Mach4+ESS or Acorn?


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 12 of 17

Thread: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    22
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    I'm still in the process of designing and building the new machine. Ive decided to lower my expectations on its scope of work to not include steel of any kind, so I'm using 8020 extrusions for the whole frame and gantry. X and Y will both be 1300mm working area, with 1700mm 25mm rails, leaving room for a tool change fixture on one side, and fixtures/vice on one end.

    Anyway, while reading and watching videos about my DMM servos, I came across the Acorn CNC controller. I'm used to Mach 3/4, but I'm not that attached to it yet to not be willing to switch. Cost wise, the Acorn seems like it might be a bit cheaper, though that isnt a factor, than a Mach 4 license and an ESS.

    What I really want to know is if anyone has used both products, if you would recommend one over the other? I'm a little on the disappointed side on how long its taking for plugins and updates for mach 4, and more than a little worried that it might get dropped like Mach3 was since its not being widely adopted.

    Similar Threads:


  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    31710
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    and more than a little worried that it might get dropped like Mach3 was since its not being widely adopted.
    Not sure what you mean by "dropped"? Mach4 is the replacement for Mach3. Mach3 became too complex to develop further, so Mach4 needed to be written from scratch.
    OEM customers are keeping Artsoft in business, from what I understand. My guess is that they still sell more Mach3 licenses than Mach4 licenses.

    As for the Acorn, do your research, and make sure it'll do what you need. I know a few people using them, and have heard that it still needs some work to be a good fit for router users, but they are working on it.

    I'm building a router using DMM servos, and am running UCCNC with a UC300ETH and UB1 breakout board. I've had a Mach4 license for 3 years, but have no plans on using it.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    22
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    My guess is that they still sell more Mach3 licenses than Mach4 licenses.
    This is absolutely true, and the fact that it isn't even being updated anymore bothers me. I started with mach 3 when I bought my machine, but it was glitching and not running properly and I couldn't get anywhere with troubleshooting it so I bought mach 4. It's run fine for me, though I still have a lot of issues I havent managed to figure out. (like while auto Z touch plate macro will randomly go UP instead of down after its initial touch off... no idea why)

    And by "dropped" I mean, they still sell the software, but dont support it any longer. its stagnating. people still use it, new hardware and plugins are being made around it still, but they aren't updating it to fix issues. Plugins are extremely slow to come for mach 4, and anything like that is far outside of my skillset to make myself.

    To what I want it to do, simply a 4 axis wood router. and in a year I plan on switching the spindle for an ATC setup, which from what ive read is a whole new can of worms with Mach 4, though I haven't gone so far as to start doing any work on that yet, as the new machine is just parts in my garage right now. Im reading up on acorn on these forums right now, and the reviews are mixed so far. It looks like it would probably be perfect for my needs on paper, but so far what ive seen is mostly customer support issues rather than actual usage reviews.



  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    179
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    I will tell you this..
    I am running a machine with an ATC Spindle...
    So for me ACORN is out of the questions...
    I was considering it for a simpler machine, but I noticed on major drawback...
    I might be wrong.. but the ACORN board has limited inputs and outputs...
    Thought the CNC Ver12 software may be the same/similar across all controllers, it seems like you have to buy upgrade "plug-ins" for certain functions.
    With there being no way to expand on the inputs/outputs.. the Acorn will work great on simpler machines.. but be limited on a more developed one.
    Mach 3 was limited too.. but if you added a second BOB you increased your inputs/outputs.

    Centroid seems like a very solid company.. but the OAK board is like $1800 to implement more features.

    I feel like they need an ACORN 2.. with expansion ability.



  5. #5
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    31710
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    and the fact that it isn't even being updated anymore bothers me....................new hardware and plugins are being made around it still, but they aren't updating it to fix issues
    Because many of the features in Mach3 were not taken into account when it was originally developed, many of them affected other features. So when a bug in one feature was fixed, it usually broke some other feature. THere was no way to move forward with Mach3, without a complete re-write, which is Mach4.

    Centroid has there own Acorn forum, where you can follow it's development, and see the questions that users are asking.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    22
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    I understand Why they moved to the new software, that is not my point. the point is that it was dropped, and not without reason. I didn't really think I was going to get an argument on a forum like this.. from a moderator no less? You're absolutely right, I should start my research somewhere else.



  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1345
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    I have Mach4+ESS and the Centroid Acorn on two identical machines.

    They both work fine, but I have run Mach3 for 15+ years or more, started when it came out

    The Mach4 screen set is very nice and motion with ESS is smooth. Have not cut large project on it yet so I am not positive if any of the bugs from Mach3 followed.

    Acorn is a nice package and I have cut several aluminum parts and it works great. What I like is it never does something unexpected. It is currently I/O limited to 8 inputs and 8 outputs + 4 drive outputs. They are working on an option to add addition digital and analog I/O expected in a couple months. They are also adding router user features to make many tasks easier.

    Price has gone up to $325 +. $125 for their professional software upgrade, but bottom line is it is a nice package with touch screen support

    Russ



  8. #8
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    456
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    You can get a UC300ETH with lots of I/Os and can use it with Mach3, Mach4 or UCCNC but my recommendation is UCCNC, because it is superior to Mach3 but i don't know much about mach4.
    I'm using UCCNC on 2 machines without issues for around 1.5-2 years



  9. #9
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    9
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    I used Mach4, switched to Acorn and I’m glad I did. Since switching to acorn I haven’t had a single crash. With Mach4/hicon sometimes it would do weird things like not wait for a manual tool change one time and other times it would. Adding external controls like a cycle start button in Mach4 required some programming in LUA (which I’m not familiar with) but not the case with the acorn. You are limited to 4 axis with acorn which works fine for my mill. I’m not sure how acorn will work on a router table but has worked well for my mill. My biggest compliment for the acorn board is that I can trust it. The conversational programming on the acorn is nice too if you’re into that.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



  10. #10
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    456
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    I did similar, I switched from Mach3 to UCCNC and I'm glad I did it. No crashes since then.
    It works nicely on my plasma and also on my router.



  11. #11
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    31710
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    I'm not arguing, just pointing out why Mach3 is unsupported. They simply can't, because they can't fix the problems with it.
    Imo, they really shouldn't be selling it at all, but they have to to stay in business.
    Not good for a company when your discontinued product is far more popular than your current one.
    I was a big Mach3 supporter for a long time, but there were enough issues with mach4 to force me to move in a different direction. In it's current state, I just don't see Mach4 ever becoming very popular in the hobby market.

    By all accounts, the Acorn is possibly the best "hobby" control available, but I think it's a bit too limited for a lot of router users.

    Good luck in your decision.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


  12. #12
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    22
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

    Thanks for your input everyone. Those were the types of answers I was looking for. I dont need it right away, so I'll wait and see what they come out with for the extra I/O, since I would like to run a 5 and 6 axis (Y is dual motor, so 4 and 5 actually) in the future. Even if they dont upgrade its capabilities I will likely go with it anyway, but positive reviews were what I was looking for



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum for manufacturing industry. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on


Our Brands

Mach4+ESS or Acorn?

Mach4+ESS or Acorn?