCC, and I couldn't get along with mach3 at all. Not sure why, but UCCNC seemed way better thought out. I could make things happen immediately. Speaking of lookahead, for my day job I sell Okuma machines, and its amazing how they do it. The look ahead is infinite... the entire program is calculated. The other part is that the tolerance is adjustable, both by a dialog page or in the g code itself. Giving the cutter path more tolerance makes it more aggressive in corners and cycle times speed way up. Think roughing a mold, where 0.020" is left everywhere. There's no reason to hold tight tolerances, and time is money. Then for finishing passes you tighten up the tolerance and the acc and decs get less aggressive accordingly.

  7. #17
    Ger21's Avatar
    Lives in Detroit, United States. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 500. Received thanks 66 times, giving thanks to others 0 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    On big, expensive machines, the controls are often tailored to the machine. Where a hobby control like UCCNC is a general purpose control, used by many different types of machines. So what you end up with is something that works well on most machines, but could always be a bit better. CNC Drive is planning on working on a new trajectory planner soon, with S Curve acceleration, which will be very nice for machines capable of high speeds.

    My day job is running big Italian routers, in the cabinet industry. The controls on these machines are tailered to both the machine and application. So while I can easily cut cabinet parts at 1500ipm, any type of 3D work is a real struggle for the machine we have.
    Gerry
    ______________________________________________
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  8. #18
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 1,792. Received thanks 189 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    What exactly is macro B?
    Just the ability to have variables, and do calculations within the code?
    If it is, Dynomotion KMotionCNC can do it, as they include some examples

    It's something I've never had any dealings with, as most stuff I do on the lathe I just write manually, and the mill gets done using CAM.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  9. #19
    Ger21's Avatar
    Lives in Detroit, United States. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 500. Received thanks 66 times, giving thanks to others 0 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    Most controls can do some parametric g-code. But it appears that Macro B gives you access to just about every thing the control is doing, through variables.
    Gerry
    ______________________________________________
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ger21 View Post
    Most controls can do some parametric g-code. But it appears that Macro B gives you access to just about every thing the control is doing, through variables.
    Yes, macro b isn't just variables, though it is that too. It also is access to system variables (eg., on a 2 pallet HMC, you can query: what pallet is currently inside?). Also, variables #1-#99 reset on power cycling, but #500-#599 do not. That is very useful for certain times you want information to survive regardless if power is interrupted. Access to just about everything in the control, and you can also have external I/O write to macro variables, depending on their state.

    In the old days, people did their entire robot interface and gauging interfacing through m-codes and variables.

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