Mach4 here i come!

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stevehuckss396

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Well it finally happened. My 1995 HP computer started acting up and has become unstable. I decided to get some hardware and go over to mach 4. I have a new computer running my lathe on mach 4 so all I needed to do is reconfigure my control panel. Nothing seemed to work out so I just got a new box and built a new panel. Tomorrow will be a frustrating day of configuration of software and getting something moving. Wish me luck!
 

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Has Mach4 matured enough to be reliable for most users? Perhaps 5 years ago or more it seemed to have problems in development.
 
I have been running Mach4 for my lathe for a couple years now without issue. Ill find out soon enough about the MIll.

Today I turned on the panels. Changed the IP address on one of the smoothsteppers so I can have one for the mill and one for the lathe plugged in all the time. No swapping cords or funny business. Just turn on the panel of the machine i want to use and start up the software. Setup the mill configuration and tuned the motors. All that is left to do is get the cycle start button working on the panel door.
 
Has Mach4 matured enough to be reliable for most users? Perhaps 5 years ago or more it seemed to have problems in development.
Well without knowing the issues you had with it I cant say but I can tell you that after some research and asking questions on forums it runs the mill just like mach3 did with no problems. The only thing I havent been able to figure out is how to enable jogging with the keyboard when the software starts up. I have to click a button after Mach4 loads. I'm still working on that one. Everything else like motor setup, buttons on the panel door, all those things have been solved and working. It's more of a learning curve issue. I went through the same thing when I went from 2D cad to 3D cad.


Edit: I have to laugh because 10 minutes after I posted this I figured out the last thing I wanted and that was to jog when started up. That issue is resolved. LOL!
 
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I need some help understanding Mach3 software. Recently I purchased a used Sherline CNC mill. To use it I have an old desktop running Windows 7, downloaded Mach3 free version from the web and it comes up on the screen and, The mill's XYZ motors are on but
nothing happens at all. They just get warm. Never run CNC before except for the 3 day Tormach class on their 15L lathe. All you had to do was put a thumb drive in the machine's computer. The question is how you know if your MACH3 is working properly with your
computer? And then how to slew the X,Y, or Z stepper motors via MACH3. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 
Just one more thought, do you have to pay for a program for it to really work?
Mach4? I would say yes. If its like Mach3 everything works as it should but only 500 lines of code would be exacuted and it stops. With Mach4 I purchased the license when I downloaded the software for the lathe. I had no reason to believe it wouldn't do what I needed. It was a huge improvement over mach3. I never tried Mach4 unlicensed so I'm not sure of the limitations.
 
Well without knowing the issues you had with it I cant say but I can tell you that after some research and asking questions on forums it runs the mill just like mach3 did with no problems. The only thing I havent been able to figure out is how to enable jogging with the keyboard when the software starts up. I have to click a button after Mach4 loads. I'm still working on that one. Everything else like motor setup, buttons on the panel door, all those things have been solved and working. It's more of a learning curve issue. I went through the same thing when I went from 2D cad to 3D cad.


Edit: I have to laugh because 10 minutes after I posted this I figured out the last thing I wanted and that was to jog when started up. That issue is resolved. LOL!

I never actually got around to trying it out. I was at (possibly the last) CNC Workshop near Detroit several years ago and one of the featured speakers was the guy responsible from Mach 4 (Brian Barker?). Comments that I overheard from the attendees at the time indicated that Mach 4 was still not ready for Prime Time. I was interested as I was running Mach 3 on my Tormach CNC mill at the time a nd that had a few glitches that I was anxious to correct. I followed on-line comments about Mach4 for a while thereafter and it seemed like Mach4 was still having problems of some sort. About then, Tormach came out with PathPilot (a derivation of LinuxCNC), I bought the required hardware, acquired the software and have been happily using it ever since with virtually no problems.

I am glad to hear that Mach4 is working well for users. More controller options usually benefits every one.
 
Hello Mike,
I can tell you that M4 is 100% ready for prime time. I was visiting a manufacture that is selling millions a year in controls based on 4. The machines are ruuning 24/7. M4 has 1000's of copies out working in industrial settings. I told everyone that they would benifit from the industrial work that we have done and we have added many features that we needed to add for them into the Hobby level of the software. I think I am sticking a fork in the hobby level of the software because it is so much more than M3.
Anyway I am so pleased to see that this hobby is doing well here. I enjoy the work you all do and someday when I have time I am going to start playing around with this myself!

Thanks
Brian
 
Brian,

Thanks for the added info and I'm glad to see that you've been so successful with Mach4. Is there a hobby-level version available for sale?
 
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