Hi all.. I'm trying to decide between getting a Mach system or Wincnc system.. I'm not familiar with either. I am under the impression that mach has greater functionality and much easier learning curve..
Any opinions? Thanks!!!
Mach without a doubt, if you get stuck there are plenty of users on here that could help you out.
Has anyone suggested Mach 3? If not, then I will.
WinCNC has a great customer support. Call them and get a solution now without having to ask a question online and hoping someone is looking at that moment to help you get your multi thousand dollar cnc up and going. To finish the kitchen for the lady screaming at you on the phone.
I like peace of mind having a control that is solid that when I start it up it does what I ask. I like having one screen that does it all. I like being able to pull a thumb drive out (running file from hard drive) and not watching my machine drop down and take off. Cutting through a $50 sheet of plywood and snapping a $75 bit.
I have enough on my plate to worry about to tip toe around my control. Its cool that you can run a 3d file all day and go home come back the next am and its still going making money for you. (This was not my experience) but it has been done. When the person who asked me if they could leave there CNC running over night. I did think twice about saying it would be ok. But it would not even had been a question if he was running mach. I do like mach it is a good program. It has extras that other controllers charge a lot for. But it is not a industrial controller. The price gives it away. It runs 3d files well but I have seen it miss the tool crib and drop a tool in the floor. This got to be such a problem we put old couch cushions under the tool forks.
Please view this not as a rant I have met the owner of artsoft and I do like some of the things he says is about to change. I still am holding off till I can be shown I can walk of and leave my machine without looking over my shoulder. In this day in time saving money is a top priority of everyone but since time is money I need something that saves me time.
My vote goes to WinCNC
i am running some arches that take 4.5 hours each in 3d, yesterday i ran two and was able to walk away from them and go on about my work, there are way too many people using mach not to give it credit (i have it as well) but i do feel safer in a medium size commercial setting with my win cnc, i'll post some video of the carving later this am
James McGrew CAMaster 508 ATC
Okay..I love to Run Mach3..all of my woodwork carried out without single flaw....I am going to check Wincnc on their website... I don't know if somebody can compare WINCNC and MACH and post it her...
With my machines, it isn't Mach 3 that I would be leary of in leaving a machine running at night, but the computer itself. I haven't had any issues with Mach 3 that weren't operator error. Now I have had computer error, though it could be called operator error for failure to disable all the timeout safeties in the BIOS and the OS itself. Other issues were mechanical in nature.
I often leave my machines unattended now that I am confident that the computers won't screw up. The spindles and coolant etc are all controlled by Mach 3, so it all works nicely.
I have to say that I haven't run a tool changer though, but once programed in, I can't see that Mach 3 would get that wrong. At least not now.
I can see where tools sticking in collets might cause that though.
My opinion is lopsided though. I haven't used Win. The guys that use both should be given heavier weight on this decision.
fellows i could not agree more, i am happy with wincnc, it is what i learned after dos and it is a great controller, there is another camaster owner in wilmington nc who runs large machines for corning, he has a machine in his garage and is a lot more into the controller where as most of us other owners are focused on the machine and the software, he has made adjusment strides that have been incredible for my machine and others, there fore we are wincnc happy!!
go with what works for you, once the decision of the machine and the relationship with the company you purchase it from (if they have a history of service) go with the controller they prefer, you will need this from them.
we have about 60 machine owners in our little support group, it is great to be able to get some on on the phone on a weekend or at night, we have owners who who can only work on thier machines after they finish thier day jobs, factory techs cannot be expected to be available after hours (they have children too!)
mach is a fine program, but in the world of better or worse it is irrellevant here, there are good machines dumped on doorsteps and the machine sales company drop all promises with it, as has been shown on other post on this forum, you will need a support setup if you are new to this, there are also alot of bogus posters here who bait us into posting just to set up other agenda's we have seen this as well. mach has a great support setup with thier forum and i would reccommend it, bur switch from wincnc no way!
a fellow once said to me " my product may not be the biggest, may not be the best, but we don't stand second best to any one!" i bought a very good sliding saw from him and it has served me flawlessly!!
i am hoping cnc helper will chime in on this!
James McGrew CAMaster 508 ATC
i would also like to give mach some credit
kahlid has built his own machine and does some really good work with it, i post with him on several forums and controllers are not our big issue!!
James McGrew CAMaster 508 ATC
I have ran both on many diff. machines. And like I said there are a lot of nice things about M3 but it has not won my vote yet in over all solid preformance.
And the PC might be one of the problems with that. M3 has to use so much of the PC's resources to run so there is a larger window for the PC to cause havoc. WinCNC has its own PCI board with a daughter board it handles most of its own work load so the PC is not taxed as much. I was running a ATC with M3 on it, it was working just fine running the same file looped over and over cutting 1000's of the same part. M3 did this well but not without hicups. One day the cut was getting off and while the cnc was cutting I pulled up the calculator and was running some numbers. The motors started whineing just from the load the windows calculator was putting on the system. when you get a industrial machine using relays to fire this and that. and a 5 volt input signal from the PC is all that may signal a 2nd or 3rd head to drop and the spindle to turn on. the last thing you need is out side or unwanted noise. noise = voltage and 4.5 V will fire a 5 volt relay. I need a solid control the ones who work for me and have seen the strange thigs a cnc will do when it gets a little out side interferance also demand it. Stuff like this is why I use WinCNC.
And like I said Bryan from Artsoft has told me there was some improvements comming that might lean me closer to M3.
But as Jim said there are way to many M3 users not to give it its due. It just does not fit my needs in my demanding application.