Hi, Could anyone tell me if I can manually run the z axis at the same time the mach 3 is running a program. Is this possible?
Yes. You need to setup an UP and Down switch (hopefully isolated) into the THC UP and THC DOWN inputs in MACH (Config/ports & pins/Input Signals) Then you need to go into Mill Options and turn on the "Allow THC operations even when not under THC control" checkbox.
On all of our MACH based THC interface our I/O breakout cards have isolated inputs for an external UP and DOWN manual control (mostly used for oxy-Fuel cutting). The signals are in parallel with the UP and DOWN signals from our DTHC so you don't have to swap over a bunch of signals for doing plasma or manual cutting.