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View Full Version : This CNC system sucks "There has to be a Better Way"



robwhi
06-21-2009, 09:07 AM
I am not sure if this is the right forum but I will try

I think the way to make a part or do some simple machining with the current run of systems and software I have looked at sucks.

Let me give a little of my background
Computers and everyday work
I have fully automatic machines as well as semi CNC style machines we run everyday " I own my own small company". I have been on computers since the early Eighty's or late 70's when we didn't even have a hard drive and had to load Dos via floppy's. I have no issue with using computers or software . I might add I hate spread sheets as I recon a database is more efficient and less work. I also have Cad experience

Trade

I am a machinist by trade as well as a Engine machinist and Diesel fitter. My particular specialty is Grinding and Honing.


My Beef is that just doing a simple machine job on the CNC is just plain ridiculously hard . I can manual cut a thread or Key way and Most Milling Jobs by the Time I even make a G-code and set the tool.
I can cut a thread in about a Min or 2 . At the moment I couldn't even get a programme ready in that time.

I hope I can start a discussion as there must be a easier way. I Can train someone at work to Run a CNC wire processing machine and produce jobs in Probably half a Day. There is no way I would make a dent with some one with Mach 3 just to do a simple job. I might be missing a fair bit so please enlighten me how to?

Cut a thread on a CNC as a Job situation in less than 5 Mins or or face a
Aluminum or steel block in about 5 Mins or even cut a keyway?

There has to be a better Way to use these suckers arrgh

svenakela
06-21-2009, 09:46 AM
Well, high tech is not always the best. Sometimes a manual operation is faster. But if you want to do that cycle 1500 times, the programming time is peanuts.

wjfiles
06-21-2009, 10:02 AM
Anyone who will spend a great deal of time programming for one or two parts is not going to be making a living. Try Mach3 Wizards.
WJF

Geof
06-21-2009, 10:14 AM
Anyone who will spend a great deal of time programming for one or two parts is not going to be making a living.....
WJF

It depends; I do a lot of tooling and prototypes and program for only one part all the time on both mill and lathe. I keep dozens of previous programs for different operations in the machines and copy and modify these rather than starting from scratch. The trick is to make sure the 'great deal of time' is not that great.

And as sevnakela points out once you are above one part the programming time can be negligible, and you don't even need to get to 1500 sometimes 2 is enough.

robwhi
06-21-2009, 11:00 AM
What's wrong with this simple scenario

I want to face a block Aluminum, steel ,brass

Have a screen with buttons face,Keyway , radius etc

A Jog screen bring the cutter down to touch the block. add the dimensions
and then add the depth of cut.

Obviously have a screen with cutter diameters etc but that is not hard

How hard is that ?

Cut a Keyway

Bring in the cutter and set the diameter of the shaft touch the cutter on the side, on the top and on the end of the shaft.

Set the software for the length,depth and width and away we go
Instant Keyway cut

Bloy2004
06-21-2009, 11:06 AM
I am not sure if this is the right forum but I will try

I think the way to make a part or do some simple machining with the current run of systems and software I have looked at sucks.

Let me give a little of my background
Computers and everyday work
I have fully automatic machines as well as semi CNC style machines we run everyday " I own my own small company". I have been on computers since the early Eighty's or late 70's when we didn't even have a hard drive and had to load Dos via floppy's. I have no issue with using computers or software . I might add I hate spread sheets as I recon a database is more efficient and less work. I also have Cad experience

Trade

I am a machinist by trade as well as a Engine machinist and Diesel fitter. My particular specialty is Grinding and Honing.


My Beef is that just doing a simple machine job on the CNC is just plain ridiculously hard . I can manual cut a thread or Key way and Most Milling Jobs by the Time I even make a G-code and set the tool.
I can cut a thread in about a Min or 2 . At the moment I couldn't even get a programme ready in that time.

I hope I can start a discussion as there must be a easier way. I Can train someone at work to Run a CNC wire processing machine and produce jobs in Probably half a Day. There is no way I would make a dent with some one with Mach 3 just to do a simple job. I might be missing a fair bit so please enlighten me how to?

Cut a thread on a CNC as a Job situation in less than 5 Mins or or face a
Aluminum or steel block in about 5 Mins or even cut a keyway?

There has to be a better Way to use these suckers arrgh

Here's a better way, ....all you have to do is release your hate and open your eyes to the possibilities......:
YouTube - Machine4thAxisFinal

While you're at it, read this thread and many others in the vicinity:
http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,11422.0.html

Bloy2004
06-21-2009, 11:17 AM
My Beef is that just doing a simple machine job on the CNC is just plain ridiculously hard . I can manual cut a thread or Key way and Most Milling Jobs by the Time I even make a G-code and set the tool.
I can cut a thread in about a Min or 2 . At the moment I couldn't even get a programme ready in that time.


I doubt you are being truthful here.....2 minutes to set up the tooling, after determining what you need to thread or slot, and then carry out the operation/procedure? I'd like to see that.... even if you have a dedicated machine, you still have to orient it for the task at hand.
Maybe you just need to practice, practice, practice, so that you become comfortble with CNC as you are with your manual skills.

Bloy2004
06-21-2009, 11:27 AM
What's wrong with this simple scenario

I want to face a block Aluminum, steel ,brass

Have a screen with buttons face,Keyway , radius etc

A Jog screen bring the cutter down to touch the block. add the dimensions
and then add the depth of cut.

Obviously have a screen with cutter diameters etc but that is not hard

How hard is that ?

Cut a Keyway

Bring in the cutter and set the diameter of the shaft touch the cutter on the side, on the top and on the end of the shaft.

Set the software for the length,depth and width and away we go
Instant Keyway cut

So what's wrong with that scenario.....Sounds like a CNC machine with a Wizard(preprogramed procedure) to do your objective... doesn't sound like it "sucks" as you stated in your first post.

robwhi
06-21-2009, 11:34 AM
I don't know what you are doubting

Cnc or manual machining

Manually

I can easily machine a thread in 2 mins

Grind a Big end in 2 mins

resize a conrod in 2 Mins

Face a block even manually turning the wheel in pretty fast time

Cut a key takes a bit longer prob 5 Mins at most. Using a Broach on internal is less with the right press

Part of a bar prob 30 secs


I have all my tools set up with quick change " This is a part of CNC I really misunderstand as this is essentially the time wastage with turning?

I am not after a argument but a discussion on a better way

I am sure that there is a better way out there especially for people that have no Machining experience. As what I have seen so far it it is just plain difficult.

I changed to mac at Xmas after prob nearly 25 years with Microsoft and
Believe me there is a better way.

robwhi
06-21-2009, 11:46 AM
Bloy

That Video is great but I really think you are missing my point of a easier user interface.

my Father in law wants to do clock making. I would absolutely hate to have to train him on a CNC with what is presently available after taking probably 2 years to get him using a Desktop. I would be better teaching him manually how to cut a gear or a worm. Which is totally silly as the cnc opens itself up to a huge amount of options and capabilities

Did I also mention that I would also have to teach him Cad ?

Geof
06-21-2009, 11:51 AM
What's wrong with this simple scenario...etc....

Nothing. That is more or less what I do with my 'stock' programs.

I can setup to face something in about a minute including loading the part, loading the cutter, entering the tool offset, entering the work zeros and changing one number in the program. Tell me what items in this list could be omitted?

Torchhead
06-21-2009, 11:56 AM
There are certain actions and processes that are easier to do manually than with CNC. Threading or turning a small qty of items is one of those. Milling or facing a simple slot may be another. The Wizards in MACH will help, but still just the setup will take longer than if you just bolt it down, zero and use the manual DRO's on a VM. Not everything is a fit for CNC. The other part of the equation is how well you can use the drawing and cam tools.
Do you need a super digital SLR with interchangeable lenses to take snap shots of your kid's birthday?.....No, but if you own one and learn how to use it, you find yourself reaching for it more and more even for simple stuff.

There are still a lot of shops doing manual machining. I still have not added CNC to my 12 X 36 metal lathe and for me it's almost free. I just don't enough copies of anything on that machine to justify the setup time. I can setup and cut a thread and round the ends a lot faster than I can draw it out and do the CNC thing.

If I am simply milling a piece flat and drilling a few holes for tapping I do that manully on the VM. One reason I left the DRO on the mill. I can also open a text process in Windows (Notepad) and write a quick simple g-code file to run a simple facing/milling operation. Once again it's how comfortable you are with the tools. Just doing a circle is so much easier with CNC and should not take but a few minutes to set it up.

The more complex the part the better fit it is for CAM and CNC. I had to build a speclal jig in acrylic that had 100 holes all .375 in diameter and lined up in rows. they did not have to prefectly aligned or even perfect diameter but I drew the art in Corel (one hole then duplicated with a fix offset then a step and repeat of the first 10 (one row) down the sheet with a fixed offset) Total time about 5 minutes. The CAM in SheetACM took about the same time and it was on the CNC router in about 10 minutes. It got a perfect one-off jig in less time than it would have taken me to manually setup the mill with the DRO and a 3/8" drill and done the job that way.


Tom Caudle
www.CandCNC.com

Geof
06-21-2009, 11:58 AM
.....I can easily machine a thread in 2 mins

Grind a Big end in 2 mins

resize a conrod in 2 Mins

Face a block even manually turning the wheel in pretty fast time

Cut a key takes a bit longer prob 5 Mins at most. Using a Broach on internal is less with the right press

Part of a bar prob 30 secs
......

Starting with nothing in the machine, no tools, no stock, etc?

I suspect your minutes occupy more time than my minutes.:D

If you think there has to be a faster way why not start describing it. It is easy to criticise and say something should be better when you are expecting 'better' to come from some other source.

robwhi
06-21-2009, 12:12 PM
Geof

I don't know the answer but that is why I wanted to start the discussion as I am sure there is a better way. I am hoping I will find a answer here.

Sure Manually if I have to change chucks or jaws or vices and clamping things will change the time and I do not disagree.
But for most every day run of the mill not a problem I would rather manually at the moment do these task than try and do them on CNC . But I think we could change this with the right interface and software.

Lean manufacturing has changed many things. Look at Die changing with Toyota they are down from many hours of change over to secs.

We now do Cable change overs in 20 secs at work . 12 Months ago it took us 10 Minutes

Cheers

robwhi
06-21-2009, 12:18 PM
Tom

I just looked at your site

Great gear and Product

My Point is can you imagine how much better your product would sell if you could basically train any one quickly to use it in hours with out having to be able to program . Or even better that anyone could just purchase your product and just use it straight out of the box with out training>

Sounds a Little like apple I know :-)

Cheers

Geof
06-21-2009, 12:36 PM
...I can setup and cut a thread and round the ends a lot faster than I can draw it out and do the CNC thing.....

Tom Caudle

I think this is a key point; draw it out and do the CNC thing for a thread and an end radius? This type of thing is trivial to program by hand and much faster to do on a CNC with a few stock programs where you simply change a few coordinates. I worked manual machine for thirty years before I switched to CNC and the only operations that I can think of as faster on a manual machine are drilling a single hole or tapping a single hole in the lathe. The thing is you do have to buckle down and really learn the CNC so that you can run it with the same sense of comfort as a manual machine.

METALTEK
06-21-2009, 12:42 PM
I too have been using computers since my first Tandy without even a hard drive. Loading dos manually(thanks to all for improvements). I look at the CNC (mach) software as being built as one for all when installed. To get the best for yourself, you must modify it to have exactly what will benefit your process's. I have been using Mach for 4-5 years now and I am proficient.I normally run production parts, but the other day I made my brother 4 different brackets for his drag-quad in the matter of minutes each. I just had him hand me cardboard templates of each and I drew 2d sketches of each(autocad) and ran it through my 2d cam software(deskam). I then saved it in my shared folder and walked over to my machine(networked). clamped down a plate and loaded program. Pressed start and started drawing the next one.
(while one part was running, I am now doing two things at once.)
This is just my opinion on this, I am also open to new improvements. If we didn't have improvements we would still be hand loading DOS yuck:D
Jaime

robwhi
06-21-2009, 01:22 PM
Hi Guys

I am really appreciating all the answers

But I am still going to ask them back

Jaime

Why would I bother to draw something in Cad when I just want to Face a Block . I am proficient in Cad and still just doing this would take longer than manually facing with the right cutter.

However if there was a interface that simply and easily was just touch and face. Well thats my dilemma it is just not that easy.
Maybe the interface should have the following

Machine program
I pick Facing
Material I Pick Aluminum 7075
Cutter Dia 120mm
material width 80mm
Please set lenght 100mm

Please set tool touch OK


Please set depth of cut .025mm


Please set start point OK


START

Done

Why is it so hard?

robwhi
06-21-2009, 01:28 PM
Next

Cut a Keyway in a shaft

Set Shaft Dia 25mm
Cutter size 3mm
Depth of keyway 2.5mm
Keyway size 5mm
Lenght 20mm

Depths of cut .25mm "I need a coffee by Now LOL"

Please touch or set side of shaft
Please touch or set end of shaft
Please touch or set top of shaft

Push start?

METALTEK
06-21-2009, 01:40 PM
You could right a script to make your code for a facing operation to your preference. It would start by creating a g(whatever number you would like) that would call the script. then have pop up windows ask the material type, length, width, depth. You could even have it know what depth of cut by your answer to material type. I am only a newbie when it comes to this but I could do this over some time. There is a guy Papabear on here and on mach support forum that could do all of these things with ease I am sure.
I am not in any way trying to say there isn't a better way, I just think that this software is so transformable you can do the things that you want.
Jaime

Geof
06-21-2009, 01:49 PM
Hi Guys.....

Machine program
I pick Facing
Material I Pick Aluminum 7075
Cutter Dia 120mm
material width 80mm
Please set lenght 100mm

Please set tool touch OK


Please set depth of cut .025mm


Please set start point OK


START

Done

Why is it so hard?

It is not hard; go back I read what I wrote in Post #11. What you have listed here is almost exactly what I do with my stock (I call them template) program(s)

Your keyway example is similar: I have a template program for slotting X axis and one for slotting Y axis and again enter almost exactly what you are listing.


Granted if I want to program a complex three dimensional shape I have no choice other than CAD/CAM.

HuFlungDung
06-21-2009, 01:59 PM
Don't overlook what you already know. How difficult was it to learn to ride a two wheel bike? Once you learn how, I bet you cannot even imagine why anyone cannot ride a bike. But nonetheless, your brain learned to deal with thousands of details eventually and it makes the trick of balancing seem trivial, but it certainly is far from it.

Why do positions exist in industry for push button machinists, aka, parts loaders? Because duplicating the physical prowess of even an idiot, is difficult to duplicate with a computer program. An idiot can tell when the chuck is stopped, which end of a part is unfinished bar stock yet, what the part looks like in the chip tray, etc, etc.

Take a total newbie, attempt to have him cut a thread on a manual lathe in 2 minutes. It ain't happening :D He would probably be just as fast programming it with a threading cycle.

I do what Geof does: write a few lathe programs, then call up a similar program for a new job, modify it a bit and away I go. It takes mere minutes when you know your machine, understand the code, etc. Safe machine operation requires a strict requirement of instructing the stupid computer exactly what to do, in strict sequence, to get the desired results. We are still a long way from even idiot quality intelligence on machine tools yet.

robwhi
06-23-2009, 07:27 AM
Hi Guys

I really appreciate your answers.

But I still think it sucks . I am getting there slowly with the painful way to do simple jobs.

But (There is always is a but) I am thinking about a easier way for my father and others as I think it is really difficult at the moment just trying to teach someone CAD from scratch is a battle little alone trying to teach cam as well as CNC control .

If there was a package that could put all together to make it a simple operating system that would be great.

DareBee
06-23-2009, 08:17 AM
I can't believe no one has mentioned conversational control yet.
My lathe with Fagor control IS that EASY.
Assuming my threading tool is in the turret (it usually is).

Push the threading button.
pick the thread from the thread menu (eg 3/4-10 UNC)
input Z start and stop position (teachable by eye if you want).
input RPM or CSS
push cycle start

The control when in conversational mode does not make the most efficient toolpaths but gets the job done really fast with almost no programming (or drawing) time.
I would still use a fine tuned G code program if I needed to run thousands of parts, but I don't.

Rob you need to seriously look at a control like this.

DareBee
06-23-2009, 08:37 AM
Here is a screen shot.
Must of the numbers on the screen are fixed (auto calculated) for the scenario I listed above.

robwhi
06-23-2009, 10:21 AM
Thank you Darebee

That is getting closer to what I think people want. The problem is bringing it into the hobby market and more importantly the new user.



I am sure there is a solution out there.


Thanks again

Rob

DareBee
06-23-2009, 11:03 AM
Hobby market is a whole other ball o wax.
Not enough (no) profit to support the R&D.
Find a group of people willing to generously donate thousands of hours for it?
I dunno about you but I already don't have enough hours in a day.
I also have too many bills to pay to work for free.
Call me selfish.

philbur
06-23-2009, 07:36 PM
Mach 3 and wizards, wizards and more wizards. As a minimum you have to tell the machine what you want it to do, that's an overhead for you can't avoid. It’s difficult to envisage a more minimalist overhead than a wizard. I see no problem.

Phil

robwhi
06-25-2009, 01:08 PM
Hi Guys

I am finally getting somewhere

Thanks Darebee for putting me on the right path
I now have conversational software that hasn't cost a Arm and Leg. Needs a Lot better basic instructions. But other then that all is looking up to make it a lot easier.

So Far I have easily now
Faced
Engraved
slotted and also drilled a pcd
And I have not yet had to draw anything in Cad.

Cheers



I

HOMEMAN
06-25-2009, 02:03 PM
i also had a problem w/teaching people to run my machines we only did simple things like enclosures circuit boards and engraved panels and some parts i wrote a cnc driver that has a scripting lanquage that allows for the gcode to contain documentation w/setup pics you can also pass paremiters to the script for canned cycles to change size ...ect it still has the long first time setup but after that anybody can run it
it only works w/stepper motor type machines so mostly just for hobbyist and small shops i no longer sell the machines and software so i have made it free
if there is interest i can upload some of my self documented files
the software can be downloaded at http://techknowwiz.com/

DareBee
06-25-2009, 03:05 PM
Hi Guys

I am finally getting somewhere

Thanks Darebee for putting me on the right path
I now have conversational software that hasn't cost a Arm and Leg. Needs a Lot better basic instructions. But other then that all is looking up to make it a lot easier.

So Far I have easily now
Faced
Engraved
slotted and also drilled a pcd
And I have not yet had to draw anything in Cad.

Cheers



I

I am not sure what I did but you are welcome.

Would you mind enlightening us as to how you are proceeding?

wjfiles
06-26-2009, 04:05 AM
For simple operations without a lot of programming there are two solutions,
Mach3 NFS wizards and Outsource. How simple can it get?
WJF

robwhi
06-26-2009, 07:31 AM
Darebee

You showed me the light LOL. Seriously when you said what you can do I just kept looking.

I don't want to shout that I have a solution as there is still some bugs that I am sorting out but I am getting there . I am doing exactly as you said with your machine

Wjfiles

Mach3 is not a option at the moment as I am running through ethernet unless I change my breakout board

Regarding the wizards it can be a lot easier I recon.

philbur
06-26-2009, 07:58 AM
So write your own controller or change your breakout board. Isn't that a bit of a no brainer.:confused:

Phil



Mach3 is not a option at the moment as I am running through ethernet unless I change my breakout board

DareBee
06-26-2009, 08:36 AM
In a way, you could call what FAGOR has done (wizards).
There is like 50 SET machining operations that you just "fill in the blanks" with your numbers using graphical representation to guide you (picture is worth a thousand words - right?).
FAGOR programs itself in its own "High level code", maybe this makes these canned cycles easier to compute - I dunno?
It uses standard ISO G code as well for ease of inputting CAM if you wish to run the control in old school mode. Very versatile IMO.

There are others with similar systems (Accu rite, Anilam, etc) but I feel FAGOR has done it best.

robwhi
06-26-2009, 09:17 AM
Philbur

I think you are missing my point. What you are saying is a no brainer for you.
What if I said there is a shaft and there a lathe cut the thread

Or there is a shaft and a die cut the thread


What is easier

There is a lot of people that don't have a lot of computer knowledge or want to

A lot do not even want to touch the controls or build or modify their own machine. They want to purchase a machine and get going easily. I am not saying they want to machine a extensive mold or aero space part. Just do the basics.

But they want to be or are great machinist. My father is 70 years old and sure does not want to learn Cad from scratch or cam for that matter . Yet he is a great machinist and wants to just do the basics with CNC.

The machines are more than capable of doing basic machine jobs just the software needs to be easier?

Cheers

lancedulak
06-27-2009, 10:18 AM
Lots of rather ignorant flames in this thread.

The simple truth is there is NO well designed CNC software out there. The machining industry is positively backwards both in software and electronics. Now before some armchair genius decides to "correct" me ive been programming since BEFORE floppy disks, been paid to travel 11000 miles to do it, and been doing hobby electronics and machining for years.

The problem with the CNC industry is that there really isnt one. There are a lot of solutions to this, solutions to that. There is no GM or Toyota of cnc. The software is a joke.

MACH is a joke folks from a programming standpoint. One of the most important if not THE most important elements of software design is the UI. Machs UI , like all the other CNC UI's is ridiculous. It reminds me of the interface for DBASE IV. The electronics interfaces are all over the map. From complete dedicated hardware systems (God help you if they quit making parts or go out of business) to cobbled together setups. Theres no real Standard.

When someone does come along with a UI that doesnt require the user to spend months or years learning the programmers particular quirks and a couple hardware vendors decide on a permanent, open , nonproprietary , commonly available standard everyone else is going out of busines.

If one of you out there wants to get rich design a system that runs CNC systems via a USB component with extensible cam software that a novice can pick up all the basics of in an afternoon and you will get Very rich.
Eventually someone is going to.

PS the flames in this thread remind me of the guys whining that if you wanted a PC , much less one with a GUI, and didnt worship a command line with arcane commands you shouldnt be allowed to use a computer. Wonder how those guys careers at mcdonalds worked out.

dertsap
06-27-2009, 10:43 AM
for the real cnc's there is the simplicity of using macro programming for the quick cut tool paths , once you've created your program then it can be used over and over again for different sized parts , it's only a matter of changing a few variables which takes seconds , the part and tool needs to be set on a manual or a cnc so no one can convince me that a manual setup will be faster than that
hobby softwares don't really like this kind of programming but then why rush , its a hobby enjoy the relaxation

Dennis Bohlke
06-27-2009, 08:14 PM
Robwhi

I was thinking just what you have, that there has got to be a better way of controlling a machine tool other than the way things are done.

I got the idea to do something about it a couple of decades ago so it’s not really a new idea to me. I stuck with working only in three axes, so threading shafts is not in the program.

What I decided to do was to interface the machine motor controls into a CAD user interface. I did not want to deal with a blizzard of numbers scrolling by on the screen. What I wanted was real time on screen graphical animation when the machine was moving.

When I wanted to move the machine’s cutter around, I want to be able to just point and click with the mouse and have the machine move to the coordinates specified by the mouse click. This is done with the MoveTo command.

I was working a lot with Acad so I though I could model the user interface around that look and feel. The main User Interface screen has a pull down menus, side bar menu, command console area and Rolodex tab control area. The side bar menu is determined by which type of machine is attached, it is different for running a router than when running a plasma torch.

I wanted to be able to draw the tool path and have the machine follow the drawings. No putzing around with lists of coordinates like in a G & M Code file, after all the drawing graphic items contain all that information already. I made it so that I could draw and cut, with no G & M Code files necessary.

For example, to make a gear you get a drawing of the it, make an offset line to correspond to half of the cutting diameter of the end mill you are going to use. Then have the machine progressively cut deeper following the offset line. By the way there is a Gears command for creating drawings of gears built into the program.

Above all I wanted so simple to use that an eight-year-old could use it, or for that matter a woman. I pretty much have succeed in that. Once the software has been configured to match the machine attached most people can get to work using it in twenty(20) minutes or less, and since it is a graphical interface reading and understanding English is not required.

The software that I created is called SuperCamXp. It works with Windows Xp and Vista host computers via the USB port. I do not sell the program it comes with the USB CamPod or with my controllers that have the CamPod embedded in them.

The USB CamPod is a USB to Parallel port connector adapter. In the CamPod is a microprocessor that creates the step and direction and other motor control signals. The pin signal assignments can be changed by jumper wires to match just about any existing motor controller that is currently using the parallel port from the host computer for step and direction signals, hence most controllers that work with Mach3 can work with SuperCamXp and the USB CamPod.

With SuperCamXp and the USB CamPod’s you can run multiple machines simultaneously from the same computer. Or for that matter have one machine running with Mach3 and another running with SuperCamXp all from the same computer at the same time. My own personal setup has a Taig Micro Mill with Servo motors attached to this computer, so when it is running I can do other things like write this post.

Running three and two axis routers or torch tables with SuperCamXp is a way better way than with Mach3. For some jobs it is better to use G & M Code files, especially when it comes to 3D contour surfaces. So, there are multiple ways to use G & M Code files in SuperCamXp, the EditCNC command lets you edit the text file and execute it.

SuperCamXp also lets you create G & M Code files from imported drawings. The code generated is Mach3 compatible. You can pick graphic items and create the G & M Code for the items selected or you have the whole drawing’s G & M Code can be generated.

So, if you’re stuck on using G & M Code files there many features that make that easy to do too. Personally I can make just about anything I can think of and draw without having to use G & M Code files.

If I want to make a machine to thread shafts I would attach the Y motor to the rotary chuck and draw sloped lines. The angle of the line slope would determine the threads per inch or mm. By cutting the line progressively deeper, I would with proper tooling, cut the thread.

Comparing SuperCamXp to Mach3 is like comparing a manual typewriter to the Microsoft Word program or manual drafting to using a CAD program. It is like having a CAD program directly interfaced to the machine. But then, I am the author of the SuperCamXp program so it is only natural that I am biased.

So, I just thought you might like to know that you are not alone in thinking there is a better way to do things.

Dennis Bohlke
www.super-tech.com

URL for SuperCamXp
http://www.super-tech.com/root/itm.asp?p1=itm-supercamxp

http://www.super-tech.com/root/itm.asp?p1=itm-supercamxp-tutorials

http://www.super-tech.com/root/grp.asp?p1=SuperCamXp-Demo

YouTube Videos
DXF to G-code File SuperCamXp Tutorial, 02:38
YouTube - DXF to G-code File SuperCamXp Tutorial

Engraving Shamrock from DXF file on Desktop Taig Mill, 06:18
YouTube - Engraving Shamrock from DXF file on Desktop Taig Mill

CNC Taig Mill Draw and Cut with SuperCamXp, 06:47
YouTube - CNC Taig Mill Draw and Cut with SuperCamXp

mactec54
06-27-2009, 08:54 PM
Hay I could not help myself I almost fell off my chair laughing when I read some of the posts

Lancedulak post was long & totaly out of touch with the cnc world there are many controls out there that you can plug & play

The best one I have used is US made the name is softservo systems they have many different control platforms that do just what you are saying or asking for some of the platforms have a proprietary (electronic) part but most of there new systems are nonproprietary all control parts you can by off the shelf motors drives computer cables Etc add there software & you have the fastest & the best there is in the world today

There latest PC system they have is CANopen no proprietary parts needed for this whole CNC system

You also asked that it be USB USB is way to slow compared to these fiber-opto connected/controled systems

HuFlungDung
06-27-2009, 09:45 PM
"SoftServo"....is that the one that costs a mere $30,000 for the program?

mactec54
06-27-2009, 11:37 PM
Hi HuFungDung

No just 1/10 of your $30.000

My last price was $3.000 This was for more than just the software it included cables & computer card for the fiber-opto cable between the computer & drives

OEM pricing I'm sure is better than that

These systems are AC servo mostly which are plug & play there is no turning drives Etc but can be used with other motor types but not as easy to set up

robwhi
06-28-2009, 11:44 AM
Hi Guys
Thanks for all the great replies
I am getting some great info But there is always a Butt LOL

Some are missing the point. A lot and I mean a lot want something different.

Why can't I just Touch a cutter and say face
Or cut a keyway

Most importantly why can't your software show you what to do it. Ie like a Mac

I don't want to bring a battle of operating systems up but look at the mac .

It is simple and anyone that goes into a store selling Macs can leave with a Mac and "it works" . Hell I would be confident even my Mum could use a Mac?
But a Mac doesn't give you everything. But most people do not want that option.

Linux could of " are could off (those where the days)" left microsoft behind in its dust. But sorry the mentality lost it for linux. People do not want to know commands or how to write a line of code they just want to push a button and make it work.


Here is a simple question

Why do people want a Iphone . A million in 3 days is not Bad


Because it is easy to use. It is that simple?

Hobby and the occasional CNC user want the same . But " always a But" It has to be a a reasonable cost.

Most of these Guys "I Think" do not want to have to learn CAD or Cam

Cheers

Bubba
06-28-2009, 12:03 PM
"Why can't I just Touch a cutter and say face
Or cut a keyway "

This to me would be like telling a blind person to "go to the store" without giving explicit directions. You want to touch the cutter and say face, ok, where is the top of the stock you want to face (you haven't a clue from your statement. Nor do you know how big a surface your trying to face, nor how deep.

Simplification is nice .....to a point, then it gets ridiculous.

Just my .02

Geof
06-28-2009, 02:12 PM
......Why can't I just Touch a cutter and say face
Or cut a keyway......

Over what dimensions, using what material, at what rpm and feed, one cut or a roughing cut and a finish cut, etc.

You are wanting software that does what a competent CNC machinist knows how to do; good luck.

Torchhead
06-28-2009, 02:15 PM
1. Why is a car so hard to drive? With modern computers I should just punch in where I want to go (on the GPS screen) and the car automatically and safely takes me there. (Better yet just an Icon of every place I need to go) Of course I would have to let the car decide the best route, the best speed, and the best time for me to go and if it wasn't in it's program I might have to THINK a little (or stay home).

2. Why are airplanes so hard to fly. (see # 1 above). What ever happened to the wonderful idea of the Flying Car? I saw it in Popular Mechanics in 1965! Why do I need a license to fly?

3. Why do I have to think/learn?

4. Why can't I just buy a simple liquid with all the nutrition I need and have a cheap machine "Extrude" that into a shape that I like?...oh wait...I think It's called a Mac Nugget! Learning to cook is so damn HARD!

5. Where is the EASY button?

6. Why can't the Government do it for me?


When you move up the ladder of "Easy" you narrow down the flexibility of the system. You HAVE to take part or all of the decision process out of the system which limits what you can do with it. Know why programmers use tools like "C" and assembly language rather than 5 GL tools like PowerBuilder or VB 6 to do applications? Too much overhead and too little control.

There are just a lot of tasks in life that require an investment in learning. In today's technology there is no need to learn math or even how to read. We can get machines to do that for us. You can speak into the computer and it will type the words. It will read them back to you. Why invest years in learning to read and write when it can be programmed into a device you hold in your hand? Remember when you had to know how to Add, Subtract and (gasp) multiply/divide? No need for that now! (It's right there on your iPhone!)

The concept of CNC is simple: You Draw It (CAD) you define the toolpath (CAM) and you make the machine move (Control). You can mix all those things together and make them look like one operation, but you have to give up a level of flexibility. Few in this group may remember, but in the early days of the PC, on software it was surmised that the three basic applications you do in a PC are: Word Processing, Data Base and Spread Sheet. They then decided that would it not be easier if you just put all them in one package? OF COURSE! Not individual applications that used a common file structure, but One Do-Everything-for-Everybody low cost application. It was a dismal failure.

FlashCut has been producing and selling a Windows Based Pulse Engine (first serial, then USB) for years. It works great up to the point you need real time feedback for an operation.

With every technology there is a downside. USB is one of those. It's a protocol made for moving data in small disconnect bursts over a short distance. You have to take a parallel process (moving multiple axis at the same time at high pulse rates) off a parallel bus, and turn that first into a serial stream of data , then back again to parallel operations. It disconnects the operating softwareon the PC from where the machine is in real time. That has little consequence in most operations, since the human is thousands of times slower looking at a screen, but it DOES matter if the position of the machine needs to be used for feedback in a process that is real time.

Take threading for example. You have to synchronize the rotation of the spindle position with the X axis tool position precisely...real time feedback (electronic gearing). That won't work with a disconnected system. You have to close the feedback at the other end of the USB line.

IF you want to take advantage of the low cost Torch Height Controls (THC) built around MACH3 and EMC, the feedback has to be real time because the position of the torch head cannot be disconnected or delayed. Yes, you can use a separate THC and Z axis running with it's own feedback, but then it has to do all the things that software on the PC could be doing so you give up a level of control and efficiency and raise the cost. It removes the flexibility to use the Z for other operations from the PC.

Then there is the economy of scale. The potential market place for CNC machines for individual use is a tiny sub-fractional percentage of the market for the iPhone or even an automatic car.

If you are not willing to invest in a level of learning to run a machine that can hurt you then it has to be made absolutely fool proof (toaster easy) and the level of engineering to get there has to have a matching level of reward.

The concept of "Build it and they will come" is better left to Hollywood than the real world.

That's my story and I'm stick'n to it!

TOM Caudle
www.CandCNC.com

Deviant
06-28-2009, 02:27 PM
Here's a better way, ....all you have to do is release your hate and open your eyes to the possibilities......:
YouTube - Machine4thAxisFinal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzY-OqckqpI)

While you're at it, read this thread and many others in the vicinity:
http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,11422.0.html

LOL My heart stopped when you drove that endmill into the table. I was like... oh crap....

Cool, operation. Do you have anymore information on your setup.


As for the OP. I also find alot of the simple tasks very annoying on the CNC, but I am a uber newb. I could also thread/mill the part in half the time or less than it takes to me to try and do the cnc. However, I hope that it will get better over time.

The wizards inside mach, contain alot of the simple day to day things. You just have to make sure that you select the proper units. I need to figure out a way to make my mach3 only cut MM and nothing else. I hurts my brain when some of the wizards shift between units.

philbur
06-29-2009, 02:42 AM
Why do people want a Iphone . A million in 3 days is not Bad



I bought one about a year ago and I'm still asking "why do I want an Iphone"




Most of these Guys "I Think" do not want to have to learn CAD or Cam



Mach3 + Wizards - no Cad no Cam. What do Wizards not do that you would like to do.

Phil:)

robwhi
06-29-2009, 01:28 PM
Philbur

I have been told you cannot run Mach with Ethernet?


Phil
It could of been worse you brought a HTC phone with popcketpc.

Rob

philbur
06-30-2009, 02:49 AM
Then dump the ethernet function or buy a second, cheap, used pc like everybody else.

Phil


Philbur

I have been told you cannot run Mach with Ethernet?


Phil
It could of been worse you brought a HTC phone with popcketpc.

Rob

robwhi
06-30-2009, 06:56 AM
Phil

whether you like it or not the parallel port is dying. Try buying a laptop with a parallel port? I lot of Desktops are removing them as well


I don't intend going backwards. I have a solution for now with a few bugs but still not that hard to do what I want similar to Darebees

I don't have to worry about G-code or cad for basic and more extensive operations. Obviously I am not doing extensive die work etc but that is when Cad will come in.

As I said I don't have a problem with doing Cad and Cam. I just think it is backwards doing basic operations which I could do faster manually.

Also Just learning Cad can be a steep learning curve for a Person like my Father who is nearly 72. He wouldn't bother with CNC if he had to learn Cad and Cam.

philbur
06-30-2009, 07:20 AM
I guess some people just have to climb the mountain by the most difficult route.

Phil


Phil

whether you like it or not the parallel port is dying. Try buying a laptop with a parallel port? I lot of Desktops are removing them as well


I don't intend going backwards. I have a solution for now with a few bugs but still not that hard to do what I want similar to Darebees

I don't have to worry about G-code or cad for basic and more extensive operations. Obviously I am not doing extensive die work etc but that is when Cad will come in.

As I said I don't have a problem with doing Cad and Cam. I just think it is backwards doing basic operations which I could do faster manually.

Also Just learning Cad can be a steep learning curve for a Person like my Father who is nearly 72. He wouldn't bother with CNC if he had to learn Cad and Cam.

AMCjeepCJ
07-01-2009, 07:47 PM
Hi Guys

I am really appreciating all the answers

But I am still going to ask them back

Jaime

Why would I bother to draw something in Cad when I just want to Face a Block . I am proficient in Cad and still just doing this would take longer than manually facing with the right cutter.

However if there was a interface that simply and easily was just touch and face. Well thats my dilemma it is just not that easy.
Maybe the interface should have the following

Machine program
I pick Facing
Material I Pick Aluminum 7075
Cutter Dia 120mm
material width 80mm
Please set lenght 100mm

Please set tool touch OK


Please set depth of cut .025mm


Please set start point OK


START

Done

Why is it so hard?

Try a Milltronics, it is pretty much that simple~ They sell their system separately to put on your own machine if you want...

Deviant
07-01-2009, 08:03 PM
I guess I don't understand.

There are wizards for that in Mach3. You can also create your own wizards for mach that do the same thing.

I.e. Circle pocket. set the x/y/z step over amount, cutter size, depth of total cut and depth per cut and ramping distance....

Their is one for doing a rectangle pocket which amounts to the same as facing.

Not to be completely rude, but you have looked at the mach wizards... and the extra wizards that cnc4pc sells for like 50 bucks?


As for the parallel port.... there are driver boards that take ethernet(gecko grex) or usb (smoothstepper)... There are more coming out everyday.


I agree that it is more complicated than it needs to be... But most of what you have asked for... Comes in Mach3 by default... As for the others... you can do the kipware gcode builder for the 350 bucks or whatever it costs. Or write the code by hand.

lerman
07-02-2009, 05:39 PM
I'm planning on building wizards for this to work with EMCs new GWiz facility.

For milling a flat face, it will probably work pretty much the way you describe. With a little bit more work, the user would be able to:

Manually jog to one corner. Select the pick corner wizard and run it.

Manually job to a diagonal corner. Select the pick corner wizard and run it.

Jog to the surface. Pick the set zero depth wizard and run it.

Pick the rectangular face wizard. Set the depth, feed, and speed. Run it.

Stir until done.

Ken




Hi Guys

I am really appreciating all the answers

But I am still going to ask them back

Jaime

Why would I bother to draw something in Cad when I just want to Face a Block . I am proficient in Cad and still just doing this would take longer than manually facing with the right cutter.

However if there was a interface that simply and easily was just touch and face. Well thats my dilemma it is just not that easy.
Maybe the interface should have the following

Machine program
I pick Facing
Material I Pick Aluminum 7075
Cutter Dia 120mm
material width 80mm
Please set lenght 100mm

Please set tool touch OK


Please set depth of cut .025mm


Please set start point OK


START

Done

Why is it so hard?