I am setting up my CNC machine and am having a little trouble. I am very inexperienced with this whole thing. I am using Mach 3 and was given an XML file by the seller (builder) when I bought it. There were also some instructions for configuring some settings. To use the XML file that I was provided I set that up as a profile in Mach 3. The first time I installed Mach 3 I had it working but tried setting up soft limits and then I had no movement. The screen showed everything working. So I re-installed Mach 3 and created the new profile using the XML file. Everything seemed to be ok.
So here is where I am at:
I was trying to set my 'home' at the far right rear corner of the table with the Z axis up. When I set my soft limits the Z wouldn't move. I set it as instructed on the Mach 3 site by setting the X and Y at 24 (24x24 inch work area) in the 'Soft Max' column and -4.5 (4.5" Z axis) in the 'Soft Min' column. The problem came when I went to test the roadrunner.tap file. I tried to move my job view closer to the center of the table by jogging to that area then zeroing and hitting 'Regen Toolpath' the job ended up to the left and down, instead of to the right and up. In other words, it went the opposite direction than what I told it to. When I jogged the X axis it looked like it went the right direction in the job window. But when I jog the Y axis it shows it going the opposite direction in the job window. The Z axis also seems to be backwards. With the limits set as they show with -4.5 being all the way up then I hit Z+ it tries to go higher and hits the frame (I have no limit switches yet). I need to hit Z- to get it to lower.
I may have got some of the numbers backwards but either way the results are that the Y and Z are going the wrong way. What would cause this and how do I fix it? All motors are wired the same.
Sorry for the confusing post but I tried to give as much detail as I could.
I have followed the manual but some of the instruction doesn't match the documentation I received with the machine. I think part of the problem might be that the X and Y axis' are reversed. I set the X to move front to back and the Y left to right. This came from a source I found online but I'm thinking this isn't the conventional way of configuring this. My machine has a fixed table with a moving router fixture and gantry.
I think what might have happened is when I jog the machine it physically goes where I want it to but the software thinks it is going somewhere else because of this. I'm still learning the + and - directions so I am just jogging to where I want it and go from there. I will check it out again when I get a chance and let you know what I have found.
Hey if your axis' are going the wrong way, go into the homing and limits and check the reverse axis column for each axis that is moving opposite direction than what you want. This will make them move the direction that you need.
Thanks guys. Got it figured out. I switched the wires on the controller for the X and Y to get the correct axis' matched up. The X was going front to back and the Y was going left to right. Then I fixed the buttons in the software settings for the +- configurations. My soft limits are all working now too. I did a dry run of the roadrunner.tap and all worked fine. I did get a soft limit error when I first started so I disabled it but I think I know what happened. Since I had no router on it and no bed or work area I left the Z at the home all the way up. I jogged the X and Y to about X 5 and Y 5 but left the Z where it was. When the program started it raised the Z .2 but that put it into the soft limit zone and it stopped. If I were cutting an actual piece I realize I would have jogged the Z down to the material then zeroed it. That would have prevented the soft limit error.
I was beginning to feel a little intimidated by this thing but after getting it working it is all starting to make sense now.
I still have a little work to do. I want to solder all of my wire connections and put shrink tubes on them. I also want to wrap them with something to keep them out of the way. I also have to put the work 'bed' down...then figure out where I am going to put it.
I won't have time to do anything with it for a few days but I'll update everyone.